Thursday, September 20, 2012

Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Poly Cystic Ovary Disease

Here at UK Health radio groups who want to publicise various health conditions often contact us.   One such letter recently came in from Cheryl and Nadine who wrote to ask for help with raising awareness for Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).  The condition affects 10% of the female population in the UK.  The cause is not fully understood but it is thought that there may be a genetic influence and as such it seems unlikely that a woman could alter her predisposition to PCOS.

Most PCOS sufferers are over weight, many through no fault of their own, as PCOS is known to cause weight gain.  There's no current proof of any benefit of preventative weight loss, although this had been the hymn sheet that doctors have been singing from for many years.  Obviously, however, the best advice for overall health is to maintain a normal weight or BMI, particularly if you have strong indicators that PCOS could affect you.
Some of these indicators include: 
  • A tendency in the family towards Type 2 diabetes (non-insulin dependent diabetes.)
  • The knowledge that a close relative already has PCOS
  • A tendency towards early baldness in the men in the family (before 30 years of age) - That was an interesting one I thought, I wasn't expecting that!   

There is evidence that PCOS can trigger things such as heart and liver disease, strokes, depression, diabetes and even cancer yet research in this area seems to be sluggish and proper help, treatment and support, Cheryl says, elude most patients. It also can have an impact on fertility with sufferers finding it hard to conceive. And an increase in male pattern hair growth and acne are found in up to 70 per cent, with hormonal abnormalities found in up to 50 per cent of women with PCOS.  Hirsutism – the medical name for unwanted hair growth, especially when it occurs on the face, is the cause of secret misery for many PCOS sufferers.

Links for the PCOS site are on our website with YouTube links detailing women’s experience with the condition and there is also a link to Cheryl and Nadine’s own YouTube video clip also with PCOS sufferers stories.

Cheryl and Nadine aim to raise awareness of a condition that few people, apart from those suffering from PCOS have heard of. They want to see more research into the condition, and are even offering up the sufferers in their own support group to the scientific community to take part in research studies!  
They have a face book page the details of which are listed below. They unfortunately had their original page hacked so the site has had to be set up again which explains its embryonic feel.   
By and large Cheryl points out, sufferers have to do their own research because the doctors often don’t have any information to offer.  Cheryl feels strongly that medical professionals sometimes do not take this condition seriously. Cheryl’s own experience has led her to call for PCOS to be given greater attention.  She feels that doctors should see PCOS sufferers for a check up every 6 months to monitor any changes in the condition, and should offer more in the way of testing and investigation.  Although Cheryl knows that there is no cure for PCOS, she feels that a lot more could be done to alleviate symptoms in PCOS sufferers.    If you suffer from this condition please do get in touch with us or with Cheryl and Nadine direct.

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