Q: Polycystic ovary syndrome is so common these days. Could you tell me what the various types of PCOS are?

In PCOS, the ovaries have multiple immature eggs, which disrupts the menstrual cycle. Irregular menses, hormonal imbalance and many ovarian cysts (seen in an ultrasound image) are the main attributes. But few are aware about the different types of PCOS. Knowing the type you’re suffering from will be helpful in reversing it.

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Insulin-resistant PCOS: This is the most common type and is caused by increased insulin. As this type messes up the metabolism, patients are overweight. High insulin levels interfere with ovulation, causing irregular cycles and weight loss resistance, acne, hirsutism, mood swings, and thinning of hair on the head. Women with this kind of PCOS usually have blood sugar and insulin levels that suggest diabetes or prediabetes. If the condition is not treated with the necessary food and lifestyle changes, oral hypoglycemic agents such as glucophage are recommended to control blood sugars and weight.

Inflammation-based PCOS: Women with this type are not overweight. This is caused by long term, consistently high inflammatory chemicals that are normally released during an infection or injury as a defence mechanism. Inflammation can be elevated with a diet high in sugar, gluten, fried food, refined vegetable oil, hydrogenated fats, etc. Food intolerance or repetitive infections, illnesses too can keep the inflammation high.

Synthetic hormone-induced PCOS: This is seen in women on oral contraceptives or an injectable contraceptive for a long time. These pills and shots are female hormones that alter the hormone balance in the body to prevent conception. After getting off these contraceptives, the body takes time to adjust to producing hormones normally and have regular menstrual cycle. In some cases, this takes a toll on fertility and it can be a struggle to get pregnant.

Rashi Chowdhary is a nutritionist, diabetes educator and creator of The Protein Bake Shop. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.