How Do Polycystic Ovaries Cause High Blood Pressure?

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is often a symptom that accompanies Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, also known as PCOS. Hypertension can be an extremely serious condition. High blood pressure often goes undiagnosed until it is very late. Over time, having high blood pressure increases the chances of having coronary disease, a heart attack or a stroke.

Insulin resistance, which often accompanies PCOS, can be at the root of high blood pressure. As insulin passes through your arteries, it can injure the arterial tissue and cause plaque. Arterial plaque is when cholesterol, calcium, other minerals, or cellular waste build up on the walls of the arteries. This is known as atheroscholerosis. Elevated levels of glucose and insulin cause a rise in triglycerides, which causes plaque. High insulin levels can also lead to high cholesterol, stroke, and coronary artery disease.

Treating high blood pressure when you have PCOS requires you to approach the disease from several different angles. There are medications, such as Lipitor, that can reduce the triglycerides in your system, thereby reducing plaque. In addition, managing your insulin levels effectively through diet and medications can help to get at the root cause of the plaque buildup that is causing you to have high blood pressure. Specific vitamins and minerals may also help.

In addition, a variety of lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, can help to manage both the insulin resistance as well as the high blood pressure often associated with PCOS. Replacing sugary carbohydrates with more complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, is a good step. Reducing the amount of fat and cholesterol can also help with high blood pressure. Regular exercise can not only help to strengthen the cardiac system, but can help to stimulate the body’s metabolism and better help it to process insulin.

If you have PCOS, you should discuss high blood pressure with your health care provider. He will be able to test you for high blood pressure, and may be able to help recommend a treatment plan that addresses high blood pressure, as well as other symptoms of PCOS that you may be experiencing.

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