Fight on

I found out what I knew already because of a loving family member who guess that I have what she has. Too a few doctors said yes I think you have and then I helped fight the insurance company.

10 Things You Shouldn’t Do When You Have PCOS

Having PCOS doesn’t mean that your life is over. There are a lot of things you can do to keep yourself healthy and minimize your risk for developing complications later in life. Check out this list of 10 things you shouldn’t do when you have PCOS.

  1. Don’t Smoke: Smoking can increase your risk for heart disease, atherosclerosis and diabetes. You are also at a much higher risk for developing those conditions when you have PCOS, so do yourself a favor and skip behaviors that will only make that risk higher. Check with your doctor if you need help kicking the habit.

  2. Don’t Eat High-Sugar Foods: As you probably know, PCOS is linked to insulin resistance. This alters the way your body is able to process and deal with sugar. If left unchecked, it can lead to diabetes and significantly worse complications. This isn’t to say that you have to avoid all sugars or switch to artificial sweeteners, but focus on eating natural and whole foods and try to eliminate as many processed foods as possible from your diet.

  3. Don’t Be a Couch Potato: We all know how important exercise is. And when you have PCOS, it’s especially important to help lower your risk for heart disease and obesity. There’s no need to join a gym, get all kinds of fancy equipment, or even spend hours working out. Instead, try to spend 30 minutes a day, a few times a week, walking. Make it fun by walking at a park, at your local mall, or with friends.

  4. Don’t Skip Doctor’s Appointments: Your doctor can help you monitor for complications and keep you healthy. The scheduled visits are important to keep track of your health and make sure that you stay symptom-free. This is especially important if you are undergoing infertility treatment. Some of the medications can cause severe complications and you need to be monitored.

  5. Don’t Forget to Keep Track of Your Periods: Not having regular periods can put you at risk for endometrial cancer. Though rare, frequent missed periods can increase your chance of developing this complication. When life gets busy, it can be easy to lose track of when your last period was, but designate a special place or calendar to mark it down. Let your doctor know if you are consistently missing periods or if there is more than 40 to 50 days between them.

  6. Don’t Ignore Your Symptoms: The good thing about PCOS is that there are a lot of medication and treatment options available. There’s no need to disregard your symptoms or assume that they are something that you just have to deal with. Check in with your doctor regularly to discuss your symptoms, and don’t be afraid to say that the treatment isn’t working.

  7. Don’t Underestimate Your Need for Sleep: Sleep is important! Not having enough of it can interrupt the hormones that control your hunger. This can lead you to consume more calories — typically not from healthy foods. Getting enough sleep can actually help you lose weight and make you feel better. Most people need six to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.

  8. Don’t Take Your Medication Irregularly: Medications, like the birth control pill, work best when taken as prescribed and at regular intervals. Skipping doses or not taking it regularly can make the medication ineffective, or even dangerous. For example, taking metformin if you are not planning on eating can cause your blood sugar to drop to dangerously low levels. Make sure you understand how and when to take your medication when you pick it up from the pharmacy.

  9. Don’t Ignore Symptoms of Depression: Depression isn’t just something you can “snap out of.” It is a serious condition that needs to be addressed by a mental health professional. It is known that women with PCOS are significantly more likely to have problems with depression. If you think you might be depressed and are experiencing symptoms like sadness, difficulty eating or sleeping, weight loss or gain, or sleeping and eating too much, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor or make an appointment with a counselor.

  10. Don’t Keep it to Yourself: PCOS can be a challenging condition, and having a good support structure is crucial. So, if you don’t know anyone else who has PCOS or don’t have anyone with whom you talk about it, find a support group. There are many organizations that offer places where you can meet other women with PCOS. Check in with your doctor for ideas, too.

PCOS and Weight Loss: Why It Is So Hard

Have PCOS and struggling to lose weight? You’re not alone. Half of all women with PCOS are overweight. Advice from health care providers is to lose weight but those with this syndrome know, it’s not that easy. Here are some reasons that explain why it’s so much harder for women with PCOS to lose weight.

