Are Diabetes & PCOS Connected?
A health condition that affects women’s ability to produce eggs, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is considered to be a result of higher level of circulating insulin, a characteristic of type 2 diabetes which consequently lead to imbalance in sugar level in blood. Affecting women’s ovaries, this disease leads to abnormal cysts on the surface of the ovaries. Just as with diabetes management for maintaining normal sugar level, PCOS require regular monitoring of the symptoms.
Symptoms of PCOS
PCOS is also characterized by having a higher than normal level of male hormones. In order to treat PCOS, it is important to first identify one or more symptoms of the same:
• Irregular or loss of periods
• Fertility problems
• Weight gain
• Hirsutism (excessive hair growth)
• Thinning of or loss of hair
Causes of PCOS
Although a specific cause cannot be identified, insulin resistance and weight gain have been the primary causes which lead to formation of cysts in the ovaries. These also contribute to fluctuations in normal blood sugar levels which makes it complicated to control diabetes.
Diagnosis of PCOS
Although a definite cause of PCOS cannot be identified, it is being studied whether the same is genetic. Women with type 1 diabetes are surely at a higher risk of developing PCOS which leads us to believe that insulin may be a major contributing factor.
Women having PCOS do not know about the same as there’s no single blood test which can diagnose it. The steps followed by doctors can be as follows:
• They first check for thyroid, early menopause, or adrenal gland disorders which also result in similar symptoms.
• The next check is to test the swelling of cysts on the ovaries, done through an ultrasound.
• Blood tests may be recommended – for hormone levels, insulin and glucose levels.
Although there is no definite cure for PCOS, it is managed by prescribing birth control pills. This helps in regulating menstruation, reduce androgen levels and clear acne. Treating PCOS becomes easier with a healthy diet and active lifestyle, which also simultaneously takes care of your blood glucose levels, that is helps you maintain normal sugar levels.
Maintaining normal sugar level as part of management of diabetes is important and can be made possible only with consistent sugar level testing using a smartphone glucometer from the comfort of your home. Diabetes management app instantly syncs your blood sugar levels and you get personalized diabetes educator support, which is especially relevant for diabetes type 2.