Insulin-Sensitizing Agents

Many women with PCOS have a decreased sensitivity to insulin for which their bodies compensate by overproducing insulin. The resulting high levels of insulin may contribute to excessive production of androgens (male hormones, such as testosterone) and contribute to ovulation disorders. In addition to reproductive problems, women with PCOS have a higher chance of developing medical problems such as Type 2 (non-insulin dependent) diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. By the age of 40, up to 40% of PCOS patients develop impaired glucose tolerance or clinical diabetes.  Recently, new drugs approved by the FDA for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes have shown promise for PCOS. These drugs, known as insulin sensitizing agents, have been shown to improve the body’s response to insulin, thereby reducing the need for excess insulin and restoring the levels to normal.

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