Woman Health – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the common problems caused due to hormone imbalance in women. This syndrome causes problems with periods. Getting pregnant becomes difficult when you are suffering from this syndrome. Delays in the treatment of this syndrome can cause other health problems such as heart disease and diabetes. This syndrome gets its name polycystic due to the growth of multiple small cysts on the ovaries. These cysts cause the hormone imbalance. However, the symptoms of this syndrome can be controlled for long-term.

Hormones trigger some specific processes in the body. Some examples of hormone imbalance due to PCOS are:

Sex Hormone Imbalance

Ovaries produce a little amount of androgens – a male sex hormone. Ovaries of a woman suffering from this syndrome produce more androgens. This can interrupt ovulating, grow extra body hair and acne.

Insulin Resistance

This syndrome affects the ability of the body to use insulin well. This increases the blood sugar level which further increases the risk of diabetes.

Causes of PCOS

Causes of this syndrome are still to be fully understood. However, genetics is a common factor. Therefore, this syndrome runs into families.

Symptoms of PCOS

The initial symptoms of this syndrome are mild. Following are the common symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome:

  • Increasing weight and problem in losing weight
  • Acne
  • Irregular periods
  • Extra body hair including facial hair
  • Thinning hair on scalp
  • Decrease in breast size
  • Deeper voice
  • Depression
  • Pelvic pain
  • Infertility

Diagnosis of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Here is how a doctor diagnoses PCOS:

  • The doctor will ask questions about the medical history of the patient, menstrual cycles and other symptoms.
  • The doctor will do a number of tests like hormone testing to check insulin, blood sugar and other hormone levels. These tests will rule out other problems causing similar symptoms. Cysts on ovaries are diagnosed with ultrasound.

Treatment of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Healthy diet suggested by the doctor, regular exercise and weight control can minimize the unpleasant symptoms.

  • Walking is the best exercise. Also, try moderate and vigorous physical activity.
  • Eat a lot of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, beans, nuts and other heart-healthy foods. Avoid fried and cheeses foods and meat.
  • Losing even 4.5 kg of your weight will regulate the menstrual cycle and also get normal hormone balance.
  • Smoking increases androgen level in the body. Therefore, quit smoking.

Visit a doctor for hormone testing if you experience these symptoms.

Woman Health – Female Hormone Imbalance Test

Proportional levels of hormones keep different systems of our body stable. Some hormones individually trigger an individual system and some hormones interact to trigger one or more than one systems. The entire system is adversely affected even when single a hormone is produced in excess or in a lesser amount. Hormone deficiency or excess can cause disorders and chronic symptoms. Imbalance of some hormones also increases disease risk.

For example, ovaries produce many hormones in women’s body. Estrogen and progesterone interact to control the menstrual cycle and reproductive system. Imbalance in these hormones can result in menstrual irregularities, breast diseases, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Hormone imbalance test helps in finding the cause of hormone imbalance.

Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance in Women

Following symptoms can help a woman in the self evaluation of hormone imbalance. She should visit a medical professional for the hormone test.

Acne or oily skin

 

Bloating

 

Decreased fertility

 

Weight gain

 

Bone loss

 

Tender or fibrocystic breasts

 

Depression

 

Vaginal dryness

 

Urinary incontinence

 

Excess facial and body hair

 

Poor concentration Sleep disturbances

 

Hot flashes

 

Night sweats Nervousness
Mood swings

 

Low libido

 

Heavy or painful periods

 

Loss of scalp hair

 

Memory lapses

 

Loss of muscle mass

 

Irritability

 

Irregular periods

 

Table: Symptoms Female Hormone Imbalance

There are adrenal glands just above kidneys. These small glands produce three steroid hormones including mineralocorticoids (aldosterone), glucocorticoids (cortisol) and androgens (DHEA/DHEAS). Cortisol is essential for the body to respond to daily stress. It also maintains blood sugar level and also boosts the immune system. Aldosterone is responsible for maintaining water and salt level. Androgen is a major source of DHEA in both genders.

Adrenal glands also produce testosterone in women. When adrenal glands are not secreting these hormones in adequate amount, a woman is likely to suffer from blood sugar irregularities, nervous system disorder, immune system disorder, body composition difficulties and high androgen.

Hormone test is the initial step to determine which hormone has gone out of balance. Saliva hormone test is the most reliable method for the hormone test. A woman can make use of hormone saliva test kit to take a saliva sample. Women can read our recent article to know How to Use a Hormone Saliva Test Kit for Saliva Test.  These saliva samples are then shipped to a medical professional for hormone imbalance test. It is important to achieve optimal hormone balance. When a woman experiences the symptoms illustrated in the table she should visit a clinic for the hormone test. She can also buy a saliva test kit to collect samples for hormone imbalance test.

