By Dr Harsh Sharma, DHMS, BHMS
Do you have PCOS?
If you are a female in the reproductive age group and have some of the following symptoms, namely- acne, weight gain, disturbance in periods and facial hair growth, you may have PCOS or PCOD. PCOS means Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. PCOD means Poly Cystic Ovarian Disease. Both the terms refer to presence of ovarian cysts.
What is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS or PCOD
Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS is a common hormonal system disorder occurring in women of reproductive age. It is also called PCOD. Another name for the disorder is Stein-Leventhal syndrome. This name comes from the two American gynaecologists Irvin F Stein and Michael L Leventhal, who first described this condition way back in 1935.
PCOS refers to a particular set of symptoms that occur when there is a hormonal imbalance in a woman. This set of symptoms include late or no periods, heavy bleeding during periods, growth of facial hair, acne, weight gain, pain in the pelvic region and difficulty in conception or getting pregnant.
PCOS-Who gets affected by PCOS or Ovarian Cysts
It is actually the most common hormonal disorder in women between the ages of 18 and 44. An estimated 5-10% of women of this age group are affected by this problem. Presence of cysts in the ovaries cause some disturbance in the hormone levels.
What happens in PCOD or PCOS ?
Most of the patients having PCOS are seen to have cysts in their ovaries. These ovarian cysts cause some hormonal disturbances. The hormonal system of human beings is so designed by nature that one hormone triggers the release of another hormone and so on. Therefore deficiency or excess of a particular hormone can cause imbalance in many other hormones too.
In PCOS, the ovarian cysts cause the levels of androgen to be raised more than the normal limits. Androgens are the male hormones. They are present in small quantities in normal females. When the levels increase, these can cause disturbance in menstrual periods and cause delayed menses. The normal ovulation cycle also gets disturbed and ovulation gets delayed or does not happen at all. Facial hair and hair on other parts of the body start appearing in females which are otherwise not present.
Causes of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS causes
The exact cause of PCOS is not known. What causes these ovarian cysts is still not clear to medical science. It has been observed that it tends to run in families. This does not mean that you will necessarily have it if your mother or sister or grandmother had it. But this means that the chances of you having it increase if someone in your family had it. Obesity or being overweight is also another predisposing factor in the presence of PCOS. This means that if you are obese or overweight, your chances of developing PCOS are higher than those with normal weight. It has also been observed that the situation improves when you lose weight. The condition tends to reverse with loss of weight. Therefore all patients who have PCOS are advised to lose weight and exercise regularly. Presence of diabetes or insulin resistance is also known to induce PCOS.
Symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS symptoms
The symptoms associated with PCOS often start early after menarche. They may not be immediately noticeable to the full extent. Most of the time, the symptoms get noticed after a spurt of weight gain. At times they may be noticed only after absence of periods for a long period of time.
In other cases, the symptoms start later in life or may again be noticed after substantial weight gain. The common symptoms associated with PCOS are as follows-
The menstrual cycle gets disturbed. There is the possibility of periods being delayed or no periods at all for months. There may be pain during menses and also periods are likely to be heavy and erratic.
Excess of male hormones
The ovarian cysts cause increase in androgens. These increased androgens or male hormones lead to other physcial signs like growth of facial hair and other parts of the body like arms, legs, chest, abdomen and fingers. At the same time there may be loss of hair from the scalp. The skin becomes a little rougher or thicker. Acne on the face, shoulders and back is also commonly seen.
Ovarian Cysts or cysts in the ovaries
On ultrasound examination, ovaries are often found to be having cysts. The ovarian cysts may be single or multiple. The size of the ovarian cysts is also not very relevant. In some cases, small ovarian cysts can cause a lot of symptoms. In other cases, large cysts in the ovaries cause relatively fewer symptoms.
Obesity or weight gain
There is tendency towards central obesity, which means that one tends to gain weight around the abdomen.
At times PCOS also interferes with your ability to get pregnant and carry the pregnancy normally.
At times there is discoloration of the skin.
Complications of Poly Cystic Ovarian Disease or PCOD
Those suffering from this condition are also at higher risk of developing some conditions. Some of the conditions that are likely to develop in untreated PCOS, more so in obese patients are as follows-
- Type 2 Diabetes – Patients with untreated PCOS are quite likely to develop diabetes. As one knows it well, diabetes has its own complications and can adversely affect the quality of life of an individual. A diabetic patient is always at risk of developing cardiac problems, chronic renal failure, hypertension, eye problems and so many other infections.
- Raised cholesterol levels – The lipids are likely to be on the higher side. This includes HDL, LDL, VLDL and triglycerides. Increased lipids expose one to cardiac as well as other vascular disorders like stroke.
- Metabolic Syndrome- Central obesity, increased insulin levels or insulin resistance are seen.
- Infertility – A common complication is the inability to conceive. In some cases, patients do manage to conceive but are unable to carry the pregnancy. This results in miscarriages.
