Does Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Cause Water Weight Gain?

Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 

Roughly six out of ten women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have problems with weight gain. This condition occurs when the ovaries are not able to produce* enough hormones. When this happens, the eggs cannot completely mature. Instead of being released by the body during ovulation, they remain within the ovaries. Over time, these follicles turn into cysts.

What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?

Polycystic ovary syndrome interferes with the female’s hormones and menstruation. Normally, follicles in the ovaries release an egg for fertilization. In women with PCOS, this does not occur and the egg becomes a cyst. With an ultrasound, women can typically see these cysts form around their ovaries. Since this is one of the easiest ways for doctors to spot the disorder, the cysts gave PCOS its name.

What Causes Pcos?

Ovary Syndrome

There are no known causes of PCOS. Some women may be genetically predisposed to it, although it can occur in women who do not have a family history of the disease. In modern society, certain conditions seem to exacerbate the problem. Stress, eating habits and pollution seem to make PCOS worse. In the body, stress causes the release of cortisol. This hormone leads to weigh gain, hypertension, diabetes and acne. Pollution and food additives can also worsen the symptoms because some of the chemicals mimic hormones found in the human body.

How Does Pcos Cause Weight Gain?

PCOS causes problems in how the body uses insulin. This hormone is required by the body to change sugar, carbohydrates and starches into usable energy. When the body cannot use insulin, it is known as insulin resistance. The addition insulin and sugar start to build up within the bloodstream. Over time, they increase* the amount of the male hormone, androgen. Studies have shown that high androgen levels in the body can cause irregular periods and acne. Androgen can also lead to additional weight gain and body hair growth. Since the hormone is typically used to trigger weight gain in the male body, it causes the female to gain weight like males do-in the abdomen. Unfortunately, increased abdominal fat has also been linked to a higher incidence of heart disease and other medical problems.

What are The Symptoms Of Pcos?

Once the hormones have been changed due to PCOS, the female body responds with a diverse array of symptoms. Each woman may experience some, none or all of these symptoms. They may have an irregular period, no menstrual cycle at all or be infertile. Excess hair may grow on their face, nipples, legs, arms, stomach and back. They may suffer from obesity and insulin resistance. Women who have PCOS are also more likely to develop sleep apnea, diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.

How Is Polycystic Ovary Disease Diagnosed And Treated?

Some doctors believe that weight gain and obesity can worsen the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome. Due to this, the first treatment method is normally to lose* weight. The doctor may prescribe a drug like metformin to help the body regulate insulin effectively and lower testosterone levels. Other drugs like rimonabant can help with weight loss*. Birth control* may be prescribed to help regulate the menstrual cycle and lower androgen levels.

The best way to reduce* weight gain associated with PCOS is to lose* weight through a healthy diet. Ideally, women should eat high-fiber foods and avoid sugar. Their diet should include plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. In order to keep insulin at normal levels, women should avoid fatty or processed foods. Eating several small meals throughout the day and exercising can also help with insulin production.

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Author

Expert Author : Emily Clark (Consumer Health Digest)

Emily Clark is a medical writer with years of experience. She can be found residing in Maywood, Illinois, researching and writing on recent advances in medicine.