Although PCOD has become increasingly common among Indian women today, the condition is thought to be highly underdiagnosed. This is largely due to a lack of awareness about PCOD and because of its varied symptoms. When seen in isolation, each symptom appears minor and women often tend to ignore them. However, any combination of PCOD symptoms should be treated as a warning sign and you should visit your doctor at the earliest. Here are the most common symptoms of PCOD that every woman should be aware of.
10 Symptoms of PCOD
As an endocrinal disorder that affects the hormonal balance, PCOD causes an increase in male hormone levels. As a result, the body does not produce enough progesterone and irregularities develop in the menstrual cycle. Aside from irregular periods, PCOD can also cause missed or painful periods.
2. Weight Gain
PCOD is often the culprit when you experience inexplicable or sudden weight gain. This means that any weight increase without a change in diet and lifestyle might be linked to the disorder. The likelihood of PCOD being the cause is even higher if you’re now having a hard time shedding those extra pounds.
3. Acne & Skin Problems
Although acne is common during adolescence, if it reappears years later, there is a good chance that PCOS is responsible. Teenage acne develops because of changes in hormonal levels – a problem that surfaces once more in PCOS. Hormonal imbalances and insulin resistance associated with PCOS can also cause darkened patches of skin to appear.
4. Unwanted Hair
You don’t need to panic with the occasional appearance of chin hair, but a dramatic increase in hair growth on the face and body should cause concern. Described as histruism, this is the result of an increase in male hormone levels, which is characteristic of PCOD.
It’s annoying and unfortunate, but while androgen (the male hormone) causes an increase in unwanted facial and body hair, it also causes hair loss from the scalp. This is why many women with PCOD also suffer from male pattern balding or a receding hairline.
6. Sleep Impairment & Fatigue
PCOD is also known to impair sleep, causing conditions like insomnia and sleep apnea. While insomnia involves difficulty falling sleep, sleep apnea is characterized by snoring and impaired breathing during sleep. Because of these symptoms, women with PCOD often wake up feeling fatigued even after getting the required amount of sleep.
7. Food Cravings
Food cravings may be most associated with pregnancy, but at other times the type of craving can give insight into your health. If you’re experiencing stronger cravings for carbs and sugary foods, PCOS may be the cause. Because of its effect on insulin levels, your cells tend to rely on glucose for fuel.
8. Trouble Conceiving
Conception doesn’t occur at first try but if you’ve been struggling to get pregnant for years, PCOD could be the cause for reduced fertility levels. The decrease in progesterone impairs egg development and lowers the chances of conception. In fact, PCOD is recognized as the most common cause of infertility worldwide.
9. Prediabetes or Diabetes
The causes of insulin resistance in PCOS are not clearly understood, but the connection is clear. This can raise blood sugar levels, resulting in prediabetes, which is reversible. If not managed swiftly however, it can lead to the onset of type-2 diabetes.
10. Anxiety & Depression
Studies show a much higher incidence of anxiety and depressive disorders in women with PCOS, but the causes aren’t always easy to establish. While hormonal imbalances in PCOD can play a role, the stress of having to deal with weight gain, acne, infertility, and other symptoms is also a contributing factor.
Although PCOD is a chronic condition, most of these problems can be reversed and managed effectively if dealt with in a timely manner, using natural methods like Ayurvedic herbs, diet, and exercise. Seek help as soon as you notice any of these symptoms and begin treatment immediately if you receive a diagnosis of PCOD.