Your Body is in Fat Storage Mode
Insulin is a hormone that we all need to survive. Insulin transports glucose (our body’s main source of fuel) from our bloodstream into our cells where it can be used as energy.

Since insulin is a growth hormone, too much of it promotes fat storage or weight gain, mostly in your midsection, resembling a “spare tire” above your belly button. If you are gaining lots of weight or can’t lose weight without significant changes to diet or exercise, excess insulin could be the culprit. Treatment options for PCOS are typically aimed at reducing insulin levels and involve diet modifications, exercise, and medications or supplements.

You’re Hungrier
Part of promoting fat storage, insulin acts as an appetite stimulating hormone. High levels of insulin could possibly explain why some researchers believe that women with PCOS may experience more hunger than someone without the condition. Strong, intense even urgent cravings are reported in women who are insulin resistant. If not managed, these cravings can sabotage even the beset eating habits, leading to higher calorie consumption and weight gain.
Eating often, including sufficient protein with meals, and avoiding sugary foods are all helpful ways to reduce cravings.

Impaired Appetite Regulating Hormones
Another possible factor that could make weight loss and weight maintenance difficult for women with PCOS is abnormal hormonal influences that regulate appetite and satiety. Levels of appetite regulating hormones ghrelin, cholecystokinin, and leptin have been shown to be impaired in women with PCOS. Dysfunctional levels of these hormones may stimulate hunger in women with PCOS, resulting in increased food intake and difficulty managing weight.

Your Diet is Imbalanced
If you’ve been watching your diet and still aren’t seeing the pounds come off, it could be the types of foods you are eating. A 2010 study compared a low glycemic index diet to a regular, healthy fiber diet in women with PCOS. Both groups ate the same amount of calories and consumed the same distribution of macronutrients (50% carbohydrate, 23% protein, 27% fat, 34 grams fiber). The only difference was the glycemic index of foods. The women with PCOS who followed the low GI diet showed a 3-fold greater improvement in insulin and had better menstrual regularity. These findings suggest that those with high insulin levels may be able to lose more weight following a low glycemic index diet.
Not eating enough fruits and vegetables can also impact weight loss. A study published this year in the Journal of Hormone and Metabolic Research found that women with PCOS who followed the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan showed improvements in insulin and abdominal fat loss. The DASH diet consisted of 52% carbohydrates, 18% proteins, and 30% total fats, and rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products.

You Have Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Women with PCOS are at a much higher risk for obstructive sleep apnea compared with women without the condition. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when there is a blockage of the upper airway that causes a lack of oxygen during sleep. This results in daytime sleepiness, high blood pressure, and weight gain.
While excess body weight is a main contributing factor to sleep apnea, high levels of androgens (male hormones such as testosterone) seen in PCOS, are believed to play a role in affecting sleep receptors. Lack of sleep is associated with insulin resistance and weight gain. The more severe sleep apnea is, the higher the risk of impaired glucose tolerance, which is why it’s recommended that all women with PCOS get screened for obstructive sleep apnea and receive proper treatment if diagnosed.

10 Things No One Tells You About PCOS

It wouldn’t be shocking to hear that your friend, sister or colleague is suffering with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). After all, the condition has become increasingly common. Causing a hormonal imbalance in a woman’s body, PCOS often results in an irregular menstruation cycle. But there’s a lot more to the disorder that no one bothers to discuss. Here are 10 thing you probably didn’t know about PCOS.shocking_face

  1. One check is not enough: PCOS is a common condition found in women across the globe. The reason for this condition, however, is still a mystery. Science suggests that genes may play a role but PCOS is not often diagnosed easily. Hence, a single check may not be enough. If you notice symptoms of PCOS such as irregular periods, facial hair, moodiness etc, get yourself checked at regular intervals.

