Women with hormonal problems prone to diabetes: AIIMS

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New Delhi: Women suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), a problem in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance, are highly prone to diabetes, a study by the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) said on Saturday.

“It has been found that ‘insulin resistance’ is an integral part of PCOS and that women with the syndrome are at a higher risk for diabetes than the general population,” said the study conducted by Md. Ashraf Ganie, a senior endocrinology consultant and assistant professor at AIIMS.

Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body produces insulin but does not use it effectively. When people have insulin resistance, glucose builds up in the blood instead of being absorbed by the cells, leading to type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes.

Ganie said insulin resistance has been recognized as a risk factor for diabetes and may be the earliest detectable abnormality in individuals who proceed to develop diabetes.

The study further states that women with health complications like irregular menstrual cycles, thick hair on body parts and aches prefer going to the clinicians seeking treatment for these problems only. They don’t get a complete check up to find the root cause which is the PCOS.

“Many women with PCOS have several small cysts in their ovaries. These cysts are not harmful but can lead to hormonal imbalances. They are highly prone to diabetes,” Ganie told IANS.

He said that early diagnosis and treatment can help control the symptoms and prevent long-term problems which also include heart related diseases.

According to the study titled “The link between Diabetes and PCOS”, the problem is more persistent with Indian women as compared to women from other countries.

It states that at least 50 percent of Indian women have the PCOS problem while in the European countries the figure drops to 5-10 percent.

The study stated that females in the 14-39 age group were the most affected by PCOS and were prone to type 2 diabetes.

As per recent reports of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) 2014, diabetes is fast spreading across the world and over 387 million people will have diabetes by 2035.

The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and American College of Endocrinology have recommended screening for diabetes with an oral glucose tolerance test by the age of 30 years in all patients with PCOS.

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