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From New York City, New York, USA:

I am 24 years old and was diagnosed with diabetes a little over one year ago. I have always had irregular periods, usually only getting my period around four times a year. When I was nineteen I had a blood test and my doctor diagnosed me with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and I was put on birth control pills to regulate this. The major symptoms of PCOS are obesity, excessive hair growth and irregular periods. I have never had a weight problem - I'm 5'4" and 115 pounds and do not have excessive hair growth, my only symptom was irregular periods. Do you know if it is possible to be diagnosed with PCOS by just a blood test? Since I have been on the pill I have been having normal periods. However, I have recently been hearing and reading a lot about the possibility of a relationship between PCOS and diabetes. I was wondering what you knew about this topic (can PCOS lead to diabetes?) or where I could be directed to find out more information.


The diagnosis of PCOS is based on clinical findings as well as blood tests. The underlying disorder is infrequent or absent ovulation. There is a relationship between PCOS and diabetes, specifically Type 2 diabetes. I have provided two references and you should speak with your physician further about this.

  1. Dunaif A, Hyperandrogenic anovulation (PCOS): a unique disorder of insulin action associated with an increased risk of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, American Journal of Medicine 98 (1A):33S-39S, 1995, January 16.

  2. Prelevic GM, Insulin resistance in polycystic ovary syndrome, Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology. 9(3):193-201, 1997, June.


Original posting 16 Mar 1998
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms and Other Illnesses


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