What Causes PCOS?

PCOS is difficult to diagnose because no test or combination of tests offer a definitive diagnosis. However, PCOS patients usually have elevated androgens (Testosterone or DHEAS) and multiple follicles (cysts )can often be observed on the ovaries. There is a strong association between PCOS and insulin resistance, with at least 80% of women with PCOS being insulin resistant. Different patients experience different manifestations of the syndrome, which complicates both diagnosis and treatment.

 

Several blood tests and exams are conducted in order to establish if the patient has any of the following symptoms:

  • Elevated free testosterone
  • Elevated dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate (DHEAS)
  • Low sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG)
  • Insulin resistance (measured by the 2-hour glucose tolerance test)
  • Elevated luteinizing hormone (LH) when compared to follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)
  • Multiple ovarian follicles (cysts)  as seen on an ultrasound (not everyone with PCOS has ovarian cysts and not everyone with ovarian cysts has PCOS)
  • Abnormal cholesterol and/or triglycerides
  • Elevated liver enzymes that may indicate non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

 

At Lisanne Wellness Center, we offer nutritional cleanse programs to resolve fatty liver disease and restore normal liver enzymes in one month.

Women with PCOS usually have large ovaries with numerous enlarged peripheral  follicles and increased central stroma (the middle section of the ovary that produces androgens). Many studies suggest that the polycystic appearance is due to increased production of androgens, which leads to a lack of ovulation and results in follicle atresia (arrested development).

“Syndrome X” is a new term used to denote a combination of insulin resistance or diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and central obesity. While insulin resistance and type II diabetes are frequently associated with obesity, there are women of normal weight who are afflicted as well. Syndrome X may be associated with PCOS.