Overweight? Acne? Hairy? Diabetes? Maybe it's your ovaries

Joined Mar 3, 2002
According to an article in the NYTimes, ten percent of all women may be affected by the little known condition of "polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, a bodywide metabolic disorder characterized by abnormal hormone levels that can result in distressing and sometimes life-threatening problems, including infertility, obesity, acne, excessive facial and body hair, diabetes, heart disease and uterine cancer."

Because of its effect on insulin this disorder may be implicated in obesity, as well. Because "insulin's primary task is to maintain a normal blood level of glucose by moving this sugar, produced by the digestion of carbohydrates, into cells that use it for energy. But insulin also fosters the storage of fats, and people with high blood levels of this hormone often gain weight on a normal diet and have a great deal of difficulty losing weight."

This NYTimes article can be found at:

Joined May 6, 2001
Thanks for the link. My oldest sister is going thru testing right now for this. I'll make sure she sees the article.
Joined Nov 27, 2001
I have PCOS and it is amazing what a protein rich, low carbohydrate diet can do for you. It is amazing. It is however, extremely hard to stick to in a culture that pushes so much carbohydrates.
Joined Aug 29, 2000
I'm a moderator on a low carb board, and a number of its members report having this condition. They find their new way of eating helpful.
Joined Apr 30, 2001
PCOS is very common within the type II diabetic community. They appear to be closely related - and doctors are treating non-diabetic women with glucophage as PCOS is being more or less considered a pre-diabetic symptom.

Here is more information than you probably want on PCOS: Click Me


One of the nice things about this research, as well as research into impaired glucose tolerance or insulin resistance, is that the medical community is now admitting that certain overweight individuals are overweight because their body functions differently - so instead of just blaming people, we are trying to find real solutions to the problems. As noted in the article, insulin causes the body to store fat - if you are not using insulin effectively to process glucose, your body attempts to create additional insulin which increases fat storage.


Those interested in carbohydrate counting should also be informed about the glycemic index. Not all carbohydrates increase your blood glucose levels in the same way - knowing which ones affect you more than others helps a great deal in managing blood sugars.
Top Bottom