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September 24, 2001

Other Illnesses, Type 2

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Question from Tewksbury, Massachusetts, USA:

I have newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes and bilateral ovarian cysts. Are ovarian cysts a common complication of diabetes? Are the two not related? If I opt for surgical removal of the ovaries, can I expect complications as a result of the diabetes?

Answer:

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a collection of clinical features which include irregular menses, obesity, insulin resistance (increasing risk of type 2 diabetes), excess hair growth, and elevated lipids. I would not say that polycystic ovaries are not a complication of type 2 diabetes. Rather, polycystic ovary syndrome is associated with insulin resistance and diabetes.

Removing the ovaries is not necessarily associated with improvement of type 2 diabetes. The recommended clinical approach would be to address the diabetes with weight loss and a healthy lifestyle which will improve the elements of the polycystic ovary syndrome.

JTL