TIRUCHY: Sharanya was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and was told by her doctor to lose weight. Finding it difficult, she went in search of other solutions, which she found on social media by 'PCO-friendly doctors'. Most women like Sharanya find solace in such online groups.
TNIE spoke to some of the doctors who are popular on social media for treating PCOS and are dispelling myths surrounding it.
'Only overweight women get PCOs'
This is a myth, says Dr Tanushree Pandey Padgaonkar, known as gynae_guru on Instagram. Lean PCOS is getting more pertinent with time, she adds. Dr. Yuvrajsingh Jadeja aka doctoryuvi on Instagram, says 20-30 per cent of women with PCOS are not obese. "PCOS symptoms are aggravated in obesity, but it does not discriminate as a disease and occurs in women of all shapes and sizes," he adds.
Dr. Tanaya Narendra, with dr_cuterus ID, says PCOS and weight gain are linked. "Having PCOS can make it more difficult to lose weight, but that said, being overweight does not give you PCOS."
'Women with PCOS cannot get pregnant'
"Of course they can. We diagnose PCOS in some women during their first pregnancy scan, as an incidental finding," says Tanushree. "PCOS can make it difficult for some people to get pregnant, but PCOS does not mean infertility. Because the main problem in the ovaries of people with PCOS is that they are unable to release their eggs on time, and eggs are necessary to make a baby - egg meets sperm leads to babies," says Tanaya.
'PCOS can be cured'
PCOS cannot be cured, but like diabetes or hypertension, it can be controlled really well, Tanushree says. Yuvraj adds that PCOS need not be an imprisonment.
With proper lifestyle modifications and medications, it can be controlled and people can live a symptom free life.
Is losing weight the solution?
For overweight people, losing just five per cent of the body fat can be helpful in alleviating the symptoms associated with PCOS, says Tanaya. It should not be said as the first thing, says Tanushree. "A patient who comes to the doctor has already tried to lose weight. We must make patients comfortable, slowly introduce lifestyle modifications, give a proper diet chart and medications," she adds.
Do hormonal/birth control pills work?
Tanushree says they are the only proven solution. "Taboo against birth control pill for PCOS has to end. Initially, hormones have create havoc on the body, and that needs to be controlled. For that, you need the pill to bring it to base line."
What actually works?
Lifestyle modifications, depending on your specific picture, is the best answer. "By far, the strongest evidence we have for PCOS is supplementing with inositol (with d-chiro & myo inositol), Vit-D (majority of the people with PCOS are found to be deficient in vitamin D), and micronutrients such as Zinc," Tanaya says.