Diagnosing Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS, is not a completely straightforward task. Because there is no one test that can detect the presence of this condition, healthcare professionals must often rule out other, more testable disorders before making a diagnosis.1 Most notably, they will look for cystic ovaries and a hormonal imbalance.
Understanding Hormonal Changes
A woman’s body is supposed to withstand hormonal changes over the course of a normal menstrual cycle; however, in the case of PCOS, these hormonal issues may prevent a regular cycle from occurring. PCOS hormones are imbalanced and may vary from one woman to the next, but they may play a key role in coming to a diagnosis. Most remarkably, women with this condition experience excessive amounts of androgens, or male hormones.2
What Hormones are Imbalanced?
To diagnose PCOS, doctors must conduct PCOS tests that measure hormone levels and other aspects of the endocrine and reproductive systems. The hormones measured include:1
- Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH): With PCOS, this hormone will be normal or below average.
- Luteinizing Hormone (LH): This hormone will be above average.
- LH/FSH Ratio: Though this ratio is not as important as once thought, it may reflect elevated amounts of LH.
- Prolactin: This hormone will be normal or low. Should hyperprolactinemia be present, it will be high and may rule out PCOS.
- Testosterone: The hallmark of this condition, testosterone will be higher than average.
- DHEAS: While this may also be elevated, it’s levels can rule out an adrenal tumor.
- Estrogen: Will be average or slightly above average.
- Sex hormone binding globulin (SBGH): Might be lower than average.
- Androstenedione: May be higher than average.
- Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG): This hormone is measured to check for pregnancy and is not present in the body unless a woman is pregnant.
- Lipids (including HDL, LDL, cholesterol, and triglycerides): HDL will be a bit low and LDL, cholesterol, and triglycerides will be above average.
- Glucose: May be above average, particularly if Insulin Resistance is present.
- Insulin: This hormone may also be above average in the presence of Insulin Resistance.
- Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH): This hormone is tested to rule out any thyroid disorders that may cause similar symptoms.
- Cortisol and Creatinine: These hormones may be tested to rule out Cushing syndrome.
- 17-hydroxyprogesterone: Testing of this hormone is done to rule out congenital adrenal hyperplasia.
- IGF-1: This hormone is tested to rule out acromegaly.
While no one test can diagnose this condition, a variety of tests can measure hormone levels, rule out other possible disorders, and help doctors determine the best course of action.
The other thing a women suffering Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) might do is to look into the Insulite Health supplements that are available. In particular, the PCOS System offers hormone-balancing effects that have been scientifically calibrated to reverse the condition. That means there is very much hope here, and, for women who properly educate themselves and take the precautions necessary to thwart the effects of the disease, no reason why PCOS has to be interpreted as a devastating diagnosis.