But, why me? And how has this happened? Trust me, I feel your pain! – it is most frustrating but not an awful lot has been explained with regards to the causes of PCOS…more and more is being explored every day and hopefully, with time, we will get the concrete answers we seek!
Whilst the exact cause of PCOS is unknown, a number of factors that often lead to the development of the condition have been acknowledged by the medical community:
- Insulin resistance: Produced by the pancreas insulin controls the amount of sugar in the blood. Insulin also helps to move glucose out of the blood and into cells where it is broken down to produce energy. Insulin resistance means that the body’s tissues are resistant to the effects of insulin – to compensate the body produces extra…high levels of insulin will lead to a hormonal imbalance.
- Weight gain: It’s a nightmare – PCOS sees us producing excess insulin and insulin resistance make it difficult to lose weight. But wait – raised insulin levels, like those we contend with, often lead to weight gain…it’s a vicious cycle…
- Hormone imbalance: As mentioned earlier [link back to basics], PCOS will see a myriad of hormones out of whack; facing unnaturally high levels of testosterone and male sex hormones, low levels of sex hormone binging globulin, raised levels of luteinising hormone (which messes around with ovulation) and raised levels of prolactin mean that our bodies struggle to know which way is up most of the time!
- Genetics: Whilst this has yet to be proven, there is an increased likelihood in developing PCOS if women in your family have the condition; it seems to run in families.