Tag Archives: Women’s Health

“Sometimes it’s hard to see the rainbow when there’s been endless days of rain.” ―Christina Greer

pcosI know many of you are still confused about all that is going on in my life.Which is why I decided to make a blog post about one specific aspect of my life that many are ignorant on, through no fault of their own.

In August of last year, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), view my post on that here. Of course, I had no idea what it was, no one I knew had ever mentioned having it nor was it in the media like cancer or diabetes. What even is PCOS? What does it mean to have it? What are complications that arise from PCOS? Will I be ok? What can I do to make sure it doesn’t get worse? I had all of these questions and more. I was harboring them inside of me and I was afraid to let everyone know because I was worried enough, I didn’t want to worry anyone else. The couple people I actually opened up to just brushed it off as nothing. But sadly, it’s not nothing. It’s something bigger than we all thought. In my previous post I really just spoke about what the symptoms were and added a list of famous people who also have PCOS. This time I am going to give you a few things that I have learned since then.

  • pcos plateAvoiding gluten and dairy help
  • A low GI diet is important
  • Being active is vital, strength training as well as cardio
  • Losing weight (when overweight) helps immensely. According to PCOS for Dummies, “If you are an overweight woman with PCOS, even a modest weight loss of 5 percent leads to
    1. A decrease in your insulin level
    2. An improvement in your menstrual cycle (or acts as a trigger for it to start again)
    3. Reduced testosterone levels, leading to reductions in hirsutism and acne
  • Every issue I’ve been dealing with (digestive issues, depression, acne, weight gain, irregular menstruation, vitamin D deficiency, and many other things) are linked together with PCOS
  • 75% of women with PCOS have a relative with PCOS as well

I have made a whole board on Pinterest full of helpful stuff for managing PCOS, which you can find here. I also have a board for gluten/dairy free recipes and foods that you can visit here. I will be attempting to be gluten and dairy free, though I know it will take time. I am starting off small. Right now, I am focusing on following the PCOS plate so we will see how this goes.

I hope this helped everyone understand at least a little bit about what is going on inside of me. I also hope this helps everyone have a better understanding of my diet, so if I say I can’t have something it’s not because I don’t like it. I want to help my body be happy.

As always, thank you for visiting my blog! I hope you come back to read more. If you still have questions, check out the image and video below. I will talk more about PCOS later so please don’t think I’m leaving you out to dry. Stay tuned!

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“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only option you have left.” ―Ziad K. Abdelnour

A few months ago I went to the gynecologist only to come out with some shocking news. You never want to hear any statement that begins with “You have….” and continues on to say something that you have. Especially when it’s an incurable thing

I’ve always wondered if there was something there but someone always had an answer for my issues. I’ve wondered why I have never been menstruating regularly. “Oh, that’s normal.” Why did I started gaining weight so easily after puberty and haven’t been able to work it off, just gain more? “Oh, it’s just hormones.” I’ve wondered why so much of my hair comes out in the shower EVERY DAY. “Everyone sheds hair everyday.” Why was I suddenly suffering with depression? “Well, you have gone through a lot of trauma in your life.” Why do I grow hair where I shouldn’t? “Many women have facial hair, it’s pretty normal.” Why can I never fall asleep at night? “You’re not active enough during the day.”

Someone always had an answer to come back with for every question I ever asked so I eventually stopped asking. Until the other day. I didn’t ask the questions but I finally got the answer to them from her. “You have PCOS, you are the definition of it. How did no one talk to you about this before?”

I know what you are thinking, what on earth is PCOS? Well, it stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and it is the leading cause of female infertility. There are over 200,000 cases in the US alone! And many women go undiagnosed, like I was.

Here are a list of symptoms found on the official website for PCOS:

Women with PCOS typically have irregular or missed periods as a result of not ovulating. Although some women may develop cysts on their ovaries, many women do not.

Other symptoms include:

  • Weight gain. About half of women with PCOS will have weight gain and obesity that is difficult to manage.
  • Fatigue. Many women with PCOS report increased fatigue and low energy. Related issues such as poor sleep may contribute to the feeling of fatigue.
  • Unwanted hair growth (also known as hirsutism). Areas affected by excess hair growth may include the face, arms, back, chest, thumbs, toes, and abdomen. Hirsutism  related to PCOS is due to hormonal changes in androgens.
  • Thinning hair on the head. Hair loss related to PCOS may increase in middle age.
  • Infertility. PCOS is a leading cause of female infertility. However, not every woman with PCOS is the same. Although some women may need the assistance of fertility treatments, others are able to conceive naturally.
  • Acne. Hormonal changes related to androgens can lead to acne problems. Other skin changes such as the development of skin tags and darkened patches of skin are also related to PCOS.
  • Mood changes. Having PCOS can increase the likelihood of mood swings, depression, and anxiety.
  • Pelvic pain. Pelvic pain may occur with periods, along with heavy bleeding. It may also occur when a woman isn’t bleeding.
  • Headaches. Hormonal changes prompt headaches.
  • Sleep problems. Women with PCOS often report problems such as insomnia or poor sleep. There are many factors that can affect sleep, but PCOS has been linked to a sleep disorder called sleep apnea.  With sleep apnea, a person will stop breathing for short periods of time during sleep.

As you can see, symptoms of PCOS are not pleasant. But that is exactly why women’s health care is so important. We need to help people with incurable ailments, such as this, as well as curable ones.

Though it isn’t curable, there are treatment options. Of course, the number one treatment is being place on birth control to stabilize your menstrual cycle. Often times, women get placed on metformin as well to help with various symptoms. I have not been placed on either. There is a pill that a doctor can give you if you haven’t menstruated in the last 90 days to cause you to menstruate so your body can clean itself out. This is what I will be taking if need be.

I know celebrities are a big part of our society so here is a small list of famous women who has struggled with PCOS:

  • Jillian Michaels

  • Emma Thompson

  • Victoria Beckham

  • Rebecca Atkinson

  • Jools Oliver

  • Sasha Pieterse

There is an entire month devoted to PCOS awareness, September. I wish I had known sooner that way I could participate but now I know for next month. But until then, if you see a teal ribbon anywhere, it’s for PCOS.

pcos-ribbon-md

         As always, thank you for reading my post and I hope this has helped you understand PCOS and how it can affect you. If you think you might have it, talk to your doctor right away.

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