I have PCOS, am I at increased risk of diabetes?) 

By Christina Ross – Accredited Practising Dietitian

Have you received a diagnosis of PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and are looking to do all that you can to improve your health? 

You might be surprised to learn of the link between PCOS and diabetes – brought about by the common risk factor of insulin resistance. It is estimated 50-70% of women with PCOS also have insulin resistance, and women with PCOS and a higher BMI are at greater risk than women who have a low risk BMI. Insulin resistance occurs when the hormone insulin becomes less effective at its job of moving glucose out of the blood and into the cells. This results more insulin being released by the pancreas and elevated blood glucose levels, increasing the risk of developing pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes (diabetes in pregnancy). 

However, the good news is that 5-10% weight loss among overweight or obese women with PCOS improves not only PCOS symptoms related to hormone levels, cycle regularity and ovulation, but also glucose tolerance, fasting insulin and blood lipids. In this way, weight loss helps you manage your PCOS, diabetes risk and overweight/ obesity – that’s a win, win, win! 

So how do you go about achieving this weight loss? There is no single dietary approach that will work for everyone, which is why it is important to work with a qualified health professional/s. Our multidisciplinary team of specialists, doctors, dietitians, exercise specialists and psychologists are here to provide you with tailored health advice to lower your risk – reach out to us today!