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Top 5 PCOS Questions and Answers: Insulin

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Q: What does insulin have to do with PCOS and why is my doctor talking to me about diabetes?

A. In addition to symptoms such as irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth, and weight gain, another feature of PCOS is resistance to insulin. Up to 70% of women with PCOS are found to have insulin resistance. Insulin resistance occurs when the cells in a woman’s body stop responding to the insulin that is released. The body makes insulin as it should, but the cells in the body no longer use it effectively. The result of this is high glucose levels (high blood sugar levels). When sugar levels are high, a woman is at a higher risk of developing diabetes . Approximately 20-30% of women with PCOS will develop Type II Diabetes in their lifetime. Being overweight is another factor that can increase a woman’s chances of developing diabetes. Since so many women with PCOS struggle with their weight and have resistance to insulin, the development of diabetes is a very common problem.

Next: What is Metformin and should I be taking it?

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