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Beauty & Health

Healthy weight crucial to managing polycystic ovarian syndrome, says gynaecologist

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A gynaecologist, Dr. Michael Aziken has urge women with polycystic ovarian syndrome to maintain a healthy weight, noting that being overweight does not help in the management of the health condition.

Aziken, who is a professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the College of Medicine, University of Benin, noted that while the management of PCOS has not been linked to any type of food, weight reduction can assist in the management of the condition.

Speaking with newsmen in an interview, Aziken, who was also the deputy vice-chancellor of the university, stated that women with PCOS should endeavour to maintain a body mass index of not more than 25.

PCOS, Aziken explained, is a condition of hormonal imbalance in a woman that is associated with chronic anovulation.

According to an article published online by Mayo Clinic, PCOS is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age.

Women with PCOS, the article said, often experience infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels, adding that their ovaries may also develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs.

The article noted that while the exact cause of PCOS remained unknown, early diagnosis and treatment along with weight loss may help reduce the risk of long-term complications such as type 2 diabetes and heart diseases.

Speaking further on the link between weight and PCOS management, Aziken said, “For women battling PCOS that are either obese or overweight, if they can reduce their weight by five to 10 per cent it can correct it to some extent.

“There’s a lot of hormonal changes that can occur that may help reverse the case.

“It’s just like someone with diabetes that is overweight, if they can lose some weight with exercise and other means, the control of diabetes will be better.

He noted, however, that losing weight is also a challenge as people usually take the quick way to weight reduction which is not sustainable.

“You hear someone say I can lose 10kg in two weeks. After two weeks what happens? You start gaining them back.

“So, for the weight loss to be effective, you must adopt a lifestyle that you can sustain, like having a light breakfast, dinner, and some heavy lunch.

“And then you engage in regular exercise. You are not doing a challenge to prove to somebody that you can lose weight after that you go back to your habit.

“Avoid sugary things, in-between snacks. You take breakfast in the morning by 10 am you are already in the office eating meat pie and drinking soda. Afternoon you go for lunch before you get home you are eating gala. You are not helping the process because dietary discipline is needed to lose weight,” he said.

Aziken however said that while some women are genetically prone to gaining weight, the genetic tendency can be exacerbated by a sedentary lifestyle.

Explaining he said, for such women, “Everything they take in is just stored there. They must combine being active with dieting.

“When you know that you tend to put on weight, you have to be active and watch what you eat. Take more fruits than calories.”

Aziken also advised women with PCOS to see a physician to get the best treatment, noting that the management of the condition is dependent on other factors issues the woman may want to tackle.

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