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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, type 2 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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