PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disease) or PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) has taken the world of women by storm. It is a major ailment concerning a huge chunk of young females in India presently. PCOD strikes mostly at an early age, therefore, a substantial number of young adults go through this problem. This is a common endocrine disorder of unknown aetiology, affecting 5-10% of women of reproductive age. The average age group suffering from PCOD varies between 18 and 45 years. It is important for the youth to understand this disease at its onset, along with the causes and implications in the future. PCOD is characterized by multiple small cysts in the ovaries. It makes the ovary enlarged and lead to excessive production of androgen and oestrogen hormones causing various bodily issues.
Watch out for the following common symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Disorder: Irregular periods, occurring every 2 to 3 months (amenorrhea), Heavy bleeding (Menorrhagia), Unusual body and facial hair growth (hirsutism), Stubborn acne that refuses to heal with the usual treatments. This is due to excess peripheral androgen.,Uncontrolled weight gain around the waist area especially, Pigmentation or darkening of the skin around the neck region (Acanthosis nigricans), Infertility, Male-pattern baldness, Headaches You can have one or all of these symptoms. A person may be lean or have clear skin but still suffer from PCOD. This is because it is an endocrine disorder affecting several systems in the body. However, the main pathology behind the disease is Insulin Resistance and hyperinsulinemia. Insulin regulates sugar in the body. Insulin Resistance means the inability of cells to respond to the action of insulin in transporting glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream into muscle and other tissues. Hence pancreas produces more insulin to combat the high sugars. Complications Uncontrolled PCOD can lead to numerous problems such as difficulty in conceiving, increased risk for early onset of type 2 diabetes. Patients with PCOS who become pregnant are at increased risk for perinatal complications such as gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia. In addition, they have increased long term risk of endometrial cancers. Other complications include increased cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and even breast cancer.
The cause of PCOD is still unknown. However, the association of PCOD with low-grade inflammation, excess insulin, production of male hormones (Hyperandrogenism) in high quantity and genetics can be found. Also, early age of menarche, unhealthy lifestyle and pollution are some of the contributing factors of PCOD.