Polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, affects up to 20% of women, primarily women of childbearing age.
PCOS is a complex syndrome, because most women with polycystic ovaries don’t have PCOS, and the cause of the syndrome is unclear, though it has been studied for decades.
Polycystic ovaries develop when the ovaries produce excessive amounts of androgens, or male hormones, particularly testosterone.
When too much testosterone is produced, levels of a pituitary hormone called gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) increase, causing levels of another hormone called luteinizing hormone (LH) to increase, too. High LH levels can lead to cysts on the ovaries.
Ovarian cysts can also be caused by high levels of insulin that are produced in response to insulin resistance. High levels of insulin can lead to high levels of circulating androgens, which can also result in the sequence of events described above.
Xenical, Weight Loss, and PCOS
Many women with PCOS are overweight or obese, or have insulin resistance. Xenical is the most commonly prescribed weight loss drug, and has been studied as a treatment for PCOS. The medical studies have had promising results, giving doctors an important option when determining a treatment plan for patients with PCOS.
Xenical works by reducing the amount of fat absorbed from food. When people take Xenical, they have to adopt a low-fat diet to avoid unpleasant gastrointestinal side effects like oily, loose stools, and the low-fat diet also helps weight loss efforts. Losing weight tends to improve the hormonal profile of women with PCOS, helping symptoms improve in many of them.
PCOS Symptoms and Complications
Although doctors know that PCOS is characterized by a feedback loop of insulin resistance and high circulating levels of androgens, it’s not always clear which of these two characteristics is the cause of the syndrome. Symptoms of PCOS include:
- Having fewer than 9 menstrual periods in a year
- Difficulty conceiving
- Facial hair growth
- Hair loss on the head
- Excess weight or obesity
- Mood swings, depression, and anxiety
If a woman meets two of the following three diagnostic criteria, she is diagnosed with PCOS:
- Polycystic ovaries, characterized by 12 or more peripheral follicles (commonly referred to as “cysts”) or ovarian volume of greater than 10 cubic centimeters
- Fewer menstrual periods than normal, or lack of ovulation
- Clinical or biochemical signs of excess circulating androgens
How PCOS Is Treated
There is no single course of treatment for PCOS that corrects hormonal imbalances and treats clinical features. Rather, doctors come up with a plan for medical management targeted at how each individual patient presents. Lifestyle changes are an important aspect of PCOS treatment, because losing excess weight and improving fitness can often have a very positive effect on insulin resistance and help put other hormones back into better balance.
Sometimes antiandrogens are prescribed, as are insulin sensitizing medications, in order to address circulating androgen levels and insulin resistance. Physicians encourage overweight and obese PCOS patients to lose excess weight because of the positive effect weight loss has on symptoms … and on overall health. Treatment for PCOS also depends on whether or not the woman wants to become pregnant.
What Xenical Does
By helping with weight loss efforts, Xenical helps address metabolism, insulin resistance, psychological characteristics, and even fertility. Weight control has been shown to improve ovulation regularity and pregnancy rates. While Xenical doesn’t directly address hormonal balance, the weight loss that results from Xenical — along with a low-fat diet and regular exercise — does help many women with PCOS have a more normal hormonal profile, as well as relief from some of the symptoms of PCOS.
A study conducted in Thessaloniki, Greece, published in Clinical Endocrinology, specifically found that Xenical combined with dietary changes and increased exercise resulted in:
- Loss of 12.9% of body weight on average in PCOS patients
- Lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure among women with PCOS
- Lower total cholesterol and triglyceride levels
- Lower insulin resistance
- Lower serum glucose levels under glucose tolerance testing
- Lower circulating androgen levels
- Lower rates of metabolic syndrome
Xenical is the only prescription weight loss drug approved for long-term use. It has been successfully used by millions of men and women worldwide since its introduction in 1999. eDrugstore.com, through contracts with US-licensed pharmacists, dispenses Xenical quickly and at competitive prices, with unbeatable convenience. eDrugstore.com is also HIPAA-compliant, and adheres to the highest standards of online security.