What is Lean PCOS?

Most women think that PCOS and obesity have many components in common. However, this is a clear misconception, and more notably, 50% women diagnosed with PCOS are underweight or weigh normally.

It is important to get the concept of “lean”. The Body Mass Index is a key index for relating weight to height. BMI is a person’s weight in kilograms (kg) divided by his or her height in meters squared.

  • BMI between 19 and 24 is considered Normal Weight
  • BMI between 25 and 29 is considered Overweight

Diagnosis of Lean PCOS & Challenges: Lean women with PCOS are often missed from getting diagnosed with PCOS, as typical tests show absolutely normal results. Fasting Insulin, Glucose and HOMA Index will point to insulin resistance in lean women with PCOS.

Why does polycystic ovary syndrome cause weight gain?

PCOS brings in obstacles for body to derive benefit of and effectively use the hormone insulin, which normally helps glucose utilization in the body by driving it to towards energy production. This condition called insulin resistance can cause excess insulin and sugar accumulate in the system.

High insulin levels are responsible for higher production of male hormones androgen which are responsible for weight gain. Additionally, women with PCOS have pre-existing high levels of androgen, which can worsen the weight control.

Does being Overweight Cause PCOS or Does PCOS Result in Obesity?

Either way is possible and the link between PCOS and obesity is quite complex.  Signs and symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome begin for some females soon after they start having periods. Women with PCOS produce too much insulin, or the insulin they produce does not work as it should. The inability of insulin to function normally is one reason why women with PCOS tend to gain weight or have a hard time losing weight. For others, PCOS develops later on, following substantial weight gain. What is clear is that women affected by obesity have a greater risk for PCOS and women with PCOS have a greater risk for obesity.

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