Doctors advise change in lifestyle, dietary habits
BARAMULLA, Feb 11: At 19-years of age, Mehak, who hails from Sopore noticed that she was rapidly gaining weight which despite all her efforts, seemed impossible to reverse.
Coupled with an irregular menstrual cycle and the early signs of excess hair growth on her face, her health conditions started impacting her normal life.
“My mother took me to a number of hospitals within a span of one year. However, all the doctors advised me to be patient as I was too young to have anything adverse. Some of the doctors believed that I was just ‘faking it’ and overreacting and I needed to come out from this state,” Mehak, told Kashmir Despatch.
She said that eventually her mother took her to see a gynecologist and pleaded him for a thorough check-up. “He did an ultrasound and revealed what he called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS),” Mehak added.
Polycystic ovary syndrome is one of the common endocrine disorders and is associated with reproduction affecting six to 12 percent of women of reproductive age groups. Virtually every young girl has some factors that can eventually lead to PCOS. These factors include deficiency of vitamin D and B, the doctor briefed Mehak.
According to Mehak, the doctor said that PCOS is an endocrine disorder which affects up to six in ten women in Kashmir and an estimated 116 million women globally. “It has became very common in Kashmir. The level of PCOS affected women has reached a level, once can’t imagine normally,” Mehak quoted the doctor saying.
Dr Humaira Noor a consultant gynecologist at district hospital Baramulla told this reporter that PCOS has become the most common endocrine disorder in women of reproductive age. “Its symptoms are irregular periods, Hirsutism (hair growth on face), weight gain, hair loss and oily skin or acne. However, these symptoms vary from a woman to woman,” Dr Humira said.
She added that the incidence of PCOS has increased in Kashmir with more number of cases being reported on daily basis.
Dr Humaira stated that there has been a 40 per cent increase in PCOS patients. “Cases of PCOS are predominantly seen in the age group of 15 to 40 years. Currently, we get around five to seven cases of women suffering from PCOS a day,” she informed Kashmir Despatch.
Most cases of PCOS are seen among teenagers, she said, adding that around 90 per cent of them constitute obese women. “In lean women it is often caused due to genetic reasons. In some cases, it can lead to infertility.”
“Another worrying aspect is that most women in the valley don’t know this underlining problem and attribute irregular periods to stress,” said Dr Rukiya, who is also working as a gynecologist at district hospital Baramulla
She added that 80 per cent of women with PCOS have trouble in conceiving babies. “There are a number of treatment options, including eating a diet that is rich in antioxidants and includes moderate amounts of unprocessed carbohydrates. Increasing physical activity can help as well,” she advised.