Maintain weight, waist to keep PCOS away

Maintain weight, waist to keep PCOS away
(From left) Dr Sejal Surti, Dr Jayacy C Jayankar, Dr Indira Venkatraman, and Dr Keya Rahul Shivadey, from Aster Hospitals and Clinics, seen during the session on 'Understanding PCOS, Endometriosis and related conditions' in Dubai on Monday. - Photo by Juidin Bernarrd

Dubai - Aster Hospitals and Clinics partnered with Khaleej Times to take on the health issue, conducting an informative session on PCOS, a disorder that affects about 10 million women worldwide.

By Saman Haziq

Published: Tue 11 Oct 2016, 11:03 AM

Last updated: Tue 11 Oct 2016, 1:21 PM

In the olden days, women might not have had fancy gyms or different diets, yet they managed to burn more calories than their counterparts today. The natural course of life of back then involved plenty of manual work, healthy, unprocessed food, earlier marriage and children born in quick succession, compared to the lifestyles and social changes that have come about today.
Such changes have also brought about plenty of lifestyle diseases, with one of them being Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Aster Hospitals and Clinics partnered with Khaleej Times to take on the health issue, conducting an informative session on PCOS, a disorder that affects about 10 million women worldwide.

Spotting PCOSSymptoms include: Obesity, weight gain, irregular periods, difficulty conceiving, hirsutism (unwanted hair, usually on face or chest), acne, insulin-resistant diabetes, infertility
Do you have PCOS?
  • Physical examination: Your doc might ask questions on your menstrual cycle, weight, any symptoms and examine you for physical signs of PCOS such as acne, excess hair growth and darkened skin
  • Blood tests: Your blood may be tested for high cholesterol, blood sugar levels to gauge insulin resistence and hormone changes
  • Transvaginal ultrasound: Doctors may do an ultrasound externally to determine the presence of ovarian cysts or enlarged ovaries and examine the reproductive organs for any irregularities
Describing the syndrome in detail, a set of four experts explained its symptoms, causes, treatment and management at length, during a panel discussion on Monday.
With an estimated 50,000 plus women in the UAE suffering from PCOS, the issue needs to be talked about, Alisha Moopen, Executive Director and CEO, Hospitals and Clinics (GCC) said: "The core of our happiness and contentment here is closely linked with our health and well-being. PCOS is close to my heart, as I have a 5-year-old daughter. Every time I look at her, as a mother, I think I need to be aware of health issues that affect women. Many women have the 'ostrich syndrome': they don't want to know the uncomfortable truths, think it won't happen to them and don't want to be bothered about it. But think about how it affects our daughters, and suddenly, it has all our attention."
What is PCOS?
The syndrome is described as a hormonal imbalance that can cause irregular periods and may lead to infertility. It may also cause unwanted changes in the way you look (excessive hair growth or thinning hair, weight gain, oily skin or acne) and if not treated, it could lead to more serious health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease.
While the symptoms are embarrassing enough, the most troubling one can be difficulty in conceiving or infertility.
Dr Keya Rahul Shivadey, Specialist Ob and Gynaec from Aster , it should have been Aster Clinic Business Bay, said: "The reason we are discussing this today: it affects 10-15 per cent of women across the world in their reproductive years, particularly between the ages of 15 to 35. Thus, adolescents are the most important category to focus on."
On the causes and management of PCOS, Dr Indira Venkataraman, specialist obstetrician-gynecologist, Aster Clinic Al Muteena, had one advice to give. Manage your food intake, particularly following the mantra of "say no to anything white". She is hinting at processed and junk foods, which have ad carbs like sugar that can increase your chances of developing or worsening PCOS.
Another common reason is delayed conception or the trend of having children later these days. Dr Venkataraman said: "Anyone with PCOS who is married: do not delay your first pregnancy. It is better to have a kid before you gain weight. So either don't gain weight or to have your first baby soon. This will reduce the number of infertility cases."
Maintaining your weight and waist is most important to manage PCOS. Dr Venkataraman concluded the session by saying: "Ask a few important questions: what was your weight at the time of your wedding and what is your weight now? Manage it, go for regular checks and stay fit."
Other PCOS-related topics covered at the session were endometriosis and its surgical intervention, conducted by Dr Jayacy C Jayankar, while Dr Sejal Devendra Surti explained the management options for fibroids.
"I was born and raised here and I have friends and family who've battled PCOS. Just because it's not life threatening, people don't worry about it as much as they should. There are ways to control and
manage it. Maybe we need to start unlearning some ways and adopting some others. Let's promote awareness about PCOS and make the UAE a healthier, happier place for all of us," Alisha concluded.

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