  2. PCOS may lead to diabetes: One of the symptoms of PCOS is insulin resistance. This alters the way your body processes sugar, which can later lead to diabetes. Avoid high sugar processed foods if diagnosed with PCOS.

  3. PCOS can cause depression: Many women are not aware that depression is also a symptom of PCOS. If you have difficulty in sleeping, eating and relaxing, or you feel sad and depressed all the time, consult your doctor or a counselor immediately. These are early signs of depression.

  4. Without medical support PCOS can worsen: There is no shame in having PCOS. If you see symptoms of the disorder, it is advisable to seek medical help. Appropriate and consistent medication can help you deal better with PCOS and prevent it from recurring.

  5. You can still conceive: Many women worry about whether or not they can conceive after being diagnosed with PCOS. Well, medical science has shown that women suffering from PCOS may have difficulty conceiving but it is not impossible. In fact, you can even have a natural delivery.

  6. Diet and exercise is very important: Apart from regular medication, diet and exercise play a major role in treating PCOS effectively. Protein-rich food and herbs like garlic, ginger and basil can help you maintain your insulin levels. A 30-minute walk every day can also help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

  7. PCOS may affect your breast milk supply: Medical science indicates that due to hormone imbalance that relates to PCOS, the development of milk in the breasts gets affected. However, many women who suffer from PCOS can breastfeed without any trouble. Therefore, when you conceive, consult your doctor for a brief check-up of your breasts.

  8. PCOS is for life but improve PCOS symptoms: Many doctors suggest that PCOS cannot be cured true. It can only be controlled from being at its worst. Well, not in all cases. Many women, with proper medication and a healthy lifestyle have been able to make their lives better with PCOS.

  9. Weight loss can have an impact: PCOS prevents your body from processing sugar quickly. As a result, there could be weight gain coupled with cholesterol and blood pressure problems. Therefore, doctors suggest weight control and weight loss as a way to deal with PCOS. Research shows that losing even five percent of the weight can help improve PCOS symptoms.

  10. You are not alone: PCOS is a common problem in women often caused by a hectic lifestyle and unhealthy diet. With medicine and balancing the sugar intake, you can control PCOS improve PCOS symptoms.

10 Things Women With PCOS Are Tired Of Explaining


  1. Exactly What PCOS Is: PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, a common condition in women of childbearing age. Women who suffer from PCOS experience an imbalance of sex-hormones, including higher levels of testosterone. Common symptoms of PCOS include acne, hair loss or thinning, excess body hair growth, extremely heavy and/or painful and in some instances, periods last for weeks at a time, irregular or absent menstrual periods, infertility, along with weight gain.

  2. Why You Have Been Taking Birth Control For Years: It’s not because you were sexually active at age 11. Birth control medications or oral contraceptives, are commonly prescribed to women and even young girls with PCOS to regulate menstrual cycles.

  3. That It’s Not Just a Bad Period: For some women with PCOS, periods may be extremely heavy and painful and in some instances, last for weeks at a time. Their periods are far from normal.

  4. Why You May Have Trouble Getting Pregnant: PCOS is one of the most common causes of ovulatory infertility. Even if a woman with PCOS does get her period, it doesn’t necessarily mean she’s ovulating. In addition, because of the hormone imbalance, women with PCOS may experience more miscarriages than those without the condition.

  5. That You Aren’t Diabetic: Metformin is a common diabetes medication often prescribed to women with PCOS to reduce insulin levels. Taking metformin or other insulin-lowering medications doesn’t mean you have type 2 diabetes.

  6. Why You Can’t Just Lose Weight: Weight loss is much easier said than done if you don’t have PCOS. Over half of all women with PCOS are overweight having experienced gradual or even rapid weight gain. The reason? Insulin, a hormone that promotes weight gain, is higher among women with PCOS. Higher insulin levels also makes losing weight more difficult. Commercial diet plans are rarely effective for weight loss in PCOS. Women with PCOS need nutrition advice that specifically addresses their unique needs. Working with a registered dietitian nutritionist who specializes in PCOS is highly recommended.

