PCOS and Endocrine Problems

The Amara Clinic is dedicated to supporting women’s hormonal health. If you’re living with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) or are worried about symptoms, we can provide expert assessment, comprehensive testing and a holistic treatment plan in a supportive, serene and stress-free space.

What is the endocrine system?

The endocrine system is a network of glands that produce and release hormones into the body. Hormones are nature’s chemical messengers- they regulate your body’s essential functions, including growth, metabolism and sexual function.

Hormonal Imbalances can trigger symptoms and cause health problems. Because the endocrine system is so interconnected, an imbalance in one area can easily cause an issue in another.

Hormonal disorders cause many conditions, including diabetes, thyroid disease, adrenal insufficiency, Cushing’s disease and calcium disorders. However, one of the most common conditions is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS, which affects up to one in ten women in the UK, and is the main endocrine problem we deal with at The Amara Clinic.

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What is PCOS?

PCOS is a hormonal disorder which can affect women during their reproductive years. If you have PCOS, your periods may be irregular. You may have absent or infrequent periods, which can be very erratic and frustrating! You may also have too much of the hormone testosterone in your body, which can make hair grow on your body and face and make your skin oily and prone to breakouts.

If you have PCOS, your body does not ovulate as it should. Your ovaries produce multiple eggs and follicles but can’t release them. Over time, lots of small fluid-filled cysts containing immature eggs build up on the ovaries- which is why it’s called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

What are the symptoms of PCOS?

In PCOS, because you don’t ovulate regularly, you also won’t have the surge of oestrogen which accompanies ovulation followed by the surge of progesterone prior to menstruation. This combined hormonal imbalance can trigger many symptoms, although as many as half of the women affected by PCOS are symptom free.

Symptoms and signs include:

  • Irregular, sporadic or absent periods
  • Significant weight gain and a high BMI
  • Increased facial and body hair
  • Oily skin and acne
  • Low mood
  • Fatigue and feeling unwell
  • Problems getting pregnant

Insulin and PCOS

Insulin is an essential hormone that regulates glucose levels in your blood, allows cells to burn glucose for energy and ensures any excess glucose is safely stored away.

Women with PCOS often have high insulin levels in their bloodstream, but their bodies don't respond effectively to the hormone's actions. This insulin resistance is a key problem. It impacts your weight, increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, and can cause type 2 diabetes.

The big question is - do ovulation problems, and ovarian cysts cause insulin resistance, or does insulin resistance cause problems with the female endocrine system?

Investigations for PCOS

If you are worried that you may have PCOS, it is important to speak to a specialist. The experts at The Amara Clinic can assess your symptoms, listen to your concerns, arrange diagnostic tests and devise a bespoke treatment programme- all under one roof. The investigations may include the following:

Blood tests to check your complete hormonal profile, blood glucose and an HbA1C to check your blood glucose patterns over an extended period. Bloods will also exclude other causes of irregular periods.

Ultrasound scan: If you have PCOS, a pelvic scan will show multiple cysts in the ovaries. These are often described as looking like a 'ring of pearls' or a 'pearl necklace'.

Treatment of PCOS

At The Amara Clinic, we take an integrated and personalised approach to treating PCOS. Over decades of experience, the highly-qualified health professionals have found that a blend of nutritional, complementary therapies and medications can optimise your hormonal health and restore your wellbeing. Your bespoke treatment programme may include the following:

  • Hormonal medication to treat signs of high androgen levels and to regulate periods.
  • Weight management: One of the most effective ways to treat PCOS is through weight loss. Women carrying excess weight are at greater risk of developing insulin resistance and the complications this brings with it.

An excellent place to start is by following a low-GI diet. That means eating low-GI food (such as fruit, vegetables, pulses and wholegrains) and avoiding high-GI food (including white bread, white rice, and sugary foods).

If your BMI is above the recommended range of 20 to 25, you are at higher risk of experiencing PCOS and other conditions caused by hormonal imbalance. Switching to a healthier diet and dropping excess pounds can be a game changer.

At The Amara Clinic, we have seen women who previously had signs of PCOS essentially 'cured' simply by changing what they eat and exercising more. It also works wonders in reducing the risk of developing long-term Type 2 diabetes and places you in the appropriate BMI for fertility treatment (BMI under 30).

  • Supplements: Inositol may help if you’re struggling to lose weight or experiencing PCOS symptoms.
  • Herbal Remedies: Women with PCOS often respond well to herbal interventions.
  • Fertility treatment: We can refer you to specialist fertility experts who can offer support and advice.

Why choose The Amara Clinic?

Consultant-led care

The clinic is led by Miss Anne Henderson, a highly experienced Consultant Gynaecologist and accredited British Menopause Society (MPS) specialist, one of only 200 specialists across the UK. She works with an experienced multi-disciplinary team to support women during the menopause and throughout their reproductive lives.

Seamless service

All your requirements including consultations, investigations diagnostic tests, surgical procedures and prescriptions can be accessed in-house through a seamless process which rarely requires external referrals. Most women will see the same practitioner throughout their treatment journey, receiving not only a high level of expertise but also continuity of care.

One-stop service

At The Amara Clinic our mission is to make it easy for all women to access the quality healthcare they need. We offer a wide range of services including face-to-face and virtual appointments depending on your needs and location. We can also provide an extensive range of investigations including blood tests and imaging, treatments and private prescriptions. Our medical team cover a comprehensive selection of health concerns including general gynaecology, perimenopause and menopause, cervical screening and Well Woman health checks.

Healthcare by women for women

We offer personalised treatment and sensitive support in a comfortable, private space. The Amara Clinic offers exceptional bespoke health and menopause care in a boutique clinic in the heart of Tunbridge Wells as well as virtual consultations for patients across the world.

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