Weight loss can improve ovulation (Dr. H Mitchell Hecht)

nutritionQ: What’s the best way to treat polycystic ovarian syndrome?

A: Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is the most common cause of female infertility, affecting up to 10 percent of all premenopausal women. Besides a failure to ovulate, there’s an overproduction of androgens (male sex hormones) and estrogen.

These hormonal changes cause acne, insulin resistance/diabetes, excess facial and body hair and obesity. After over 70 years of study, we’re still not sure what causes it to occur.

But genetics and obesity are two big risk factors for PCOS.

PCOS is suspected by a doctor’s careful questioning and exam, and is confirmed by a pelvic ultrasound showing ovarian cysts along with blood work showing an elevated testosterone level.

Too often, the symptoms of PCOS are subtle and overlooked.

The best way to treat PCOS is through weight loss with dieting and exercise. Of course we all know that lifestyle changes can be difficult to make.

To improve fertility, clomiphene, metformin or both together can induce ovulation.

If there’s diabetes present, Byetta injections can help dramatically decrease appetite and help with weight loss. If fertility is not desired, a birth control pill like Ortho Tri-Cyclen will help block the male sex hormone effects, restore regular menstrual cycles and reduce the risk of uterine cancer the hormonal imbalance of PCOS may stimulate uterine lining growth).

Q: Can a person get palpitations from heartburn and acid reflux? I seem to notice a connection, and an improvement when I take Prilosec OTC.

A: Palpitations, also called premature ventricular beats or skipped beats, can be triggered by many of the same things that cause heartburn — caffeine from coffee, tea or cola; alcoholic beverages; nicotine from tobacco products; stress; and certain medications.

The common thread here is increased sympathetic (adrenaline-fueled) nervous system activity triggered by a food or emotion.

An overactive thyroid gland is also associated with palpitations, and I do recall a few patients with Grave’s (hyperactive) disease of the thyroid who complained of heartburn symptoms.

Fortunately, acid reflux is fairly easily treated with acid blockers like Pepcid, Prilosec, Prevacid or Nexium, and the skipped beats of palpitations are usually an annoying but not serious health concern.

source - Timesleader 

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