Table Talk 012
Melody

Welcome back to the Table Talk podcast. Today, we are sitting down with Dr. Megan Morrison and Dr. Lauren Castle to talk about PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome. So this is hot topic because it affects so many women and really is the most common endocrine disorder of women of reproductive age. So many of our listeners are in that category and it effects almost 10% of the women in the U S so before we get started, I just want, Megan's been on the podcast recently, but we'll have her re-introduce herself and also Dr. Castle reintroduce herself. So Megan why don't you go first.

Megan

Yeah. Hi everybody. I'm Megan here. Thank you Melody. For having me back, I am excited to talk about PCOS. Like you said, it is, just a really hot topic that so many women struggle with and may not even know it. So I'm excited to talk about it and bring some light to the topic.

Melody

Awesome. And Lauren.

Lauren

Hi everyone it's Lauren, I'm excited to be back as well. PCOS something that I started digging into personally with my own journey over the last year, and trying to figure out what was going on with my hormones and my cycles post-birth control. So I'm sure we'll get into that as well.

Melody

Yeah. Yes. Yes. Post-birth control syndrome is a thing for sure. So you can definitely tell us all about that.

To get started, the syndrome is characterized by excess androgens, like testosterone and ovulary disfunction. And so this means that a lot of women with PCOS, don't actually ovulate and they also have cyst along the ovaries. And so this is though only two of those three criteria need to be present for diagnosis.

The name polycystic ovarian syndrome is a bit confusing, since not all women necessarily with PCOS do have that characteristic polycystic ovaries, which is interesting because a lot of people that's like what they. I must have this presentation if I'm diagnosed with this, but it could just be those excess androgens, like the testosterone and not having normal cycling.

And so it's really thought to be increasing in incidents, both in not only countries like the US and developed nations, but also in developing countries and a lot related to lifestyle, which we're going to dig into and diet quality and the physical activity. So a lot of insulin resistance components that we're going to talk to, and Megan's going to talk a lot about the environmental endocrine disrupting chemicals that we've been talking about on, on some of our last few podcasts. And then even the circadian rhythm alter light exposures and sleep disturbances can also impact those the insulin resistance and then also that stress component. And so we always say that we're going to talk about stress on every single podcast.

And here we are talking about it within the first three minutes of the podcast. Lauren, do you want to lead us off with the signs and symptoms of PCOS?

Lauren

Sure. So I think for a lot of women, there's kind of this stereotypical, visual of PCOS that we see, which is, you know, obesity or being overweight, having a high hip to waist ratio, having a BMI over 30, of course the signs of excess androgens, like her statism or the oily skin and acne, some might actually also have. thinning hair or alopecia. There's also something called acanthosis nigricans , which I can never say it right. But basically like the skin actually starts to dark in, in certain areas, like the neckline is most common and then also skin tags can be present. And then outside of some of those physical kind of visual symptoms that you might see. Of course the main ones are irregular or absence, menstrual cycles, infertility or miscarriages. And then other symptoms like depression or irritability, and then some people also have sleep apnea, pelvic pain, or even breast discharge that might be gray or white.

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