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Having a diagnosis of PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) increases a person’s risk for other health conditions. One of the best ways to be proactive with your health is to start screening early, and take steps where you can to stay on top of your hormonal and metabolic health. Here are 4 recommended blood tests if you have PCOS:

  1. Vitamin D. In women with PCOS, there is an increased risk of vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency can exacerbate the symptoms and complications of PCOS. It is best to test your levels before supplementing as vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin. This means that excess levels will be stored in your body rather than excreted through your urine, and can lead to other health issues such as kidney stones.
  2. TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). Women with PCOS may have a higher prevalence of thyroid dysfunction than women without PCOS. Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland that stimulates the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones. Testing TSH levels can help to identify abnormalities in thyroid function. In some cases we can also consider testing thyroid antibodies, which will often be elevated 7-10 years before a diagnosis of hashimoto’s thyroiditis, one of the most common thyroid dysfunctions.
  3. Fasting glucose and HbA1C. Having PCOS is a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes and qualifies you for earlier screening. Fasting glucose is a reflection of your blood sugar at the time of the test, while HbA1C is a marker of your average blood sugar over the past 3 months. Both tests are used to screen for and diagnose diabetes and pre-diabetes.
  4. Cholesterol Panel. Women with PCOS may have higher levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides than women without PCOS. In addition, insulin resistance, which is a key feature of PCOS, can contribute to high cholesterol.

It can be scary to go for blood work and learn that there are areas of your health at an elevated risk. However, we can’t fix what we don’t know. These conditions are all treatable, and in most cases, reversible, when we act early!

Looking for more support? I’d be happy to work with you 1:1. Both virtual and in-person consultations are available through my office at Clarity Health. Appointments can be booked online, by calling 905-631-5353, or by emailing [email protected].