Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Stein-Leventhal syndrome

Stein-Leventhal syndrome, also called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), is a clinical condition of abnormal body-fat gain, infertility (abnormal menstrual cycles), acne and increased facial hair.

It occurs only in women and is strongly associated with problems related to blood sugar balance, such as insulin resistance and diabetes.

Insulin secretion increases the production and secretion of androgens from the adrenal gland, where they are made. Androgens are the ‘male’ hormones that both men and women have.

(Left) Irving Freiler Stein (1887-1976); (right) Michael Leo Leventhal (1901-1971)
Women as well as men need the right amount of these hormones for normal body physiology. But if androgens are overproduced in a women they can lead to increased facial hair, acne and irregular period and infertility as well as body-fat gain around the middle.

The syndrome was first described in 1935 when American gynecologists Irving F. Stein, Sr., and Michael L. Leventhal associated the presence of ovarian cysts with anovulation.

The basic symptoms are the following:
*Irregular ovulation with or without a monthly period
*A relative lack of menstrual periods or irregular monthly periods
*Hyper hair growth on the face and body
*Thinning scalp hair
*Many unruptured follicles on the ovaries, misdiagnosed as cysts 
Stein-Leventhal syndrome
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