Women with PCOS are four times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes; weight is usually a factor

It looks like women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have more to worry about aside from the painful symptoms associated with this disorder. According to a 2017 study, women with PCOS have a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes (T2D).

One of the study’s authors, Dorte Glintborg, M.D., Ph.D., of the Odense University Hospital in Denmark, said, “Many women with PCOS are obese, but the risk for the development of diabetes in PCOS is unknown.”

Glintborg continued, “In this study, we found that the risk of developing diabetes is four times greater and that diabetes is diagnosed four years earlier in women with PCOS compared to controls.”

To establish the risk of T2D development in women with PCOS, the researchers observed two populations with PCOS: all pre-menopausal Danish women with a diagnosis of PCOS in the National Patient Register (18,477 women) and a local sub-group of 1,162 women with PCOS who were examined at Odense University Hospital.

The study’s local participants were tested for insulin and glucose levels, cholesterol, triglycerides, and testosterone levels. Women with PCOS were compared with age-matched females who did not have the disorder, nor a previous diagnosis of T2D. Three women without PCOS were randomly selected from the National Patient Register for each woman with PCOS.

Researchers found that women with PCOS were four times more likely to develop T2D, unlike their counterparts who didn’t have the disorder. The average age for women with PCOS who received a diagnosis of T2D was 31 years old. The average age for women without PCOS and diagnosed with T2D was 35 years old. (Related: Beat PCOS naturally with omega-3 fatty acids.)

Researchers also looked into various factors connected to T2D development in PCOS such as “age, body mass index (BMI), number of pregnancies, and prescriptions for oral contraceptives.” The scientists used diagnosis codes in the Danish National Patient Register and medical prescriptions from the National Prescriptions Registry to make their findings.

Body mass index (BMI), insulin and glucose levels, and triglycerides were positively associated with the development of T2D, and a greater number of births were negatively associated with the development of T2D.

The study’s authors stress that BMI and fasting blood glucose levels are the best predictors of the development of T2D in patients with PCOS. However, they explained that increasing age does not need to be included in future guidelines as a risk factor because most cases of diabetes in this study were determined before the age of 40. The authors shared that “further research is needed” to study the effect of oral contraceptives and number of births for the risk of T2D development in PCOS.

Glintborg concluded, “The increased risk of developing T2D in PCOS is an important finding…Diabetes may develop at a young age and screening for diabetes is important, especially in women who are obese and have PCOS.”

Natural remedies for PCOS symptoms

PCOS refers to several symptoms caused by elevated androgens (male hormones) in women, and these include:

  • Irregular or no menstrual periods, heavy periods
  • Excess body and facial hair
  • Acne
  • Pelvic pain
  • Difficulty conceiving
  • Patches of thick, darker, velvety skin

Associated conditions include:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Heart disease
  • Mood disorders
  • Endometrial cancer

Here are some natural remedies that you can try to ease some of these symptoms and conditions:

  • Practice caloric timing — Being strategic with your calorie intake can significantly affect your glucose, insulin, and testosterone levels. Lowering insulin can help if you have infertility issues.
  • Increase your vitamin D and calcium intake — Upping your vitamin D and calcium intake can help improve BMI, menstrual abnormalities, and other symptoms.
  • Get enough magnesium — Women with PCOS who receive enough magnesium in their diet have improved fasting blood glucose and insulin levels.

You can read more articles about other natural cures at Healing.news.

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