Garcinia Cambogia for PCOS
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment
The incidence of polycystic ovary syndrome is increasing day by day. According to research, about 27 percent of women (of childbearing age) have PCOS.
Polycystic ovary syndrome doesn’t only cause unpleasant symptoms but may also affect a woman’s ability to conceive a child and therefore requires proper care and management.
PCOS is mainly managed by lifestyle modifications however you can also use natural supplements like garcinia cambogia to alleviate the symptoms.
Follow the article below to know more about polycystic ovary syndrome, its causes and symptoms, and the role of garcinia cambogia supplements in its management.
POLYCYSTIC OVARY SYNDROME (PCOS)
Polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS is a condition that affects women of childbearing age. Women with PCOS have multiple small fluid-filled cysts along the outer edge of the ovary.
These fluid-filled cysts are actually follicles that contain immature eggs. The eggs in these cysts never reach the point of maturation to trigger ovulation.
The lack of ovulation affects the levels of different hormones including estrogen, progesterone, luteinizing hormone, and follicle-stimulating hormone.
This imbalance of hormones is the main reason for the development of different symptoms and complications of polycystic ovary syndrome.
CAUSES OF POLYCYSTIC OVARY SYNDROME
The exact cause of polycystic ovary syndrome is not well known. However, studies have shown that the following factors might be involved in the development of PCOS:
Polycystic ovary syndrome runs in families and a positive family history for PCOS increases an individual's risk of developing this condition.
Research has also identified multiple genes that are associated with PCOS.
The endocrine portion of the pancreas produces insulin which allows your cells to utilize sugar as a primary source of energy.
When your cells become resistant to insulin and are unable to convert sugar into ATPs then you might experience a surge in blood sugar levels. To counter this effect your body produces more and more insulin.
This increased level of insulin triggers the production of excess androgens by the ovary and leads to the development of different symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome.
Long-term inflammation has been linked with elevated levels of androgens and consequently can result in the development of PCOS and associated symptoms.
SYMPTOMS OF PCOS
In most cases, the signs and symptoms of PCOS begin to appear from the very first menstrual period. However, sometimes symptoms may appear later or when a person gains excess weight.
The most common signs and symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome include:
- Irregular or skipped periods – Eggs in the follicles of a polycystic ovary do not mature enough to trigger ovulation. This lack of ovulation prevents the shedding of uterine lining every month and hence patients experience irregular periods. Some women might not have periods at all.
- Heavy menstrual bleeding – Due to lack of ovulation the uterine lining of a woman with PCOS keeps on building up for a longer duration. So when she finally has a period it's heavier (more bleeding) than normal.
- Weight gain – It is one of the most common symptoms of PCOS. Most women with polycystic ovary syndrome are either overweight or obese.
- Excess hair growth – Women with PCOS have higher levels of androgens which lead to the excess hair growth on face and body.
- Acne – Too many androgens also make skin oily and may result in acne breakouts.
COMPLICATIONS OF PCOS
The hormonal imbalance in polycystic ovary syndrome is harmful to certain aspects of your health and can lead to the following complications if not managed timely:
Polycystic ovary syndrome is one of the leading causes of infertility in women worldwide. To conceive a child a woman must ovulate and release eggs to be fertilized.
However, in PCOS women don't regularly ovulate and do not release many eggs making it difficult to get pregnant.
The lack of ovulation in PCOS leads to the building up of the uterine lining. This thickened uterine lining which has not been shed for long increases the risk of developing endometrial cancer.
Women suffering from PCOS are usually overweight or obese and together these conditions can result in a metabolic syndrome with the following key features:
- High blood sugar
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol and triglycerides
Patients with metabolic syndrome are more vulnerable to diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and stroke.
Polycystic ovary syndrome also increases your risk of developing sleep apnea which is a condition in which your breathing repeatedly stops and restarts during sleep.
DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY
The unpleasant symptoms of PCOS often have a negative effect on the emotions of patients and can lead to mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression.
Garcinia cambogia is a plant that grows mainly in the regions of Southeast Asia, Central Africa, West Africa, and India. It has traditionally been used in Ayurvedic medicines and has been promoted as a weight loss supplement in current era.
Garcinia is rich in phytochemical nutrients including hydroxycitric acid, polyphenols, luteolin, and kaempferol. The fruit of garcinia is also a good source of fiber and vitamin C.
All these nutrients make garcinia a top choice for the management of different conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and polycystic ovary syndrome.
HOW IS GARCINIA CAMBOGIA HELPFUL FOR PCOS?
The main underlying pathology in polycystic ovary syndrome is the imbalance of hormones. Garcinia cambogia has anti-inflammatory properties and its regular consumption can manage hormonal fluctuations in the body.
The benefits of garcinia supplement for PCOS do not stop at preserving the hormonal balance rather it can also regulate the menstrual cycles and uplift your reproductive health which are two of the main concerns for the patients of polycystic ovary syndrome.
Another key problem that PCOS patients face is weight gain and garcinia cambogia can help with that as well. It makes you feel full and suppresses your appetite by increasing the level of the serotonin hormone.
Women with PCOS are also at risk of developing diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases. Garcinia supplementation can improve insulin sensitivity and control blood sugar levels. It also decreases the levels of low-density lipoprotein and reduces the risk of heart problems.
RECOMMENDED DOSAGE AND SIDE EFFECTS
There are no set recommended limits for the consumption of garcinia cambogia and therefore it is advised that you consult your physician for the appropriate dosage according to your needs.
The commonly reported side effects of garcinia cambogia include:
- Gastrointestinal discomfort
- Upper respiratory tract symptoms
- Liver problems
Just like every other dietary supplement, you should also use garcinia cambogia with great care, especially in the following circumstances:
PREGNANCY AND BREASTFEEDING
Pregnant and lactating women need to be extra careful about what they consume as anything inappropriate can hamper the growth and development of the baby.
There is not enough information available regarding the use of garcinia cambogia during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Therefore, it is recommended to stay on the safe side and do not use garcinia products while you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
Garcinia cambogia is not very beneficial for your liver and may worsen liver damage in people with preexisting liver disease. Hence, you should not use garcinia in your daily routine if you have any kind of liver dysfunction.
Garcinia has the potential to affect blood pressure and blood sugar levels. If used before surgery it can make it difficult to control blood sugar levels and blood pressure during and after the surgery.
In order to avoid any complications during and after the surgery it is advised that you stop consuming garcinia cambogia products at least two weeks prior to the scheduled surgery.
INTERACTIONS WITH MEDICINAL DRUGS
Garcinia cambogia contains a variety of chemicals that can interact with different therapeutic drugs. As a result, you might not be able to achieve the desired effect of your medicine. These interactions can also increase the risk of side effects by different medications.
Some of common drugs that interact with garcinia cambogia are listed below:
- Serotonergic drugs
- Antidiabetic medicines
- Anticoagulants or antiplatelet drugs
- Hepatotoxic drugs
There is a high prevalence of polycystic ovary syndrome worldwide and if not managed properly it can lead to serious complications like infertility, metabolic syndrome, endometrial cancer, and sleep apnea.
Lifestyle modifications are one of the best ways to tackle PCOS but it is not a piece of cake to suddenly change the way you eat and live.
In such a predicament garcinia cambogia is a true blessing. Its anti-inflammatory properties correct the hormonal imbalance (the core problem in PCOS) and also alleviate the associated symptoms such as irregular periods and weight gain.
It is recommended that you speak with your healthcare provider before starting garcinia cambogia supplements especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications for any underlying health conditions.
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