Many people know that PCOS affects the ability of women to bear children. But did you know that PCOS can also affect the blood sugar level in your body?
This article discusses the link between PCOS and diabetes.
Many women with PCOS suffer from impaired glucose (sugar) metabolism and insulin resistance. (1) And while this is not often correctly assessed, it is such a common concern that I believe all women with PCOS need to be carefully tested.
Insulin is an important hormone in our body and there are many things that can alter its function.
Including the sugar we eat.
One of its primary duties is to take sugar from our blood and into the relative safety of our cells. When we eat food, and particularly sugar, we produce insulin. The more sugar, the more insulin. Until we get to a point where the cells tire of responding to insulin, and so reduce their response and we develop a resistance to it.
If this cycle persists, and we continue to produce excess insulin, we develop a condition called hyperinsulinemia… Or high levels of insulin in the blood.
Eventually, our cells can essentially stop ‘listening’ to insulin, when we develop type 2 diabetes.
So what can too much sugar and insulin resistance really do to your body?
According to a study in the journal, Diabetes, the prevalence rate of diabetes in women with PCOS was 39.3%, significantly higher than who of a similar age without PCOS at 5.8%.
“The likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes significantly increased as BMI [body mass index], fasting glucose, and glucose area under the curve at baseline increased and significantly decreased as sex hormone–binding globulin (SHBG) levels at follow-up increased.” (2)
This study showed that in middle-aged women with PCOS there is a significantly increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and that body mass index, glucose, and SHBG -circulating (sex hormone binding globule) levels are important risk factors… which may be improved to protect against the development of this potentially life-threatening, and certainly quality of life effecting, illness.
What does research like this mean for you regarding your PCOS and diabetes development?
You have a higher risk.
By being aware of the risks, you can improve your blood sugar levels and potentially avoid the development of diabetes.
As we talk about throughout this site, there are many natural PCOS treatments and these will also reduce your risk of developing co-morbid conditions like diabetes.
Here’s where to start
To get an accurate feel for where your blood glucose and insulin levels are at, you really need to have your insulin levels correctly tested. I discuss exactly how in this video…
When you have PCOS, it is wise to understand this risk and take steps to reduce it whenever possible.
For PCOS to perfect health, with love,
P.S. Check out this video, The Skinny on Obesity. It’s well worth watching.