Question: Question from Leila Ahmed

Hi Doc. I suffer from polycystic ovaries as well as low BP and bad bowel movements. My gynae recommended I use the pill, it has made me terribly fat especially my thighs and hips. I went from a size 28 to 37. This has been terribly depressing. What can I do? what are my alternatives

Answer

Hi there and thank you for your question! Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is quite often suffered by women in their young hormonal phases of life. The monthly cycles are disrupted due to follicles in the ovaries which do not completely rupture and disappear after each cycle. This leaves a continuous hormonal stimulation from these follicles causing elevated estrogen levels which in turn affect the other hormones as well as the metabolism and is associated with elevated testosterone levels and insulin resistance. The pill that your doctor placed you on was the combined oral contraceptive pill which aims to modulate the hormone imbalances. Unfortunately it doesn’t tackle the insulin resistance problem and as a result, the body stores more energy in the form of fat deposits and there is a resultant weight gain. It is important to follow a low glycemic diet and one may even include the medication known as Metformin to reduce insulin resistance further. Diuretics such as spironolactone, when used carefully, can be very beneficial too. Your bowel movements may even be due to an imbalance in your intestinal flora. Ask your doctor about perhaps including these therapies, weight loss advice, quality probiotics and maybe even trying a different combined contraceptive pill next. Wishing you a full recovery.

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