The link between obesity and PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is well known. PCOS affects 5-10% of woman of reproductive age. Also, 50% of women with PCOS are overweight. The causes of PCOS are not exactly known but theories have evolved. It is believed to be caused by an excess amount of the male hormones (androgens) in the female body. The causes of this increase in androgens are several fold. Firstly, all women produce some androgens normally but it is this excess production in PCOS that causes the acne, abnormal hair growth and problems with infertility and irregular menstrual cycles.
Obesity causes resistance to insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas. It is necessary to move sugar from the blood into other body tissues where it is needed for energy. Cells cannot utilize glucose without insulin. It is thought that the resistance to insulin causes more insulin to be produced which in turn causes the ovaries to make more androgens and therefore help lead to PCOS. There are also factors thought to be involved in the development of PCOS such as chronic inflammation and hereditary factors that are not yet well understood.
But, does obesity lead to PCOS? This factor is not yet known but the majority of obese women do not have PCOS even though it is 5 times more common in obese women. The question then might be does PCOS cause obesity? Unfortunately, this is not known either. PCOS is a complex disorder with a multitude of factors at its root cause.
What is known though is that weight loss may not cure PCOS but it can restore normal ovulation in the population and increase fertility. Some research has shown that bariatric surgery could be of assistance in resolving PCOS in morbidly obese women. If you are struggling with weight loss and would like help with questions you may have, do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to answer your questions, help guide you through your options and be of assistance in any way we can.
Weight loss may not cure PCOS but can ovulation and fertility