ZocdocAnswersCan PCOS cause me to gain and retain weight?

Question

Can PCOS cause me to gain and retain weight?

I am a 20 year old female with PCOS. My obgyn first diagnosed me with this condition when I was 14. I know that it can cause high blood pressure as well as lead to diabetes. I would like to know if this is the reason I weigh so much? My mom and sister are both very small individuals but I am 5'4" and weigh 185 lbs. If it is PCOS is there any type of medication I should take to help me lose the weight or any other suggestions on losing the weight?

Answer

Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a compilation of endocrine system abnormalities that can be difficult to manage. The answer to your question is complex. You problems with being overweight is do to the PCOS. However, the best way for you to manage your diabetes, hypertension, acne (if you have it), irregular periods, and any abnormal hair growth is to lose weight. Thus PCOS is a catch 22 of sorts. The more weight you gain, the worse your symptoms will be. This means that maintaining a very healthy diet, and exercising 4-5 days per week will be paramount to your future health. I encourage you to stick with this plan of a lower calorie diet and exercise even if it isn't working at first. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with an endocrinologist. This is because PCOS compiles so many endocrine problem that I think a specialist must follow you. You can get advice on the best method to lose weight, control your diabetes, and control return your cycles as normal as possible (if this is an issue for you). Most likely the doctor will prescribe a medication such as Metformin which may help regulate your blood sugars if this is an issue. Good luck.

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