Last updated on Sep 28th, 2020 at 07:24 am

PCOS is a reproductive disorder, but it’s effects go beyond your fertility. PCOS can affect your skin, hair growth, emotional wellbeing and even your weight

There are 3 main reasons why losing weight is difficult when you have PCOS.

READ MORE: 3 Things your daughter needs to know about PCOS

Insulin resistance

“Besides playing the dominant role in metabolism, insulin has a number of other hormonal effects including the regulation of normal ovarian function and influencing a number of male hormones present in females. Increased levels of insulin, as caused by insulin resistance, causes a reduction in a hormone called sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) in the liver. This results in abnormally high levels of male hormones in women” say the Medical Nutritional Institute (MNI).

Insulin resistance means your body doesn’t respond to its own natural ‘fed’ alarm so you always feel hungry and especially crave sugary and high-carb foods which unchecked can contribute to weight gain.

Thyroid dysfunction

Women with PCOS are more likely to suffer from thyroid dysfunction including Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition. According to endocrineweb women with PCOS are three times more likely to also suffer from Hashimoto’s disease.

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People who suffer from hyperthyroidism are at a greater risk of becoming overweight because they do not feel full, even after eating enough food.

READ MORE: Could a vegan diet help balance your hormones?

You aren’t sleeping enough

Because PCOS sufferers have higher androgens, they are more likely to carry weight in their midsections. Among other problems this could cause include increased risk of heart disease, carrying more fat in your mid-section makes women with PCOS more likely to develop sleep apnoea too.

Lack of quality sleep is known to contribute to weight gain.

“Consequently, increased food intake due to changes in appetite hormones may result in weight gain. This means that, in the long term, sleep deprivation may lead to weight gain due to these changes in appetite,” says Emma Sweeney Lecturer in Exercise and Health, Nottingham Trent University in her article Why sleep is important to weight loss.

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While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.