Poly-cystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS is a medical condition that effects women. This common condition effects 1 in 10 women. A woman that has PCOS has enlarged ovaries and follicular cysts.
Unfortunately, the cause of PCOS is not known. We do know there is a genetic hereditary component, as well as a connection to high insulin levels in the body.
PCOS has many side effects. The most prominent are irregular menstruation, acne, problems conceiving, weight gain, unwanted hair growth, and hair loss.
Weight gain occurs because PCOS causes a resistance to insulin. This resistance causes more insulin to be produced which causes more testosterone to be produced which causes weight gain. Increased weight causes increased insulin and the vicious cycle continues.
Hair growth occurs in unwanted places such as the face, chest, and stomach. Simultaneously, hair loss occurs on the scalp. This symptom of PCOS is a result of the increased androgen in the body and is known as hirsutism.
When there is an excess amount of testosterone in the body, it is converted to DHT. DHT causes hair follicles to shrink. This shrinkage or miniaturization causes the hair to become finer and eventually stop growing altogether.
There is no single test to test for PCOS. But a blood test, hormone test, and ultrasound may be used in conjunction with positive symptoms to diagnose the condition.
If PCOS goes untreated it can cause diabetes and heart disease. PCOS can be managed by maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle. Avoiding foods high in carbohydrates and fats, and consuming high amounts of protein can help ward off weight gain and the effects of high insulin.
Additionally, certain medications can help in treating PCOS symptoms. Contraceptives can help regulate hormones while Propecia and Rogaine can help halt hair loss.
If you think you may have PCOS you should schedule an appointment with your physician to get tested. If you have hair loss caused by PCOS, you should meet with a hair restoration surgeon who specializes in the medical management of hair loss.
Give us a call for a medical management consult today and put an end to your hair loss.