PJT Metformin is approved by the Irish Medicines Board as a treatment for diabetes and it is not registered as a treatment for PCOS. Even though, many doctors who keep abreast of peer journal international research will prescribe it to patients with PCOS. With this medication in my experience, PCOS patients lose weight, drop their blood pressure, and also excess body hair (all caused by high testosterone)
ML Tell us more about the PCOS syndrome?
PJT Polycystic Ovaries develop when the ovaries are stimulated to produce excessive amounts of male hormones (androgens), particularly testosterone, either through the release of excessive luteinizing hormone (LH) by the pituitary gland or through high levels of insulin in the blood (hyperinsulinemia)
ML How is PCOS diagnosed?
PJT In 2003 a consensus workshop in Rotterdam indicated PCOS to be present if 2 out of 3 criteria are met: (1) minimal ovulation, (2) excess androgen activity, (3) polycystic ovaries (by gynaecologic ultrasound), and other endocrine disorders are excluded.
LB What are the symptoms of PCOS?
PJT There are many symptoms including irregular, few, or absent menstrual periods. This may result in infertility, generally resulting from lack of ovulation. Excessive and increased body hair, typically in a male pattern affecting face, chest and legs is very common and let’s not forget hair loss appearing as thinning hair on the top of the head
There are also skin problems including acne, oily skin, seborrhoea. We see quite a number of patients with obesity and depression.
ML What are the risks of not properly treating patients with PCOS?
PJT Women with PCOS are at risk for the following:
• Cancer of the uterine lining is possible, due to lack of progesterone resulting in prolonged stimulation of uterine cells by oestrogen. It is however unclear if this risk is directly due to the syndrome or from the associated obesity.
• Type II diabetes
• High blood pressure
• Disorders of lipid metabolism — cholesterol and triglycerides
• Cardiovascular disease
• Weight gain
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