PCOS: A Hornet’s Nest

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Understanding the problems and possibilities related to PCOS.

Since my childhood, I could sense that being a woman is no joke. We need to gain those superpowers to combat in every stage of your life. This very statement is applicable not only in the physical world but also in the biological scenario. In fact, this side of the story makes it more challenging for us all. And believe me, what we women go through is disturbing, exhausting, and even demotivating at times.

I was at the age of 12 discovering one such issue with myself. The ever dramatic, irritating, and painful experience. The one and only, PERIODS. I wonder if we should call it a monthly target that we are bound to achieve. I remember those sleepless nights when I used to cry the whole night. I remember my mood swings, those painful days, and the feeling of hating my life at times.

That was the time when I had wished to gain some superpowers. Superpowers that would help me eliminate all my hardships. Somewhere in my subconscious mind, all I wanted was to be able to heal myself. I guess this was why I started building interest in understanding the mechanism behind it. And this very curiosity introduced me to PCOS and ultimately brought me into this research field.

What is PCOS ?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS is a common occurrence of metabolic and hormonal abnormalities associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and dyslipidemia.

PCOS is found to be under a chronic low-grade inflammation status that includes high levels of leukocytes and also leads to the disorder of the pro-inflammatory cytokines. Interleukin 6 is a multipotent cytokine that mediates inflammatory response by controlling cell differentiation migration, proliferation, and apoptosis, thus playing a role in the development of insulin resistance.

PCOS related genes - CYP19, CYP17, FST, INSR, IRS-1, IGF, IRS2, CYP17, CYP21.

PCOS related cytokines – IL-6, IL-7a, IL-1RA, TNF2, NFKB.

Problems related to PCOS.

Problems caused by PCOS are not limited to just reproduction or pregnancy. This also plays important role in worsening certain diseases such as Ovarian Cancer, Diabetes, and other cardiovascular diseases.

Higher levels of insulin due to PCOS results in increased risk for elevated triglycerides, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. This condition ultimately is the root cause for the development of cardiovascular diseases. Also, it increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Moreover, most of the women with PCOS develop Type2 Diabetes and Gestational Diabetes (during pregnancy) which put both mother and the baby at risk. This even increases the possibility of developing type2 diabetes later in life in both the mother and her child.

PCOS thus is one nightmare no woman ever wants to witness in her life. I am hopeful, we will soon find a possible cure to this disease and provide those superpowers to all women that I dreamt for myself during my struggling days.

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