For sufferers of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) losing weight can be a constant struggle, whereby the symptoms of PCOS makes weight gain more likely and weight loss more difficult. However, it is important that sufferers of PCOS lose weight, both to alleviate the symptoms of PCOS and also to avoid the development of additional serious problems associated with excess weight. Here we explain how phentermine can help PCOS, so you can win the struggle against weight gain with the help of phentermine and adopting healthy lifestyle habits.
How PCOS Leads to Weight Gain
PCOS occurs when the ovaries don’t make enough hormones for the eggs to fully mature. Instead of releasing a mature egg during ovulation, some of the follicles in the ovaries turn into fluid-filled sacs called cysts. PCOS produces symptoms in approximately 5% to 10% of women of reproductive age (around 12 to 45 years old), and more than 60% of women with PCOS are overweight.
The link between PCOS and weight gain arises because PCOS makes it more difficult for the body to use the hormone insulin, which normally helps convert sugars and starches from foods into energy. This condition, called insulin resistance, can cause insulin and sugar to build up in the bloodstream. High insulin levels increase the production of male hormones called androgens. High androgen levels lead to symptoms such as body hair growth, acne, irregular periods, and weight gain. Because the weight gain is caused by male hormones, women with PCOS typically have more of an apple shape, as excess weight is stored in the abdomen.
Abdominal fat is the most dangerous type of fat, as it is caused by subcutaneous fat surrounding the vital organs, and can lead to an increased risk of heart disease. Women with PCOS are up to seven times more likely to have a heart attack than women of the same age without the condition. Women with PCOS are also more likely to develop other serious health problems such as type II diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea. As it is a syndrome rather than a disease, PCOS can be difficult to diagnose, as tests can often show results within the normal range despite patients displaying many of the symptoms, so an ultrasound is often the best way to diagnose PCOS.
How To Lose Weight If You Have PCOS
For women with PCOS, shedding just 10% body weight can bring periods back to normal and relieve some of the other symptoms of PCOS. Weight loss also improves insulin sensitivity, which in turn reduces the risk of diabetes, heart disease and other weight-related complications.
Adopting healthy lifestyle habits can help keep your weight under control. The food you eat plays an important part in how your body reacts to the effects of PCOS and a healthy nutritious diet can help to keep your blood sugar levels in check. The best diet to follow is one which is high in fiber and low in sugar; aim to fill up on lots of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains, and avoid fatty foods and over-processed foods like refined carbohydrates. Eating four to six smaller meals throughout the day rather than three large meals can help maintain steady blood sugar levels, and exercising for at least 30 minutes every day helps boost metabolism and fat-burning.
However, although PCOS causes weight gain and the symptoms become worse the heavier you are, PCOS also makes weight loss especially difficult for sufferers and many women are often unable to achieve and sustain significant weight loss. If you’re having trouble losing weight on your own, your doctor can help advise you on what steps to take to lose weight, and may prescribe medications, both as a means to alleviate the symptoms of PCOS and improve overall health.
PCOS Medical Treatments
Several medications are approved for PCOS, including birth control pills and anti-androgen medications, which block the effects of male hormones. Metformin (Glucophage), primarily a diabetes drug, is also prescribed for PCOS, as it helps the body use insulin more efficiently and it also reduces testosterone production. However, following its approval for treating PCOS in 2004, more recent trials in 2008 and 2009 showed less favorable results. The drugs pioglitazone (Actos) and rosiglitazone (Avandia) also help the body to use insulin, but their effect on body weight was inconclusive.
Many doctors now recognize that in the management of PCOS, including the lowering of insulin resistance levels and restoration of menstruation and fertility, treatments that help to reduce weight are the most beneficial for all these aims, as they address what is believed to be the underlying cause. While controlling the symptoms can help in the short-term, weight loss is the key to alleviating these symptoms and helping to avoid additional health problems as a result of excess weight.
Accordingly, many doctors prescribe phentermine to patients with PCOS to help them lose weight and also to learn how to eat healthier, in order to sustain their weight loss in the long term. Women with PCOS find it especially difficult to lose weight and furthermore, PCOS causes distress and emotional eating, so phentermine acts as a means to control mood-related cravings and hunger by stimulating the release of neurotransmitters. Phentermine also works outside the brain to release adrenaline, stimulating the mind and body to be more efficient and alert, increasing energy levels and concentration. Through this, women with PCOS are motivated to incorporate more activity into their lives, which also helps to alleviate the symptoms caused by PCOS and to reduce abdominal fat and the risks associated with it. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle while on phentermine and establishing healthy eating habits for the future, patients will be better equipped to manage their symptoms through diet and exercise once they have reached their goal weight.
Doctors may also prescribe medications such as metformin alongside phentermine, so as to help the patient lose weight while managing insulin levels, but these medications should only be taken together if they have been prescribed together or if the doctor is fully aware of other medications you are taking. Just as with any medications, we would strongly advise that you inform your doctor if you are taking a medication specifically to help with PCOS symptoms when you are discussing the possibility of taking phentermine as harmful interactions could occur if you take several medications together.
As with many conditions that are worsened by excess weight, the symptoms of PCOS and the associated risks it can lead to can be reduced dramatically by losing weight. The difficulty many women with PCOS have is that the condition also makes losing weight particularly difficult, but by taking phentermine to help manage PCOS symptoms with diet and exercise, patients are able to lose weight while they establish a routine of healthy living which is then maintainable in the long term.
Do you suffer with PCOS? If so we would really like to hear from you about your experiences and how you manage your symptoms, so please comment below!