Polycystic ovary syndrome: symptoms include thinning hair

The three main characteristics of this disease are irregular periods, high levels of “male” hormones and polycystic ovaries. Symptoms of PCOS usually become apparent in your late teens or early twenties, reports the NHS. Here is a sign found in your hair.

Too much androgen can trigger thinning of hair on the scalp.

In patients with PCOS, this hormonal imbalance is caused by your ovaries producing higher than normal levels of the “male” hormone testosterone.

Another physical sign linked to these elevated levels is excessive hair growth on the face, chest, back, or buttocks.

This opposite problem, characterized by thick, dark hair on the outside of the scalp, is called hirsutism.

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Besides hair signs, high levels of male hormones can also cause acne and oily skin in some people with PCOS, reports the NHS.

Androgens can cause the glands in the skin to produce an excess of an oily substance called sebum, leading to an oily complexion.

If these problems are bothering you, there are treatments including anti-androgen drugs available by prescription.

Another possibility is to surgically treat the cause, so the ovaries which produce excess androgens.

PCOS is also linked to a higher risk of developing health problems like type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol levels later in life.

The NHS advises talking to your GP if you think you have the disease.

Currently, there is no cure for PCOS, but the symptoms can be treated and managed.

These treatments can range from lifestyle changes and medications to simple surgery.


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