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Endocrine Glands
October 2001

Q. My daughter is 28-years-old. After giving birth to a healthy baby girl eight years ago, she developed abnormal hair growth on her face, arms, and back. She also has been severely obese, not normally characteristic for her. After many doctor visits, they have offered her no means of treatment. She was told that she has high levels of testosterone, but that there is no way to adjust it. Can you offer any suggestions on how to deal with this problem?

A. The weight gain and hair growth you describe suggest a problem of the endocrine glands, which may involve the ovaries, adrenals, or pituitary. Your family doctor, gynecologist, or an endocrinologist can decide how to proceed with further evaluation. Determining the correct diagnosis will be the key to treatment. Here are some internet references and more details on one such condition, known as polycystic ovary syndrome.

http://www.familydoctor.org/handouts/210.html

http://www.familydoctor.org/handouts/620.html

http://www.pcosupport.org/

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