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Question:

From Alexandria, Virginia, USA:

During my first three years of college, my menstrual cycle was regular, but then all of the sudden, it became very irregular. I remember I could go months at a time without having one. I spoke to my gynecologist who attributed it to stress (school and other things), so I was okay with that answer. However, during an annual checkup while in graduate school, I mentioned that I had not had a cycle in six months which I was still attributing it to stress. The doctor then told me that it was possible that I had PCOS. I had two blood tests and a pelvic sonogram, which were normal, except for low levels of estrogen. On top of that, I have more hairs which indicates that something is off. So she suggested that I would need to take birth control pills to regulate everything.

I did some research of my own and came across the implications of PCOS, typeá2 diabetes, and insulin resistance. My research has indicated the having low levels of estrogen may possibly be a sign of insulin resistance. I am worried because my dad has type 2 diabetes, and I just seem to inherit all his genetic traits.

To combat this, I have been on a weight loss program since I am hoping that my massive weight gain has attributed to my irregular cycles and once I lose it I will be okay.

I have a few questions:

  1. Is there truly a direct correlation between low estrogen levels and insulin resistance/ pre-diabetes?
  2. With my blood tests, would they have noticed any insulin problems?
  3. If not, where can I go to get a relatively cheap screening?

I am just confused and trying to figure things out!

Answer:

I certainly agree it sounds like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and insulin resistance might be the answer. Did they check your insulin level? Glucophage [metformin] works for insulin resistance in PCOS. If you aren't cycling, the estrogen level will be low.

Should you present these options? Certainly, and maybe if they won't listen, ask for a referral to a specialist.

LD

DTQ-20020517005004
Original posting 5 Jun 2002
Posted to Other Illnesses

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:34
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