Are PCOS and weight gain related? That is an indisputable truth. Do you want to find out how? Sure, that is why this article is here, and you are at the right place to see the connections. So let’s get to it.
The numbers don’t lie.
It is well known that, at least, 50% of people who have the polycystic ovarian syndrome are also obese.
The truth is that, the two are intertwined. Obesity causes PCOS, and PCOS further aggravates obesity, as PCOS causes more weight gain. It’s like a cycle, in a downward spiral.
What is PCOS?
Perhaps you do not really understand what PCOS is. The polycystic ovarian syndrome is a set of symptoms that appear in women of reproductive age. It is one of the leading causes of fertility problems.
It is caused by a variety of factors, including: insulin resistance, hyperandrogenism (that is to say, high levels of male hormones in a woman), and excessive weight too. While symptoms might not be exactly the same from person to person, a common factor for women with PCOS is that they have hormonal imbalances. And of course, as earlier said, excessive weight causes PCOS.
With PCOS, the symptoms that can be observed include: hirsutism(excessive hair growth, in a male pattern), weight gain(also in a male pattern), acne and other skin outbreaks.
To keep this article on track, we won’t go too deep into the pathophysiology. However, if you need a deeper understanding, you should check out this comprehensive guide to PCOS.
Weight gain is a rapid gain of excessive weight. All women(or rather, all people) will at some point or the other have to battle weight gain. This can be due to various reasons, like a change in diet, lifestyle, medications, etc. However, for women with the polycystic ovarian syndrome(PCOS), there is an even higher chance of weight gain. On a general note, hormonal imbalances increase the chances for weight gain. In fact, this is why there is also weight gain at menopause.
How are PCOS and weight gain related?
As earlier mentioned, there is a link between PCOS and weight gain(or obesity, if you will). PCOS can lead to weight gain, and it can also occur vice versa, i.e., weight gain causing PCOS.
How PCOS causes weight gain.
This is the information you have been looking for. It is simplified to give you a better understanding.
When PCOS arises, one of the symptoms is that there is a higher level of insulin in the bloodstream. Insulin is the hormone that helps to convert blood sugar(glucose) into a form in which it can be stored in the body. It helps to ensure that the body does not have too much sugar than it needs running around in the blood.
Actually, either or both of two things can happen to cause this rise in insulin to occur:
- PCOS causes the body to produce too much insulin, so that there is an excess of it running around in the body. This leads to a condition known as hyperinsulinemia (in English, that means excessively high levels of the hormone insulin).
- PCOS also causes Insulin Resistance. In insulin resistance, there is insulin in the body, but the body resists it. So, the insulin remains unused in the blood, and this also causes hyperinsulinemia.
Hyperinsulinemia and Insulin resistance: link between PCOS and weight gain.
Remember that PCOS can cause insulin resistance? Great. So, this is what happens. With insulin resistance, the body can not convert blood sugar(glucose) into it’s storage format. Consequently, there is an excess of the glucose running around. Too much of glucose can lead to weight gain. With time, there is increase in weight.
Hyperandrogenism: another link between PCOS and weight gain.
But that’s not all. The problem now aggravates further. Extremely high levels of insulin in the blood results in hyperandrogenism. Let’s say that in English. Hyperandrogenism simply means that there is an high level of androgens(male hormones) in the bloodstream of a female.
Androgens are referred to as “male hormones”. However, there are also moderate amounts of this hormone in the females too. But with hyperandrogenism, there is too much of it. Too much for comfort.
This hyperandrogenism now leads to various symptoms like:
- Hirsutism(facial hair and excessive hair on chest, back, arms, legs, etc);
- Male pattern hair loss;
- And male pattern weight gain, among others.
Now, this male pattern weight gain is quite dangerous. The weight gain due to PCOS is mainly by abdominal fat, as seen in men. So, the woman who has the condition due to PCOS and weight gain has an apple shape.
We say abdominal fat is dangerous for a reason. It is this type of fat that is more likely to cause heart diseases and other heart problems.
How weight gain can cause PCOS.
As we consider PCOS and weight gain, it is necessary to see how obesity can aggravate PCOS(polycystic ovarian syndrome).
The connection between PCOS and weight gain is not fully understood, but statistics have shown over and over that at around 50% of women with PCOS also experience weight gain alongside other symptoms of obesity.
The case is here is like a vicious cycle. PCOS causes weight gain, and weight gain aggravates the symptoms of PCOS even further. For one, obese women have higher chances of hormonal disturbances. PCOS thrives on hormonal imbalances. They are good contender for the title of “the deadly complements.”
Complications due to PCOS and weight gain.
There are other complications that will arise if these conditions are not taken care of:
- Type-2 diabetes;
- High blood pressure;
- High cholesterol;
- Sleep apnea;
- Endometrial cancer;
to name a few.
What is the remedy to PCOS-induced weight gain?
So, what’s your next question? It’s probably, “now that I better understand the link, how do I deal with weight that was caused by PCOS?”
There is one major, obvious thing to do, and that is to lose weight. This helps to break the cycle. It is proven that losing 10% of body weight significantly improves the symptoms of PCOS.
Here is a list of simple dietary and lifestyle approaches to dealing with PCOS and weight gain:
- The first is to, of course, lose weight. It is best to lose weight naturally with Ayurvedic tips and foods, and lifestyle tips.
- Exercise for about 30 minutes daily.
- Mind what you eat. Some diet can aggravate hyperinsulinemia. It is best to follow a PCOS diet plan to better manage the situation.
Some Ayurvedic Herbs to treat PCOS.
- Shatavari: This herb is rich in vitamins and minerals. It helps to increase insulin sensitivity, and is good for overall reproductive health.
- Turmeric: This also improves insulin sensitivity and for detoxification of the reproductive system.
- Vibhitaki: It has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. It improves sugar metabolism and also resolves digestive problems. Additionally, it is a great remedy for PCOS.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon is great for regulating blood sugar levels and also improving sensitivity to insulin.
When you are dealing with weight gain due to PCOS, it is good to consult your healthcare provider to explore what options are open to you. If you want to embark on a weight loss journey, you may also need to have your BMI(body mass index) evaluated. This is necessary so you know how much weight you need to lose. Thus, you can better explore your options. Medhya Herbals is always willing to take you in for consultations.