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Be Aware, Proactive to Manage PCOS

Mar 19, 2019

Author: Joy Pape, MSN, FNP-C, CDE, WOCN, CFCN, FAADE

Woman, 43 years of age, PCOS, prediabetes, BMI 26, B/P 130/70, A1C 5.5%, Lipids, TC-156, HDL 52, Trig 76, LDL 84, mother of 3 children, visited today. She reports that her mother had PCOS, so was very carefully watching her as a child and adolescent hoping to prevent her from developing the complications of PCOS, such as infertility, obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and/or cancer later in life.

The patient states that she has always fought her weight, and had hirsutism. Her mother recognized these symptoms in her, took her to an OBGYN and endocrinologist early. She started making more lifestyle changes at home to help her daughter keep her weight down. She did not keep sugar-sweetened beverages in the home, encouraged drinking water, being active and eating real foods, not junk foods. Her mother did this in the way of being more of an example than a “preacher,” which she thinks helped her be more open to this type of lifestyle. It was just a way of life she knew growing up.


When she started her menstruating, her periods were not regular at all. Because her mother had put together a medical team already, she followed up reporting the irregular periods. The patient was officially diagnosed as having PCOS, started on metformin, and encouraged to keep with the lifestyle she was doing. Doing this helped her regulate her periods. Since she was aware of the complications of PCOS, she has been diligent in monitoring her blood pressure and lipids and sees her gynecologist regularly for her recommended exams. Thus far she has been able to prevent the complications of PCOS; she has not been diagnosed with infertility, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, or cancer. She and we are all in agreement that she and her mother have done a great job being proactive in managing her PCOS. Thus far, disaster averted by being proactive.

Lessons Learned:

  • Early detection of PCOS and management may help women prevent complications of PCOS, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and/or stroke.
  • We need more awareness of PCOS, what it is, and how to recognize and manage it.
  • When teaching about how to manage PCOS, be an example, not a “preacher.”
  • See articles in this newsletter to learn more about PCOS.

Joy Pape, FNP-CDE
Medical Editor, DiabetesInControl

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