Why is it difficult to lose weight in PCOS?

Why is it difficult to lose weight in PCOS?

It is a common suggestion that comes from the doctor that in order to control Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) symptoms, the patient should reduce weight. Even the doctors know that it is easier to say but much harder to do especially when you have PCOS. Weight gain and PCOS are a parcel deal and you cannot just simply reduce weight by making a few changes in lifestyle. Reducing weight with PCOS is difficult and there are several reasons behind it.

Insulin and its role in weight management

Insulin is an important hormone which is responsible for metabolizing glucose in the body. It helps in transporting sugar to the muscles and when the body has more sugar in the blood stream then required, it helps in converting it into fat.

Problem in insulin management with PCOS

As per research [1], a women suffering from PCOS have dysfunctioning cells responsible for the secretion of insulin. The research showed that the cells which are responsible for detecting sugar in the blood stream overreact and produce more insulin than required. This over secretion causes conversion of glucose into fat even at lower glucose levels.

In some cases, it was found that women with PCOS develop insulin resistance [2] that means they need more insulin than normal to metabolize glucose. This condition results in oversecretion of insulin which again causes weight gain. The higher level of insulin also results in the release of higher levels of testosterone which makes the PCOS symptoms even worse.

Slower Metabolism

The studies showed that most of the women who suffer from PCOS have slower metabolism rate. That means women with PCOS need lesser amount of calories in comparison to women not suffering from PCOS [3]. Also, insulin resistance requires more controlled calorie intake. So in short, women with PCOS require lesser calories but have to fight with food carving and feeling of being hungry which comes with PCOS.

Appetite control

Hormones like ghrelin, cholecystokinin, and leptin are related to hunger and appetite control. The level of these hormones is irregular in women with PCOS [4]. Thus the women with PCOS will always feel hungry even though they have taken all the nutrients required.

This article may look a little discouraging at first but the main aim of this article is to inform you that what you are facing with your weight management is not uncommon in women with PCOS. You have to stay strong and work on the appetite as per the doctor’s directions for weight management. It looks difficult but it is not impossible. In our next article we will provide suggestions on how to lose weight when you have PCOS.

[1] Resource 1  |  [2] Resource 2  |  [3] Resource 3  |  [4] Resource 4

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