  7. Why You Are So Hairy: Umm, thank you for making me feel like an animal on display at the zoo. High testosterone can cause excess hair growth in women. Women with PCOS may experience hair above their lips, on their chin, and sideburns, as well as more hair on the rest of their bodies. Women with this unwanted symptom of PCOS spend a lot of time and money as to not appear “hairy.”

  8. When Are You Due: So many women with PCOS wish this statement were true. Women with PCOS tend to carry excess weight around their mid-section, making them look pregnant when they aren’t. This excess weight is the result of extra insulin being stored as fat.

  9. Just Wear a Wig: Hair loss is perhaps one of the most devastating aspects of PCOS. High levels of testosterone in women can cause hair loss. Over time, women with PCOS may experience thinning hair or even male-pattern baldness. This can be detrimental to their self-esteem and confidence as a woman. Women with PCOS don’t want to wear a wig. They just want their hair back.

  10. Relax, It’ll Get Better: Unfortunately, PCOS doesn’t get better and can get worse with age if not managed. Long-term complications of PCOS can include the development of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome. The best treatment approaches for PCOS involve diet and lifestyle changes.

7 Things You Need to Know About PCOS That May Surprise You


As we all know, at least 1 in 10 women are diagnosed with PCOS and everyday more and more women are added to our numbers. For so many of us, we get the diagnosis and are then left to our own devices, with very little information and support. I asked the women on the PCOS Diet Support Facebook page what they think every woman with PCOS needs to know. Here is what they said:


You are Not Alone

PCOS can often leave us feeling isolated and alone. The symptoms are embarrassing and not something we tend to speak about so it’s hard to find other women with the same diagnosis.

But, you really aren’t alone! There are hundreds of thousands of women with PCOS and so many of us know what you are going through. So, if you have just been diagnosed, take heart that you are not alone and why not check out the PCOS Diet Support Facebook page to connect with women who know what you’re going through.

Diet and Exercise are the Best Medicine for PCOS

I’ve mentioned this in a number of previous articles and this is the foundation of this blog and my own management of PCOS. Researchers have found that diet and lifestyle changes are often more effective than medication in managing PCOS and should always be first line of treatment (1)

So, what is the best diet for PCOS?

You can Fall Pregnant

One of the most difficult symptoms of PCOS is the difficulty falling pregnant. We are often diagnosed as we’re trying to conceive but are struggling to. I have also heard of many women being told that they will not be able to have children when they are diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. This is simply not true.

I am one of thousands of women with PCOS who have fallen pregnant naturally and I have two beautiful children. There are many thousands more who may have needed help in the form of fertility treatment but they have also fallen pregnant. So, the bottom line is that just because you have been diagnosed with PCOS, does not mean that you will be unable to fall pregnant.

PCOS is for Life

Doctors are unsure of how PCOS develops or why we have it although scientists have recently identidies the genee thought to cause PCOS. PCOS seems to be caused by our insulin releasing cells over responding to carbohydrates and releasing too much insulin. This excess insulin acts on our ovaries (and adrenal glands), causing them to produce too much testosterone.

Basically, there is something fundamentally broken in our bodies and this is not going to go away. We can certainly manage it and our symptoms and we don’t have to be slaves to our PCOS. But, PCOS is not going to go away and we need to get control of it NOW.

PCOS Doesn’t Define You

PCOS tends to strike the core of who we are as women and can make us feel much less than we are. There is very little that is attractive about PCOS: hair growing in places you don’t want it, that extra tyre around your belly, skin of a teenager. But those things don’t define you. This is what I think defines a woman with PCOS:


  • We are so courageous, facing this condition day in and day out, with perseverance and determination, not letting it get in our way.