- Depression – Psychological problems like feeling of sadness and depression are also common problems that occur with PCOS.
- Cancer- Uterine cancer may also occur in some patients and PCOS patients are at an increased risk for the same.
- Sleep Apnoea – Disturbance in respiration or breathing during sleep is also seen in some patients.
Treating PCOS or PCOD- Oral Contraceptives are not the best bet
The conventional system of medicine hardly has any cure for PCOS. They have no medicines to completely cure or even reduce the size of the ovarian cysts. Their focus remains on treating the visible and most troublesome signs and symptoms. To regularize the irregular menses, oral contraceptive pills are often prescribed. This has a temporary effect of regularizing the menstrual cycle for as long as the medicines are taken. Once you leave the medication, you are back to square one. This is because the cause is left untreated.
Is PCOS curable in Homeopathy ?
A common doubt or question in the minds of patients is whether PCOD is curable with homeopathy. It is natural for patients to be a little sceptical. This is because most of the patients who have taken allopathic treatment for PCOD get disappointed. They seem better as long as they are taking the medicines. So they naturally think that there may not be any treatment for this problem in Homeopathy. This is far from true. Homeopathic treatment for PCOD is very effective and completely cures the ovarian cysts.
PCOS treatment in Homeopathy is the best alternative treatment
When it comes to alternative systems or complementary treatments for PCOS, Homeopathy offers the best alternative. This is because Homeopathy focuses on treating and curing the root cause of the problem. The Homeopathic philosophy of disease is not based on the external causes of diseases. Homeopathy believes that the human body has been perfectly enabled by nature to keep itself disease free. It is only when the immunity or its own internal vitality is deranged that the body becomes incapable of keeping itself disease free. Therefore Homeopathy tries to restore the balance of that vitality. Once the vitality regains its original balance, it is able to nurse itself back to health without any external aid. That is why homeopathic medicines are given in very minute doses.
5 best Homeopathic medicines for treatment of PCOD or PCOS
Given below are the most commonly used 5 homeopathic medicines for the treatment of PCOS or PCOD. These medicines are just indicative and there are many other medicines that can and do cure this problem.
Homeopathy for PCOS – Here are the 5 best Homeopathic medicines for PCOD or PCOS
Apis Mellifica- best homeopathic medicine for PCOD with stinging pains
Pulsatilla- best remedy for PCOS with scanty and late menses
Sepia- best homeopathic medicine for PCOS with bearing down pains
Lachesis – best medicine for PCOD with aversion to tight clothes
Graphites- best homeopathic medicine for PCOD with constipation
The exact prescription of the right medicine depends on the individual symptoms of the patient. It should suffice to say that the treatment of PCOS is a complicated task and should be best left to an experienced homeopathic doctor.
1. Apis Mellifica- One of the best Homeopathic medicines for the treatment of PCOS with stinging pains
When there are stinging pains in the ovarian region, Apis Mellifica is one of the best Homeopathic medicines for PCOD. The stinging pains are more likely to be accompanied by tenderness over abdomen and uterine region. This medicine is made from the honey bee and its characteristic pains are also like the sting of a honey bee. The patient is unable to tolerate heat and feels worse in summers. The right side is more likely to be affected. There may even be oedematous swellings of various body parts.
2. Pulsatilla – One of the best Homeopathic medicines for PCOD with scanty and late menses
When the menses are late or delayed and are scanty, Pulsatilla is one of the best Homeopathic medicines for PCOD. The patient is usually thirstless and takes little water. The general temperament of the patient is mild, gentle and yielding. There are changeable moods in which patient is happy at one moment and the very next moment, she becomes irritable. Pulsatilla is often suited to young girls in whom the problem starts at puberty itself.
3. Sepia – One of the best Homeopathic remedies for PCOS with bearing down pains
When the patient has bearing down pains from the back and abdomen, Sepia is one of the best homeopathic remedies for PCOS. There is a feeling of a “ball” like sensation in the inner parts. The pelvic organs seem relaxed. The menses are irregular. In some cases they are too late and scanty while in others they are early and profuse. There may be yellowish or greenish leucorrhea. The mental temperament of the patient is such that she is irritable and indifferent. She cares the least even for her family members.
4. Lachesis – One of the best Homeopathic remedies for PCOD with aversion to tight clothes
When there is aversion or intolerance to anything being worn a little tight, Lachesis is one of the best Homeopathic remedies for PCOD. Most of the problems are on the left side only. The menses are too short and flow is feeble. There are pains in the abdomen which are relieved after the flow starts. There is great loquacity in the patient and is often seen jumping from topic to topic. Jealousy is another prominent symptom present in such patients.
5. Graphites- One of the best Homeopathic medicines for PCOS with constipation
When there is constipation along with other symptoms, Graphites is one of the best Homeopathic medicines for PCOS. The patient is often of a stout build or is fat. She cannot tolerate cold and is always feeling chilly. The menses are too late and are pale and scanty. There is tearing pain in the stomach region. Hardness may be felt in the ovarian region.