Thyroid disorders and polycystic ovary syndrome: An emerging relationship
As the prevalence of these endocrine dysfunctions increases, the association of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and autoimmune thyroid disease is increasingly being recognised. While the causality of this association is still uncertain, the two conditions share a bidirectional relationship. The exact nature of this link has not been elucidated yet. Both syndromes share certain common characteristics, risk factors, and pathophysiological abnormalities. Simultaneously, certain etiopathogenetic factors that operate to create these dysfunctions are dissimilar. Polycystic appearing ovaries are a clinical feature of hypothyroidism, though hypothyroidism should be excluded before diagnosing PCOS. Adiposity, increased insulin resistance, high leptin, evidence of deranged autoimmunity, all of which are present in both disease states, seem to play a complex role in connecting these two disorders. This brief communication explores the nature of the relationship between PCOS and hypothyroidism. It reviews current data and analyses them to present a unified pathophysiological basis, incorporating these complex relationships, for the same.