Five percent to 10 percent of young women have a hormonal disorder called polycystic ovarian syndrome. Women with PCOS often have insulin resistance (the body does not use insulin well), resulting in too much insulin in the body. Excess insulin has been related to an increase in production of androgen, a male hormone made in fat cells, ovaries and adrenal glands.

Symptoms

PCOS tends to run in families, but the exact cause is not known. Symptoms include:

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• Infrequent menstrual periods, no menstrual periods and/or irregular bleeding
• Infertility because of lack of ovulation
• Increased hair growth on the face, chest, stomach, back, thumbs or toes
• Acne, oily skin and dandruff
• Weight gain, especially around the mid-section
• Insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes
• High cholesterol and/or blood pressure
• Thinning hair on head
• Pelvic pain
• Depression

If you are having symptoms you believe to be related to PCOS, make an appointment with an LWell Registered Dietitian >>