How to Use a Hormone Saliva Test Kit for Saliva Test

Hormone saliva testing is more reliable than others.

The saliva test is noninvasive and easy testing for assessing the level of hormone. This testing is more accurate and precise. And, it is easy too. However, the accuracy not only depends on the testing method, improper collection of saliva can result in inaccurate readings. Therefore, it is important to collect the best sample. Many individuals are using home hormone saliva test kit for collecting saliva. These kits are pretty easy to use if the user follows following guidelines:

Preparation

Wash and dry your hands. Remove food residue by rinsing mouth with water. It is important to avoid sample dilution. Therefore, collect the sample after 10 minutes. Here is what to do the night before collecting a sample. Wash face and avoid lotions or any other cream before going to bed. Next morning, wait for 30 minutes after doing dental work. Don’t eat anything before taking a sample. Take sample 30 minutes after awakening.

Remember, food particles, bleeding due to dental work and lotions and creams contaminate the sample.

Collecting Saliva Sample 

Use straws to collect saliva in tubes. Most of the hormone saliva test kits consist of four tubes. ¾ of the each tube should be filled with the sample. Foam or bubbles in the sample are not going to affect the accuracy of the test. Don’t forget to dispose of straws before you ship the sample.

Timing

Medical professionals need four samples for an accurate saliva test. This is the reason why a hormone saliva test kit consists of four tubes.

Take a tube and take the first sample half an hour after awakening. Don’t eat and don’t brush. Collect the second sample in the second tube before lunch. Take the third sample in the third tube before dinner. Take the fourth sample in the fourth tube one hour after dinner.

You can also find a form in the hormone saliva test kit. Provide complete accurate details in the form. These details include personal details, menstrual history (women patient only), sex, time of sample collection and more. The kit also consists of symptoms questionnaire. Also provide details of hormone therapy (if any). Tubes should be snapped tightly. Seal the form and sample in a box. Choose the fastest shipping method. Secure everything in a sealed box. It is not mandatory to keep the sample in the freezer before shipping. Your sample should be shipped to a lab in less than 10 days.

adrenal glands test

Addison’s disease (Adrenal Insufficiency) – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment

Adrenals glands are part of the endocrine system. This system is responsible for secreting hormones. These hormones regulate metabolism, growth, reproduction and other processes. These small glands are just above kidneys. Adrenal glands produce hormones that respond to stress. These hormones also serve the purpose of regulating water and salt, and blood pressure.

Cortisol is one of these hormones. It plays a key role in digestion, heart function and many other functions. Mineralocorticoids maintain potassium – sodium balance in the body. Male sex hormones Androgens influence libido, muscle mass and also cause sexual developments in men.

What Causes Adrenal Insufficiency?

Adrenal glands fail due to following:

  • Adrenal gland infections
  • Tuberculosis
  • Cancer spreading to adrenal glands
  • Adrenal gland bleeding
  • Corticosteroids (given to treat arthritis, asthma and a few other chronic conditions)

A person suffers from Addison’s disease when adrenal glands do not produce these hormones in adequate amount. 30 to 50 years old men and women are at higher risk. Addison’s disease is also known as adrenal insufficiency.

Symptoms of Addison’s Disease

Symptoms of this disease are vague. This makes it difficult to diagnose the Addison’s disease. However, if a person experiences following symptoms then he should visit the nearest doctor for Adrenal saliva test:

Muscle weakness or muscle pain Joint pain
Fatigue Fever
Diarrhea, Nausea and/or vomiting Loss of appetite
Fainting or lightheadedness Irritability, depression or anxiety
Hyperpigmentation (darkening of skin) Pain in lower back, legs or abdomen (Pain is severe and sudden)
Slurred speech or confusion Salt food cravings
Seizures Sluggish Movements

adrenal saliva test

Tests for Addison’s Disease Diagnosis 

Adrenal saliva test or adrenal insufficiency test is an efficient test for the diagnosis of Addison’s disease. The adrenal saliva test is also known by some other names including adrenal fatigue saliva test and adrenal fatigue test. This test measures the level of minerals and hormone in the body. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or Computerized Tomography Scan (CT Scan) is used to see the size of adrenal glands of the patient.

A patient suffering from Addison’s disease is given prescription hormones. These prescription hormones include cortisone acetate, hydrocortisone or prednisone. Fludrocortisones is given when the body is not producing sufficient amount of hormones. These hormones are usually given in the form of pills. Dehydroepiandrosterone improves sex drive and mood in women suffering from this disease. Once this disease is confirmed after adrenal saliva test; a patient has to take these pills for the rest of life.

Therefore, do not ignore these symptoms and find a clinic for an Adrenal saliva test.