I am glad you found our website and decided to write in! Is your only symptom menstrual irregularity? If so you might just want to get your hormone levels checked to see if there is a hormonal reason for the irregularity. PCOS is notoriously difficult to diagnose. It is a diagnosis of exclusion. In other words, it is important to rule out other diseases that can cause symptoms similar to PCOS (such as Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia). To diagnose PCOS, we use a combination of clinical symptoms (what you experience as the patient, such as excess hair growth, irregular menses, acne, skin tags, weight gain, infertility, etc.) and lab tests.
The blood tests to consider are:
- testosterone- elevated in PCOS
- DHEA-S- elevated in PCOS
- Fasting insulin- elevated in PCOS. Some doctors may hesitate to order this test because the normal range (0-20) is so wide. However, we find that results greater than 9 indicate insulin resistance. insulin resistance is usually the underlying cause of PCOS, as you may have read about on our site.
- Fasting glucose or glucose tolerance test- elevated in PCOS. Using this information in combination with the fasting insulin helps to diagnose insulin resistance. Also, women with PCOS have a higher risk of diabetes so it is important to screen for this early and often.
- LH: FSH- Some doctors may also look at the ratio between these two hormones. In PCOS, we would expect LH to be elevated in comparison to FSH.
- You could get an ultrasound to check for the presence of ovarian cysts. Even if the ovaries do appear normal, the absence of ovarian cysts does not mean that you don't have PCOS. Not everyone with PCOS has ovarian cysts.
- I would also check your cholesterol levels and liver function tests, as these can also be abnormal in PCOS (as well as in many other conditions).
Lab testing is not mandatory for diagnosing PCOS, especially if you are experiencing so many of the symptoms. However, the above tests do give us numbers which, along with the improvement of your clinical symptoms, help us monitor your progress.
I hope this information is helpful for you! There is amazing customer support at Insulite Labs for our customers; we are here to help you through this healing journey. Please don't hesitate to contact us again if you have any other questions or concerns. We are here to help out and want to make sure that the Insulite System works for you.
Dr. Andrea Lee, ND
Insulite Laboratories Consulting & Advisory Teams
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this posting and the Insulite Labs website is for the sole purpose of being informative. This information is not and should not be used or relied upon as medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician, nurse or other qualified health care provider before you undergo any treatment, take any medication, supplements or other nutritional support, or for answers to any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.