Endocrine disorders

The endocrine system is a network of glands that produce and release hormones that help control many important body functions, including the body’s ability to change calories into energy that powers cells and organs. The endocrine system influences how your heart beats, how your bones and tissues grow, even your ability to make a baby. It plays a vital role in whether or not you develop diabetes, thyroid disease, growth disorders, sexual dysfunction, and a host of other hormone-related disorders.

Even the slightest hiccup with the function of one or more of these glands can throw off the delicate balance of hormones in your body and lead to an endocrine disorder, or endocrine disease.

What Is PCOS?

  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition found in women in which benign cysts are found in the ovaries.
  • It can be associated with anovulation, irregular periods, obesity, infertility, diabetes etc

How Is PCOS Diagnosed?

If you have these symptoms you might be having PCOS.

  • Cysts in ovaries impeding release of the ova.
  • Irregular ovulation and irregular periods. Sometimes even non existent.
  • Presence of male hormones in excess causing too much body hair.
  • Decline in fertility and difficulties in getting pregnant.
  • Hirsutism – excessive hair growth in the face, chest, back and buttocks.
  • Acanthosis nigricans – black velvety skin on the neck, underarms etc
  • Thinning, breaking and shedding hair.
  • Oiliness in the skin.
  • General listlessness and loss of energy.
  • Depression.
  • These can be diagnosed on clinical examination, blood test and ultrasonography.
  • With good and balanced diet, exercise and maintain appropriate body weight PCSOS can be treated. Depending upon the need or symptoms, medications can be given to treat irregular periods, infertility, hirsutism and obesity.
  • A holistic approach will help the prevention of future complications of PCOS like diabetes, endometrial cancer and obesity.

How does thyroid problem affect pregnancy?

  • Hyper thyroidism or hypothyroidism, both affect the chances of conception negatively.
  • Hence it is a good idea to get your TSH levels done before planning pregnancy especially if you are overweight, underweight, have irregular periods, very heavy periods or are not able to conceive after trying for one year.

Can my thyroid problem be treated?

  • Yes. Hypothyroidism can be easily treated with thyroid supplements which has to be taken daily. These have to be continued during pregnancy also with monitoring of the thyroid levels in the blood.
  • If you suffer from excessive thyroid hormones, medications are given to decrease the same.

Preconceptional counselling and advise plays an important role if you are having from any endocrine abnormalities. These can be tackled before planning pregnancy so that your antenatal course and delivery is smooth sailing.

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