PCOS Archives - AZ Clinical Trials

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February 11, 2021 Clinical ResearchliverPCOS0

Approximately 1 in 10 women of childbearing age experiences Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is the leading cause of infertility, among the many other symptoms this condition creates. A growing body of evidence shows PCOS is linked to other health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, mental illness, and others. In the last few years, fatty liver has also been listed in connection with PCOS. More than ever, those diagnosed need to be vigilant about self-care and overall wellbeing. By falling in love with your health now, you can head off medical issues later.

Why PCOS and Fatty Liver are Linked

PCOS is the acronym for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and is an imbalance of the reproductive hormones. Higher than normal male hormone (androgens) and insulin levels are the top factors in developing PCOS. The imbalance causes issues in the ovaries that affect how the eggs develop and when they are released. Infertility, ovarian cysts, excess hair, weight gain, and acne are common signs.

15-55% of women with PCOS experience liver disease, explore research studies today

When you look at the connection of PCOS to other health conditions like diabetes, fatty liver, and heart disease, the answer is in the risk factors. Fatty liver is highly prevalent in women with PCOS due to the following factors:

  • Being overweight
  • High triglycerides
  • Elevated LDL cholesterol level
  • Excessive consumption of fat, sugar, and refined foods
  • Lack of exercise

The factors listed above can cause the unhealthy accumulation of fat cells in the liver. Though a healthy liver will contain some fat, too much fat can lead to fatty liver disease. Lifestyle changes must occur along with early testing and intervention to prevent the progression of NAFLD, NASH, liver cirrhosis, and failure.

You ARE at Risk with PCOS

If you have PCOS, talk with your doctor about regular screenings to check your liver’s health. In most cases, liver disease can be prevented or even reversed if caught early enough with healthier living. You can love your health by starting the changes now. Some examples include:

  • Exercising at least 150 minutes a week at a moderate pace.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Avoiding excess consumption of foods that are processed, high in sugar, and high in unhealthy fats. Instead, go for more vegetables, lean meats, rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and are liver-friendly.
  • Avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.
  • Keep chronic conditions managed.

Volunteers make clinical research sweet, two hands holding heart shaped lollipops, happy valentines day, PCOS and fatty liver

The connection between fatty liver and PCOS is still relatively new. Clinical research studies continue to help us learn more about the relationships between the two conditions. The knowledge we gain allows us to design better ways to detect, prevent, and treat PCOS and fatty liver. Arizona Liver Health is seeking participants to join studies looking into potential new options for women with PCOS and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). To learn more, call (480) 470-4000, or visit our website.

 

References:

https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/polycystic-ovary-syndrome

https://www.verywellhealth.com/pcos-preventing-fatty-liver-disease-2616334


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October 19, 2020 Clinical ResearchPCOS0

1 in 10 women of childbearing age is affected by polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS. PCOS is caused by imbalanced reproductive hormones. In a healthy menstrual cycle, the ovaries make the egg that is released during the process, but with PCOS, the egg is not released or may not develop properly. Elevated male hormones (androgens) and insulin levels are contributing factors of PCOS. In addition to irregular cycles, weight gain, excess hair, and potential infertility issues, having PCOS doubles your risk for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and other metabolic complications.

PCOS and NAFLD Shared Mechanisms

Obesity and insulin resistance are common in women with PCOS. Insulin is a hormone the body produces that enables sugar to be converted into energy. Insulin also helps control the release and storage of fat cells. When there is a resistance to the effects of insulin, the sugar levels rise in the body. This triggers more insulin production to try and balance it out. The body also stores the fat instead of releasing it, making it harder to lose weight.

Non-Alcoholic fatty liver is a disease where too much fat begins to store in the liver, from non-alcohol-related causes. The liver has some fat in it typically, but inflammation is triggered when there is too much. As the body tries to repair itself, it can scar the liver with fibrosis, eventually damaging the liver if not treated. Risk factors for developing NAFLD are obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes.

To bring it all together, two symptoms of PCOS (obesity and insulin resistance) are two of the major contributing factors in developing NAFLD. There is also a growing body of evidence that shows the role excess male hormone levels play in triggering the inflammation response in fatty liver disease.

The Silent Progression of NAFLD

How contributing factors of NAFLD and PCOS symptoms influence each other remains a mystery. Fatty liver disease often goes unnoticed until the later stages when it is more difficult to treat, or the liver is irreversibly damaged. More research is needed to understand the metabolic complications resulting from PCOS entirely. However, what we know now can still help. If you have PCOS, you need to act now to reduce your risk. This includes healthy lifestyle changes, regular activity, and ensuring your doctor is screening your liver regularly.

Women with PCOS, Clinical research studies

For the women living with PCOS and NAFLD, clinical research studies help improve how the disease is detected, treated, and eventually prevented. Volunteers participating in research studies for NAFLD make these advancements possible. If you have NAFLD and PCOS, clinical research studies may be an option for you. To learn more about the studies enrolling for NAFLD for women with PCOS here at Arizona Liver, call (480) 470-4000, or visit our website.

References:

https://www.healio.com/news/primary-care/20180405/pcos-doubles-the-risk-for-nonalcoholic-fatty-liver-disease#:~:text=n%20%3D%2049%2C625).-,In%20women%20with%20polycystic%20ovary%20syndrome%2C%20the%20risk%20for%20nonalcoholic,the%20progression%20of%20the%20disease.&text=Data%20indicated%20that%20women%20with,CI%2C%201.86%2D2.66)

https://www.medpagetoday.com/resource-centers/focus-on-womens-health/links-between-fatty-liver-disease-and-polycystic-ovary-syndrome-/834

https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/polycystic-ovary-syndrome



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