Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is a type of an endocrine disorder affecting almost 20% of women of reproductive age. It may be characterized by the enlargement of ovaries and the development of follicular cysts. PCOS may also link to infertility, diabetes, and cardiac issues. Sometimes it prevails unnoticed in women as a less common type called Adrenal PCOS. Let’s have a look at the most usual signs and causes of this type of PCOS!
What is Adrenal PCOS?
Humans have two adrenal glands over their kidneys responsible for secreting and controlling the level of stress and sex hormones. If you’re under any physical or emotional stress, your adrenal glands may start producing elevated levels of cortisol (one of the stress hormones). The increase in the level of cortisol and DHEA-S (androgen) is a reactive response to create homeostasis in the body. Excess androgens production may cause irregular menstruation, acne, and increased facial hair in women.
Adrenal PCOS Symptoms
The most common signs of Adrenal PCOS are:
- Uncontrolled weight gain
- Constant fatigue
- Acne breakouts
- Excessive facial and body hair
- Irregular or missed periods
- PCOS Bloating
- Sleep disturbance
What Conditions Cause Adrenal PCOS?
If you are constantly under pressure or exhausted, you invite problems to come and mess up your life. Being a woman, you need to be mentally and emotionally strong. Any discomfort can put a severe impact on your family and work life. The more common problems associated with stress may be hormonal imbalance, increased cortisol production, and enhanced menstruation problems, leading to Adrenal PCOS.
An unhealthy diet and obesity go hand in hand, and so do obesity and Adrenal PCOS. Cutting your calorie count, increasing insulin sensitivity, and losing weight are some of the best-known conventional therapies for treating PCOS.
However, these may perform well for people already taking American diet high in saturated fats, sodium, and calories while less in fruits and vegetables. However, if you’re already taking Paleo Diet, your symptoms may not get much better. So, the ideal way to treat the PCOS signs is to set your calorie count and nutrient-balanced diet after consulting your Nutritionist.
Life is so busy in this era; therefore everyone needs to work hard to ease their life. But, your health should be your priority even in worst situations. Getting a proper sleep of about 10 hours a day can effectively help you balance your hormones and provide an extra boost to your mental health.
Disturbed hormonal balance may also induce the signs of adrenal PCOS. Some of these hormones and their reasons for imbalance are mentioned here:
This hormone is primarily present in all women in minute quantities and secreted by the adrenal glands. Studies claim that Women who suffer from adrenal PCOS may exhibit an elevation in testosterone level. This might cause unwanted facial hair in them, along with irregularity in the menstruation cycle.
Dehydroepiandrosterone, Androstenolone, or DHEA-S is a male hormone found in all women. Adrenal glands secrete it as an endocrine response to extreme stress conditions. It induces the activation of testosterone and estrogen receptors, thus putting you at risk of adrenal PCOS.
Androstenedione is also a secretion by adrenal glands and ovaries. Patients who suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome show an increase in serum Androstenedione levels which might contribute to worsening the PCOS phenotype. The symptoms of Androstenedione elevation might include amenorrhea, hirsutism, and changes in genitalia.
Adrenal glands secrete estrogen in small quantities, while ovaries are its basic production point. Estrogen is responsible for ensuring normal progesterone levels so that nothing disrupts menstruation. Low estrogens can affect sexual development and cause obesity& cardiac problems, which are symptoms of Adrenal PCOS.
Diagnosis of Adrenal PCOS
Your doctor may suggest certain blood tests such as DHEA/Testosterone Blood Test, 17- Hydroxyprogesterone Test, FSH/LH Blood Test, Thyroid Function, and Prolactin Test. Doctors recommend follow-up treatment for PCOS after analyzing the results of these blood tests. Moreover, PCOS can also be diagnosed through ultrasound or Androgen Excess Evaluation.
Tips for Relieving the Signs of Adrenal PCOS
Stress is inevitable these days. There is so much going on around you that can make you distressed. You cannot fight this pressure and win it over, but there are things that you can do to avoid the situation or distract yourself from it. It must be noted that chronic stress can boost the cortisol level and DHEA, which may trigger the signs of adrenal PCOS. You can calm your mind by meditating, spending quality time with nature, or trying yoga or psychological therapies.
Read more: Yoga Asanas for Treating PCOS
Fix your Time for a Workout
Don’t stay inactive for long, as a sedentary lifestyle slows down your metabolism, makes you overweight, and increases your risk of developing fetal diseases. Moreover, regular exercise may also manage insulin resistance and burn calories to help prevent PCOS-related hormonal disturbance.
Get Proper Sleep
For your body to work efficiently, sound sleep is a basic requirement. It is because sleeping relaxes your muscles and let the body function properly. Night-time sleep is more effective in providing your body with a sense of mental peace, thus helping the body to relieve fatigue.
Read more: PCOS and Fatigue
Choose a Healthy and Well-balanced Diet
Reducing the intake of carbohydrates and calories may help you reduce obesity, hormonal imbalance, and other cardiovascular health problems. Therefore, adrenal PCOS patients should regularly take anti-inflammatory foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, lean protein, nuts, fish, high-fiber foods, and flaxseeds. These foods reduce the risk of oxidative stress, hormonal imbalance, and body inflammation, thus reducing the risk of adrenal imbalance.
Nutritional and Herbal Remedies
Some naturally occurring anti-androgen products may include spearmint tea, chaste tree, Chinese peony, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Camellia sinensis (green tea), licorice, rosemary leaf extract, reishi mushroom, and Resveratrol (red wine and grapes), which may help mitigate the painful symptoms of PCOS caused by androgen imbalance.
Say No to Smoking and Alcohol
PCOS women become more prone to certain health disorders such as obesity, chronic liver disease, diabetes, atherosclerosis, or cardiovascular problems. Excessive alcohol consumption may trigger these risks; therefore, you should minimize or quit smoking to reverse the painful PCOS signs.
Remember, you’re not alone in the journey of PCOS! Don’t be embarrassed to tell your sentiments to your loved ones. Instead, you should discuss your experiences in different forums so that you may become an inspiration to other women to combat PCOS issues.