Many women suffer from a mysterious hormonal disorder called PCOS. Some women who suffer from it report weight gain and difficulty losing weight. As a result, there is a sizable population of obese women that also suffer from PCOS.
Can bariatric surgery help relieve PCOS symptoms? Does weight loss help PCOS? Let’s find out.
What is PCOS?
PCOS stands for polycystic ovary syndrome and it is a hormonal disorder that is estimated to affect between 5-10% of women of reproductive age. There is no cure for PCOS, nor is there a standard treatment protocol for the condition.
Symptoms of PCOS are menstrual cycle irregularity, painful or heavy periods, acne, higher testosterone levels, infertility, and metabolic syndrome. One notable symptom of PCOS is an increase in insulin production, which may influence insulin resistance in cells. This insulin resistance is a precursor to type 2 diabetes.
Current approaches to treating PCOS include prescribing weight loss and using metformin, a drug used to treat type 2 diabetes. However, there is no agreed upon standard for treating this disorder.
Women with PCOS are at risk for a variety of health problems, however the prognosis is generally positive and most women with PCOS live normal lives and are able to bear children.
Does weight loss surgery help PCOS?
There is some evidence to suggest that bariatric surgery can help obese women who are suffering from PCOS symptoms. PCOS is implicated in causing weight gain in women with the disorder, and PCOS sufferers report difficulty losing weight. Bariatric surgery can spur the weight loss necessary to reduce insulin resistance and regulate the production of androgens.
Bariatric surgery is an excellent way for PCOS sufferers to lose a lot of weight in a short period of time. Because weight loss may be more difficult for PCOS sufferers, bariatric surgery (in addition to a healthy, low-calorie diet and an exercise regimen) can be the intervention that allows for sustained weight loss. Getting weight loss surgery is recommended for patients who have a BMI above 35 and are also suffering from PCOS.
Not only can bariatric surgery help reduce PCOS symptoms, it can also make it much safer for a woman to have a child. Obese mothers are at greater risk for pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia. Getting bariatric surgery to lose weight is a great way to make sure that your body is healthy enough for a baby.