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Question:

From New York City, New York, USA:

I am 24 years old and was diagnosed with diabetes a little over one year ago. I have always had irregular periods, usually only getting my period around four times a year. When I was nineteen I had a blood test and my doctor diagnosed me with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and I was put on birth control pills to regulate this. The major symptoms of PCOS are obesity, excessive hair growth and irregular periods. I have never had a weight problem - I'm 5'4" and 115 pounds and do not have excessive hair growth, my only symptom was irregular periods. Do you know if it is possible to be diagnosed with PCOS by just a blood test? Since I have been on the pill I have been having normal periods. However, I have recently been hearing and reading a lot about the possibility of a relationship between PCOS and diabetes. I was wondering what you knew about this topic (can PCOS lead to diabetes?) or where I could be directed to find out more information.

Answer:

The diagnosis of PCOS is based on clinical findings as well as blood tests. The underlying disorder is infrequent or absent ovulation. There is a relationship between PCOS and diabetes, specifically Type 2 diabetes. I have provided two references and you should speak with your physician further about this.

  1. Dunaif A, Hyperandrogenic anovulation (PCOS): a unique disorder of insulin action associated with an increased risk of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, American Journal of Medicine 98 (1A):33S-39S, 1995, January 16.

  2. Prelevic GM, Insulin resistance in polycystic ovary syndrome, Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology. 9(3):193-201, 1997, June.

OWJ

Original posting 16 Mar 1998
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms and Other Illnesses

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:56
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