Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a term used to describe a set of symptoms expressed in a large percentage of women visiting doctors with various gynecological problems, which arise from hormonal imbalances. The name PCOD is used when there is ultrasonographic evidences for ovarian cysts. PCOS is the most common endocrine disorder among women between the ages of 18 and 44. It affects approximately 5% to 10% of this age group. It is one of the leading causes of poor fertility.
Signs and symptoms of PCOS include irregular or no menstrual periods, heavy periods, excess growth of body and facial hair, acne, pelvic pain, infertility due to anovulation, and patches of thick, darker, velvety skin. PCOS commonly appear associated with conditions such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, obstructive sleep apnoea, heart disease, mood disorders, and endometrial cancer.
PCOS is considered to be caused by a combination of genetic as well as environmental factors. Obesity, lack of physical exercise, and a family history of someone with such conditions are major risk factors. Diagnosis is mainly based on two of the following three findings- no ovulation, high androgen levels, and ovarian cysts detectable by ultrasound scanning. Differential diagnosis is required to rule out other conditions that produce similar symptoms, which include adrenal hyperplasia, hypothyroidism, and hyperprolactinemia.They try to alleviate symptoms by lifestyle changes such as weight loss and exercises, and administration of ‘birth control pills’ to regularize menstrual periods. Anti-androgenic drugs are used in certain cases. Various drugs and techniques are used to treat acne and to control excess hair growth. Efforts to improve fertility include reducing weight, administering drugs, and in vitro fertilization.
Major signs and symptoms of PCOS include menstrual disorders such as ooligomenorrhoea (few menstrual periods) or amenorrhea (no menstrual periods) and infertility resulting from lack of ovulation. Other common signs are acne and hirsutism (male pattern of hair growth). There may be heavy and prolonged menstrual periods in some cases. Androgenic alopecia with hair thinning or diffuse hair loss may also appear in certain individuals. Levels of androgens or male sex hormones are found to be raised in PCOS patients. There appears as a tendency towards central obesity and other symptoms associated with insulin resistance. Serum insulin levels, insulin resistance, and homocysteine levels are higher in women with PCOS.
There is strong evidence that PCOS is a genetic disease. The genetic component appears to be inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion with high genetic penetrance but variable expressivity in females; this means that each child has a 50% chance of inheriting the predisposing genetic variant from a parent, and, if a daughter receives the variant, the daughter will have the disease to some extent. The genetic variants can be inherited from either the father or the mother, and can be passed along to both sons daughters. Sons may be asymptomatic carriers or may have symptoms such as early baldness. and daughters show the signs of PCOS. In rare instances, single-gene mutations can give rise to the phenotype of the syndrome. Current understanding of the pathogenesis of the syndrome suggests, however, that it is a complex multigenic disorder.
Obesity seems to play a big role in determining the severity of PCOS symptoms. PCOS has some aspects of a metabolic disorder, and its symptoms are partly reversible. Even though the name suggests that the ovaries are central to disease pathology, cysts are a symptom instead of the cause of the disease. Some symptoms of PCOS will persist even if both ovaries are removed; the disease can appear even if cysts are absent.. Gynecologists often see it as a gynecological problem, with the ovaries being the primary organ affected. However, recent insights show a multisystem disorder, with the primary problem lying in hormonal regulation in the hypothalamus, with the involvement of many organs. The term PCOS is used since there is a wide spectrum of symptoms possible, and cysts in the ovaries are seen only in 15% of people affected with the syndrome.
PCOS may be related to or worsened by exposures to certain drugs during the prenatal period, epigenetic factors, environmental impacts such as industrial endocrine disruptors.
History-taking, specifically for menstrual pattern, obesity, hirsutism and acne is very important for diagnosing PCOS. Gynecologic ultrasonography, specifically looking for small ovarian follicles is also important. These ‘cysts’ are believed to be the result of disturbed ovarian function with failed ovulation, reflected by the infrequent or absent menstruation that is typical of the condition. Determining whether an elevation of the serum levels of androgens including androstenedione and testosterone is necessary for diagnosis. The free testosterone level is thought to be the best measure, with more than 60% of PCOS patients demonstrating supranormal levels. Glucose tolerance tests as well as testing fasting insulin levels are also necessary. Other causes of irregular or absent menstruation and hirsutism, such as hypothyroidism, congenital adrenal hyperplasia (21-hydroxylase deficiency), Cushing’s syndrome, hyperprolactinemia, androgen secreting neoplasms, and other pituitary or adrenal disorders, should be investigated and ruled out.
Polycystic ovaries develop when the ovaries are stimulated to produce excessive amounts of male hormones (androgens), in particular testosterone, by either one or a combination of the following (almost certainly combined with genetic susceptibility- the release of excessive luteinizing hormone (LH) by the anterior pituitary gland, and through high levels of insulin in the blood in women whose ovaries are sensitive to this stimulus.
A majority of people with PCOS have insulin resistance and/or are obese. Their elevated insulin levels contribute to or cause the abnormalities seen in the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis that lead to PCOS. Hyperinsulinemia increases GnRH pulse frequency, LH over FSH dominance, increased ovarian androgen production, decreased follicular maturation, and decreased SHBG binding; all these steps contribute to the development of PCOS. Insulin resistance is a common finding among women with a normal weight as well as overweight women.
Adipose tissue possesses aromatase, an enzyme that converts androstenedione to estrone and testosterone to estradiol. The excess of adipose tissue in obese women creates the paradox of having both excess androgens which are responsible for hirsutism and virilization, and estrogens which inhibits FSH via negative feedback.
PCOS may be associated with chronic inflammation, with several investigators correlating inflammatory mediators with anovulation and other PCOS symptoms. Similarly, there seems to be a relation between PCOS and increased level of oxidative stress.
According to MIT perspective, INSULIN 30 is the main homeopathic drug for treating PCOS, as the molecular imprints contained in that drug can reverse the harmful biochemical processes caused by hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance, which is the starting point of all abnormalities in hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis that lead to PCOS. Drug will have to be repeated twice every day, and continued for a long period. Since PCOS is a metabolic syndrome involved with abnormalities in diverse hormonal pathways, PITUTRIN 30, ACTH 30, TESTOSTERONE 30 and THYROIDINUM 30 also should be administered in combination or alternation with INSULIN 30.
Better and faster results are produced if we include in this protocol the homeopathic ‘constitutional’ similimum worked out on the basis of physical generals and mental symptoms expressed by the patient.
Indications of positive response to this highly scientific treatment protocol are observable by three months, as menstrual periods become regular, and male pattern hair growth begins to fade away. All symptoms gradually disappear within 6-12 months of starting medication. Homeopaths can confidently try this method, since there are absolutely no chances for any kind of adverse effects from using drugs potentized above Avogadro limit.