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How can I tell if I have polycystic ovary syndrome, and how is it treated?

The symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are fat stored in the belly, dark facial and body hair, infertility, acne and irregular periods. A woman is born with about 4 million eggs. Each month one egg ripens and pops off the ovary into the uterus. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome have eggs that remain on the ovary to form cysts. PCOS is diagnosed with a sonogram of the ovaries. The symptoms are caused by high blood insulin levels.

Your pancreas releases insulin when your blood sugar level rises. Anything that prevents blood sugar levels from rising too high lowers insulin and treats PCOS. When these women are given metformin (Glucophage), a diabetic medication, and placed on a diabetic diet, their periods become regular, they lose weight, their acne and facial hair disappear and they become fertile. Women with PCOS should avoid refined carbohydrates (any foods made with flour, white rice or milled corn) and added sugars. Don’t avoid fruits or root vegetables, but eat them only with other foods to slow the rise in blood sugar. If you think you may have PCOS, take this information to your doctor

Checked 7/6/07

May 12th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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