I feel like I am a bit out of the loop these last few weeks. I have been playing a horrible game of catch-up during the month of September, that is never ending… constantly working, yet, not seeing anything crossed off my to-do list! And I am definitely finding out about things last minute or after the fact. Do you ever feel that way?
Anyways, let’s take for example how September is national Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Awareness (PCOS) month. After doing a bit of research, I found out that there were also 32 other observances occurring during the month of September; no wonder I can’t keep track! I figured I would look to see if there were any that would be of relevance to BLOOM and these are what I came up with: National Self-Care Awareness Month, Self Improvement Month, and National Suicide Prevention Month. I wish that I could give everything its fair share of adequate coverage… but there really is not enough hours in the day, alas, I’m digressing.
A few days ago (after I found out about PCOS awareness month) I sat down to start writing this blog article. I figured that it would be a great way to help educate women about a syndrome that is so common; yet so rarely discussed, understood, and/or even diagnosed. In fact, amongst premenopausal women, it is the most common endocrine disorder, with greater than 50% going UNDIAGNOSED!
Yep, that’s right, I said endocrine disorder. So that is where one of the other issues takes place. Women fall through the health care system cracks. The name is a misnomer. Who takes care of PCOS? The majority of women believe that PCOS is a gynecological problem; however, it is actually caused by hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance secondary to genetics; enlarged ovaries and anovulation are just common signs and symptoms! It is also a contributing factor to metabolic disease! So is it the GYN, endocrinologist, or even the PCP that should ben managing it? Are they communicating, or are they assuming the other one is taking care of it? Or do they even understand it enough to know, since the most common phrase patients hear is “ you are normal.”
So on the evening of September 25, 2018, I was in my office, typing away. At the same time, an audience of 10.4 million people watched the Season 3 premiere of NBC’s This Is Us, making it one of the most-watched shows on television. Well, being a bit behind on the DVR — I watched it last night.
What a timely coincidence. For those of you that are not in the loop — Kate Pearson (Chrissy Metz) is morbidly obese and diagnosed with PCOS after suffering a miscarriage, and repeatedly trying, unsuccessfully, to get pregnant. I applaud NBC for choosing something that affects at least 1 out of 10 women to bring light and awareness too.
Excess facial and body hair…severe acne…irregular periods…anxiety and depression…infertility…weight gain…male pattern hair loss… all common signs and symptoms of PCOS. One misconception about PCOS the show did play right into was with regard to weight. While 50% are obese, 25% of patients actually present as thin or even underweight. Also, cysts on your ovaries are not a diagnostic criteria. In fact, there have not yet been precise and uniform criteria established to diagnose PCOS.
Currently, there is no cure, but symptoms are looked at individually and treated separately. A successful treatment plan is always multimodal. Therapy is normally directed at the pancreas in order to reduce insulin resistance, which can be affected by diet, exercise, and/or medication. PCOS varies by individual, therefore, so should the treatment plans. Lifestyle modifications and accountability are key.
At Bloom Wellness & Aesthetics we have the knowledge and expertise to care for the complex PCOS patient. As a boutique practice, we are able to provide patients with an individualized care plan, that may be constantly re-evaluated. We do not subscribe to a one size fits all routine nor do we only believe in one “school of thought.” We look to find your optimal, and what combination of treatment modalities/interventions/resources it takes to get there!
Contact us today to book your free consultation! We look forward to helping you bloom into your bestI