Seven years ago, Nancy started losing her hair and finding it in unwanted places.

"You have to have humor with this. So, you were taking my hair from here and then putting it, you know," she said, moving her hand from the top of her head to her chin. "I mean, facial hair as a woman is one of your worst nightmares."

The condition, called Hirsutism, is the most common symptom of Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, which impacts one in ten women.

A recent update to the Endocrine Society's clinical practice guideline reminds doctors to test women with abnormal hair growth for PCOS.

"It's very important for women who see that they may have Hirsutism, or excessive hair growth, or have excessive acne -- that's something they can bring to their doctor's attention, and there's different tests to find the diagnosis," said Dr. Melissa Sum, an endocrinologist at NYU Langone Medical Center.

PCOS is an overproduction of "male hormones" in women. It's not known why this happens, but it's thought to be a combination of genetics and environment.

It's a leading cause of infertility. And while growth of coarse hair in unwanted places is a common symptom, there's so much more that can come with it.

"You start sweating, and you get a huge gut," said Nancy. "And I was running the marathon every year and working out."

Left untreated, women with PCOS are at greater risk for obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

The Endocrine Society guidelines also now recommend lifestyle changes, including a healthy diet and regular exercise.

"[It's] certainly helpful with weight," said Dr. Sum. "And it has also been shown to be a little bit helpful for decreasing the hair growth."

For Nancy that means, on top of medication, she must maintain an aggressive diet plan, which has kept a diabetes diagnosis at bay.

"I'm 5'2" and weigh like 160 pounds," Nancy said. "But this is me doing a protein shake for breakfast and dinner, and then for lunch I have a salad or like a healthy wrap."

Ultimately, she's hoping for a cure for PCOS. In the meantime, she says she'll settle for greater awareness and compassion on how the condition impacts women.

"I actually feel beautiful just talking about it," she said. "Because I'm sharing my story with other women that might be going through this or something worse."