Mar 21

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Unusual Link Found Between Bipolar Disorder and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome


Unusual Link Found Between Bipolar Disorder and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome


Unusual Link Found Between Bipolar Disorder and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Researchers have found an unusual link between two common health problems. If you are a woman who has bipolar disorder, then you may also have polycystic ovarian syndrome. A study from the Department of Psychiatry at Dalhousie University focused on the link between bipolar disorder and polycystic ovarian syndrome. The discovery sheds more light on two difficult conditions that seem to be interwoven.

Researchers have noticed that women who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder are more likely to have menstrual cycle issues. These problems can range from abnormal cycle lengths to polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS. It is estimated that PCOS affects a total of 5 million women in the U.S. PCOS is considered to be an endocrine system disorder, and it appears as cysts on the ovaries. Some of the most frequent symptoms are unusual hair growth, infertility, irregular periods, skin problems and weight issues.

There appears to be a strong link between bipolar disorder and polycystic ovarian syndrome, but researchers hesitate to stay it is a cause and effect relationship. The two conditions may simply be more common together, or medications for one condition may be affecting the other. One study reveals that women who take valproate for their bipolar disorder are 47 percent more likely to also have PCOS. This drug is frequently prescribed because it is a mood stabilizer.

Some scientists believe that a hormone imbalance is responsible for both health problems. However, more studies are needed to determine how and why this occurs. Meanwhile, women who suffer from both bipolar disorder and polycystic ovarian syndrome should discuss their concerns with a doctor. Although both conditions are not easy to treat, there are solutions that may help you. Medications, surgery and lifestyle modifications are all options that can reduce symptoms. It is important that you address both conditions as you search for help.

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  1. 1

    I found this really interesting. I work with people with intellectual disabilities +/- emotional issues and would know women with this dual diagnosis.

  2. 2

    This is a very interesting article. No one in my family is bipolar but I believe there are a few with PCOS, they need to know this. Thank you for the information. 🙂

    1. 2.1

      Your welcome – glad to share information that helps others.

  3. 3
    ellen beck

    That is interesting. I have met women with both, and there has been aa difference in them after menopause. I do think many more things are hormonal than we think. If it is hormonal it would be a way to treat it differently.

    1. 3.1

      Ellen I agree! When hormones are involved you would defintely want to figure them into your treatment plan with bipolar! For men as well as women – I am thinking testosterone and all the hub ub about men and testosterone. That can make bipolar surface if they have a tendency!!

  4. 4
    Divyajit Vaghela

    Thanks for the info

  5. 5
    Alicia Hewitt

    I didn’t know this…great article.

  6. 6
    Dotty J Boucher

    Oh wow! this is really good information, I will have to share this on facebook because I know someone who is bipolor and never knew so much about it till now.

    1. 6.1

      Thanks for sharing Dotty.

  7. 7
    Holly Thomas

    If you think about it this really makes sense.

  8. 8

    very informative, thank you for sharing

  9. 9
    Terri Irvin

    The hormone imbalance makes sense to me and there is much research needed to be done in this area. I feel it has been ignored for far too long.

    1. 9.1

      I agree Terri! So much research with any mental health co morbidity is way overdue!

  10. 10

    This is interesting I have a niece with PCOS. She may be bipolar. I want to share this.

  11. 11
    Sarah L

    Fascinating article. Hormones are a strange thing.

  12. 12

    Definitely an interesting read. I wasn’t aware that there were links between these.

  13. 13
    Brandon Sparks

    Very good info to know. Thank you so much.. You have helped me out a lot here.

    1. 13.1

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Brandon!

  14. 14

    I really need to look at PCOS and rule it out or get treated. I’m pretty sure it’s a health problem for me.

  15. 15
    Deb E

    We only learn about separate disorders in nursing school and not so much the links between them. I need to read more about this in my nursing journals. Hormone imbalance is so common and sometimes hard to get right with diagnosis. Thanks for the info.

    1. 15.1

      Your Welcome Deb E

  16. 16

    This is really interesting. I have PCOS and definitely think my emotional ups-and-downs are affected by hormones. Though I don’t have bipolar disorder, I can see how it could manifest itself that way.

    1. 16.1

      Thanks for sharing your experiences with hormonal fluctuations in general Dianna

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