PCOD and PCOS: Causes, Symptoms, Differences

June 13, 2024

PCOD and PCOS: Causes, Symptoms, Differences

PCOD and PCOS are the major causes of declining women’s health and infertility in India. Studies show that one in every five women are suffering from PCOD or PCOS. This puts 20% of the female population in India at risk for early diabetes, morbid obesity, ovarian cancer, and other painful effects brought around by PCOD or PCOS. But are both of them different from each other or does one precede the other?

PCOD and PCOS are different forms of the same kind of hormone disfunction. PCOD stands for Polycystic Ovary Disorder and PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Both of these malfunctions in the body have the same root- failure of the female sex hormones. In both the cases, the ovaries have trouble creating and release mature eggs which affects the fertility of the woman. The irregular periods are a byproduct of not having timely or healthy ovulation. But this is not the whole list of symptoms of PCOD and PCOS problem. Let’s get to know what exactly they are and how to tackle this issue;

What is PCOD and PCOS?

PCOD is a disorder of the hormones caused by both environmental and internal factors. The most simplified explanation of the PCOD issue is that it is a medical condition where the woman’s ovaries have a malfunction and they either stop producing mature (fertile) eggs or is unable to release it into the uterus. This is what causes most women to experience irregular periods and having a very heavy flow when they do get periods.

When this issue goes beyond the inability to release mature eggs, it becomes a problem for the ovaries as the eggs start turning into cysts (small sacs filled with fluid). These cysts then block the ovaries and they start increasing in size. The difference between PCOD and PCOS is that PCOD left unchecked turns into PCOS. In Polycystic Ovary Syndrome the ovaries start to release a lot of androgens, these androgens then disrupt the whole hormonal system of the body. Thyroid function gets disturbed, testosterone increases and all of this causes the visible symptoms of PCOS like sudden weight gain, pre-diabetic signs, hirsutism (excessive facial and body hair growth), male pattern baldness, infertility and more.

What causes PCOD and PCOS?

PCOD and PCOS both are caused by same things- unhealthy lifestyle, food choices and environmental factors.

Unhealthy lifestyle- the human body was made to move and go around doing things that require muscle and bone strength. A sedentary lifestyle can cause muscle loss and decrease in bone density. This can result in having an imbalance in hormones like thyroid and cortisol. Drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco on a regular basis can also lead to hormone imbalance.

Food choices- having foods with high saturated fats and bad cholesterol like junk foods and processed foods can lead to a higher insulin resistance, causing unnecessary spike of blood sugars. Having processed sugars from cakes, pastries and candies can also lead to uncontrolled insulin production, creating suitable conditions for diabetes.

Environmental factors- environmental factors like air quality, water quality and effect of work on brain can also affect the hormones. For example, pollution and the compounds of pollution are enough to meddle with the sex hormones in humans. Too many heavy metals in the water can also lead to fertility decline. A stressful work and no balance with life can increase cortisol release and decrease the happy hormones like dopamine and serotonin.

What are the effects of PCOD and PCOS?

PCOD and PCOS may not be practically life threatening but it sure does deteriorate the quality of life for any woman that suffers from it. There are both mental and physical health effects that show up as symptoms of PCOD and PCOS. Here’s the difference between PCOD and PCOS compared as per their specific symptoms-

Symptoms of PCOD include-

  • Lack of or irregularity of menstrual cycle
  • Untimely ovulation
  • Heavy and painful periods when they do occur
  • Mood swings
  • Low confidence
  • Lack of daily energy
  • Disruption of sleep and hunger

Symptoms of PCOS include-

  • Self-doubt and body dysphoria
  • Having pain in the lower belly
  • Lower immunity
  • Growth in facial and body hair (hirsutism)
  • Frequent acne
  • Darkening of skin around neck, knees or elbows
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Eating disorders
  • Male pattern baldness
  • Increased stress levels
  • Insulin resistance
  • Signs of type-2 diabetes

PCOD and PCOS start meddling with almost every endocrine hormone in the body like thyroid, sex hormone (oestrogen and testosterone), cortisol (stress hormone), melatonin (rest and relaxation hormone), and insulin (sugar balancing hormone). This cause lots of health issues, respectively- increase in body weight, low immunity, decrease in libido, increased stress, male pattern facial hair growth and scalp balding along with a higher resistance to insulin which leads to development of diabetes.

What are the treatment options for PCOD and PCOS?

PCOD and PCOS are problems arising due to lifestyle and food choices, so the treatment of it’s symptoms is also connected to changing them. Here’s what you can do-

  • Make a conscious effort in changing your diet. Take thing out of your food choices that contain no essential nutrients like proteins, vitamins, minerals, etc. Ensure that you’re not eating anything that come out of a factory, like burger patties, processed meats, packaged foods, savoury snacks and frozen foods. Eat a balanced diet and remove processed sugars and refined oils out of your diet. Eat more nutrition dense and whole foods along with raw vegetable salads and fruits.
  • If you’re working a job that requires you to sit for long hours, make sure you take a few minutes to brisk walk around the office building. Make efforts to add a systematic exercise schedule after or before your work hours. Try not to binge watch TV, and make sure you walk short distances where a vehicle is not needed.
  • You can supplement your body to fight off symptoms of PCOD and PCOS with herbal supplement. Namyaa PCOD and PCOS Ayurvedic Kit contains syrup and tablets that are made with rare certified herbs like Lodhra, Jatamasi, Lal Chandan (red sandalwood), Sahstravedi, Kanchanar, and more. All of these herbs are known to provide hormonal balance and regulate periods in women. They also help with blood purification so that environmental factors can’t affect your hormones and ovulation cycles.

Taking a step towards the betterment of your overall physical health and lead to the improvement of your mental wellbeing. Hormonal imbalances always start with the physical body and then take over the brain from where they affect the reproductive system which is firmly connected to the brain. Keep pushing yourself to eat healthy, exercise regularly and sleep well, you’ll find that most issues caused by PCOD and PCOS can be solved with these practices.

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