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Losing weight can be a struggle for many due to lack of exercise and poor dieting.  As frustrating as this can be, a visit to the doctor can determine whether other underlying issues are making weight loss seem nearly impossible.  For many women, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the culprit.  Affecting as many as 5 million women in the United States, PCOS has also been found to occur in girls as young as 11 years old.


Weight gain and difficulty with weight loss is a common side effect of PCOS.  Women with PCOS are insulin-resistant, meaning that instead of the body converting sugars and starches from foods into energy it builds up in the bloodstream.  When this buildup of glucose occurs then it causes an increase in the production of male hormones, which contributes to weight gain in women in PCOS.  This weight gain is common in the abdomen area where men tend to gain more weight.

If you’re suffering with weight issues as a result of PCOS there are a few things you can do to help reverse this:

  • Ask your doctor about medications blocking the effects of male hormones or those that help the body use insulin more efficiently
  • Consider low-sugar diets and stay on top of your blood sugar levels
  • Follow healthier eating habits such as consuming smaller portions and snacks throughout the day and stay away from processed foods as much as possible; consult with your doctor, dietician, or nutrition coach who can help you stay on track
  • Exercise or get at least 30 minutes of physical activity in 4-5 times a week (or more if you’re able)

Source: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) fact sheet [Our ePublications]. (2014). 

Written By: Keona Hardin

Disclaimer: The EGL Wellness blog does not create a doctor/patient relationship. The information provided is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All text on this site is informational and for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified mental health provider with any questions regarding a medical condition. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site. Any advice or information provided on the site is provided on an “as-is” basis. No warranties either expressed or implied, are made on the information provided.


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