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Lifestyle and herbal medicine effective in treatment of PCOS

Scientists at NICM, Western Sydney University have found significant improvements in the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) symptoms in overweight women by combining lifestyle interventions such as diet and exercise with a novel herbal formulation.

p>The research, published in the journal Phytotherapy Research was also presented at the Fertility Society of Australia Annual Conference 2017 in Adelaide and the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) Annual Meeting in Geneva.

The study involved 122 women aged 18-44 years with a confirmed medical diagnosis of PCOS from across NSW, QLD and VIC.

A common, under recognised and increasingly prevalent hormonal disorder, PCOS affects one in five young Australian women and one in four Australian Indigenous women.

Symptoms of PCOS include menstrual irregularity (infrequent, very light or absent), excessive levels of male hormones such as testosterone (hyperandrogenism), weight gain, difficulties with fertility, polycystic ovaries, metabolic disorders (e.g. insulin resistance, impaired glucose tolerance, type 2 diabetes mellitus, adverse cardiovascular risk profiles), quality of life and psychological disorders (e.g. anxiety and depression).

"Lifestyle modification is the current first line-intervention, however as many as seven in 10 women with PCOS use additional complementary medicine and approximately two out of five use –hence, we sought to test the most commonly used herbal interventions," said lead author and NICM adjunct research fellow Dr Susan Arentz.

"We conducted a randomised controlled trial over three months to determine the clinical effectiveness of combining a herbal medicine treatment with a , compared with lifestyle alone for improved menstrual regularity in with PCOS," said Dr Arentz.

Participants in both groups improved, however women in the group receiving herbal medicine and lifestyle intervention reported a greater improvement in menstrual regularity (32.9 per cent).

The average menstrual cycle length was 43 days shorter in the combination group compared to those in the lifestyle only study group, with over half (55 per cent) completing the trial with normal menstrual length (23-34 days) against 24 per cent in the control group.

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UAB Gardendale rendering.pngA rendering of a UAB emergency department and medical office building to be built in Gardendale. (UAB) 

UAB will break ground on a $33.9 million freestanding emergency department and medical office building in Gardendale on Nov. 2.

The new facilities to be located on 6.2 acres at 960 Mountain Olive Parkway will give residents of Gardendale and north Jefferson County access to essential medical services, according to the medical center.

Gov. Kay Ivey will attend the noon groundbreaking along with UAB and Gardendale officials.

Brasfield & Gorrie is the general contractor. Sims Architectural Studio is the architect for the emergency department, and Gresham Smith & Partners for the medical office building.

 "The freestanding emergency department and medical office building are major additions for the city of Gardendale," said Gardendale Mayor Stan Hogeland. "Knowing that we will have UAB emergency care available in our town at any hour of the day or night is a reassurance for our residents that first-class medical care is always close at hand. This is a step forward for Gardendale, one that will enhance our overall quality of life, improve access to medical care and stimulate our economy."

The freestanding emergency department will have 26,700 square feet of space and provide a full range of emergency medicine services staffed around the clock by physicians who are board-certified in emergency medicine. The facility will have an FAA-compliant heliport, advanced MRI/CT/X-ray imaging, 12 exam rooms, a bariatric lift, laboratory services, and a pharmacy. The emergency department will be capable of performing trauma care and will have facilities for isolation and decontamination.

The 38,400-square-foot, two-story medical office building will offer primary care, obstetrics, gastrointestinal care, orthopedics, cardiology, neurology, neurosurgery, ophthalmology and specialty care programs. It will feature a diagnostic imaging suite, lab services, telemedicine and digital public interface kiosks.

Together, the two medical facilities will employ more than 100 staff, including physicians, nurses, laboratory technicians, other medical professionals and office staff, according to UAB. 

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