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Does PCOS Affect Your Weight?

Does PCOS Affect Your Weight?

For any woman, maintaining or attaining a healthy weight can sometimes be a challenge. On top of that, if you have a common hormonal condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), preventing weight gain can feel like a battle that’s never-ending.

PCOS not only can cause infertility and various unpleasant side effects, it’s also often linked to weight gain that can lead to further health problems. 

If you have PCOS, OB/GYNs Anita Gondy, MD, Saovaros V. Michaels, MD, Henry Luh, DO, and the rest of our team at Women's Health Associates of Southern Nevada, Northwest in Las Vegas, Nevada, are here to help you control any resulting weight gain and other unpleasant PCOS symptoms.

Learn more about the link between PCOS and your weight, and what you can do to reduce the side effects of this condition.

Understanding PCOS

PCOS occurs when some of your hormones, particularly your androgen levels and insulin, are out of balance. This is a common condition that impacts around 5-10% of women.

PCOS makes your androgen levels higher, increasing your production of testosterone. This disrupts your menstrual cycle, causing your body to have difficulty producing and releasing monthly eggs.

Symptoms of PCOS include:

In addition, PCOS can cause you to gain weight without any changes in your lifestyle.

The link between PCOS and weight

The hormonal imbalances behind PCOS can cause you to gain weight more easily. In particular, PCOS can make some women develop insulin resistance. 

Insulin resistance makes it more difficult for your body to convert the glucose you consume into energy, which can cause overproduction of insulin and high blood sugar. Over time, uncontrolled high blood sugar makes it easier to gain weight.

Unfortunately, being overweight can aggravate the symptoms of PCOS, including making it harder to conceive. Weight gain from PCOS also puts you at risk of additional obesity-related conditions, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and sleep apnea.

Managing your weight with PCOS

Working to maintain or attain a healthy weight not only helps control the symptoms PCOS causes, you’ll also feel better and be less likely to develop other chronic health issues. If your PCOS has caused you to gain extra pounds, our clinicians at WHASN - NW work closely with you to help you lose and manage your weight.

Our team often recommends women with PCOS stick to a metabolic diet, which reduces your intake of carbohydrates by focusing on eating other healthy foods. This helps control your blood sugar levels and reduces your likelihood of developing diabetes.

We can also help you develop a healthy eating and exercise program tailored to your needs, and prescribe a drug called Metformin to lower your insulin levels and control blood sugar. If you aren’t currently pregnant or trying to conceive, prescribing hormonal birth control regulates your hormones and helps control PCOS symptoms and your weight.

If you have unexplained weight gain or other symptoms of PCOS, our team can help you manage your condition and thrive. Make an appointment with the WHASN - NW team for skilled, women-focused medical care and support. Call our office or request an appointment online today.

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