How many times have you been to the doctor only to be told to lose weight to improve your Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome symptoms? Easier said than done, right! We know that weight gain and difficulty with weight loss with PCOS is part and parcel of the condition and we seem to be fighting a constant battle with the scale. But, why is it so darn hard to lose weight? Just what is it about PCOS that makes weight loss seem virtually impossible? Insulin is an important hormone that is responsible for metabolizing glucose or dealing with sugar in our blood stream. It transports sugar to the muscles and if the body has more glucose than is needed, insulin is involved in the process of storing it as fat should we need it later 1. Research shows that women with PCOS have some kind of dysfunction in the cells responsible for secreting insulin Beta cells. It seems that these cells are responsible for detecting sugar in the blood stream and may over react, producing more insulin than is needed.
Unfortunately, weight gain is a common symptom of this disorder. PCOS is often sparked by Insulin Resistance, a condition that makes it hard for the body to regulate blood sugar levels and causes excess insulin and glucose to enter the bloodstream. When this occurs, women tend to gain weight. Further resistance of insulin is then experienced because of this weight gain. Infertility, which is emotionally devastating for many women, can also result. A lower body mass index, or BMI, is the goal of many women who aim to lose weight.
If you have polycystic ovary syndrome PCOS and find it hard to lose weight, you are not alone. PCOS affects your body’s secretion and use of insulin. Your cells become resistant to insulin signals and this prompts your pancreas to produce even more insulin. Treatment options for PCOS are typically aimed at reducing insulin levels and involve diet modifications, exercise, and medications or supplements. As part of promoting fat storage, insulin acts as an appetite-stimulating hormone.