PCOS and Insulin Resistance: Part 4.2 Evaluation of Diagnostic Features of PCOS

In the second part of the Diagnosis of PCOS, I would like to dissect the clinical evaluation of its diagnostic features. A proper diagnostic protocol will determine firstly, who has PCOS, secondly, how many women worldwide actually have this condition, and lastly, lead to a proper treatment plan. PCOS is a diagnosis given by exclusion. This means that for a physician to diagnose a woman with PCOS, he/she must first exclude other conditions that mimic PCOS, i.e. Differential Diagnosis. In theory, when a woman presents with the common complaints of PCOS, a clinician would need to rule out conditions such as “…nonclassic adrenal hyperplasia, Cushing’s syndrome, androgen-producing tumors, … drug

PCOS and Insulin Resistance: Part 4 How is PCOS diagnosed?

How is PCOS diagnosed? The only reason why this is important is because depending on whether you are given the PCOS “label” will determine how you are treated. Also, the “diagnosis” of PCOS allows for records showing the “incidence” of PCOS, i.e. how prevalent it is. Because of the challenges diagnosing PCOS, we don’t really have a clear understanding of how many women are afflicted by it. It is reported that about 10%-20% of women, worldwide, have PCOS, but it might actually be a lot more than that. Still, it is considered the most common endocrine (hormonal) disorder of women in their reproductive years. The prevalence of PCOS appears to vary from country to country, and it is believed th

PCOS and Insulin Resistance: Part 3 What Causes PCOS?

In a previous post, I stated that PCOS is deemed a diagnosis by exclusion, and that the causes are unknown. It seems from my research that PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) would best be defined as a complex, and poorly understood, reproductive and metabolic condition, which may have “…genetic, metabolic, fetal, and environmental factors…” all playing an intricate role in its etiology . In later blogs I will discuss the diagnosis and treatment of PCOS, including the complimentary approaches which I deem appropriate. Instead of focusing on the “causes” of PCOS, let’s rather look at all these delicate and interactive factors, individually. GENETICS PCOS runs in families and certain genes have b

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