  • We are strong, fighting our bodies and our cravings, determined not to give in but sticking to our plan so that we reach our goals (whether it be to improve our skin, lose weight or have a baby).

  • We are creative, finding ways to make food fun and use it as our medicine.

  • We are so loving and supportive, reaching out to each other, feeling each other’s pain and encouraging each other to keep moving forward.

  • More than anything, we are BEAUTIFUL (whether we feel it or not).

You have the Right to Excellent Medical Care

I have come across this time and time again and I have experienced it myself. So many of us are diagnosed and then left to our own devices. I was only offered treatment if I wanted to fall pregnant otherwise I was largely brushed off.

If you feel that your doctor isn’t listening to you or hearing you; if you feel that you’re not getting the help that you need, you should ask for a second opinion or a referral to a doctor who specializes in PCOS. You are in charge of your health and you need to make sure that you are getting the right support to manage it in the long term.

Also, it is important to remember that many women with PCOS also have other medical needs. Diabetes, thyroid problems, depression and anxiety and cardiovascular disease are often associated with PCOS. If you feel that your symptoms are not getting better in spite of following a PCOS diet and regular exercise, you could have other medical problems that also need to be addressed.

It will Take Time

Treating PCOS (either through diet and lifestyle or medication) takes time and is an exercise in patience. Many of the symptoms will take time to improve and get under control. So, if you don’t see results immediately, be patient and keep on keeping on. It will get better, it just takes some time.

So, these are some of the things that every woman with PCOS should know. If you think that I’ve left something out, leave me a comment and let me know!

Symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome You Should Know

The symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) usually become apparent in your late teens or early twenties.

Not all women with PCOS have all of the symptoms. Each symptom can vary from mild to severe. In many women, the only symptoms are menstrual problems or a failure to conceive.

Common symptoms of PCOS include:


  • irregular periods or no periods at all

  • difficulty getting pregnant (because of irregular ovulation or failure to ovulate)

  • excessive hair growth (hirsutism) – usually on the face, chest, back or buttocks

  • weight gain

  • thinning hair and hair loss from the head

  • oily skin or acne

You should talk to your GP if you have any of these symptoms and think you may have PCOS.

Fertility problems

PCOS is one of the most common causes of female infertility. Many women discover they have PCOS when they’re trying to get pregnant and are unsuccessful.

During each menstrual cycle, the ovaries release an egg (ovum) into the uterus (womb). This process is called ovulation and usually occurs once a month.

However, women with PCOS often fail to ovulate or ovulate infrequently, which means they have irregular or absent periods and find it difficult to get pregnant.

Risks in later life

Having PCOS can increase your chances of developing other health problems in later life. For example, women with PCOS are at increased risk of developing:


  • type 2 diabetes – a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high

  • depression and mood swings – because the symptoms of PCOS can affect your confidence and self-esteem

  • high blood pressure and high cholesterol – which can lead to heart disease and stroke

  • sleep apnoea – overweight women may also develop sleep apnoea, a condition that causes interrupted breathing during sleep

Women who have had absent or very irregular periods (fewer than three or four periods a year) for many years have a higher-than-average risk of developing cancer of the womb lining (endometrial cancer).

However, the chance of getting endometrial cancer is still small and can be minimised using treatments to regulate periods, such as the contraceptive pill or an intrauterine system (IUS).

List of Foods PCOS Sufferers Should Avoid

PCOS, also known as polycystic ovary syndrome, is a hormonal condition that commonly occurs in women of reproductive age. It causes numerous symptoms including acne, obesity, prolonged menstrual periods and excess hair growth. The first sign of PCOS is often unexplained weight gain, according to MayoClinic.com. Diagnosing and treating PCOS early, via a medically supervised diet and lifestyle, can reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes and other long-term complications. PCOS sufferers are best off if they avoid certain foods that may worsen their condition.


Sugary Foods

According to GirlsHealth.gov, many PCOS sufferers have higher insulin levels than normal. This can cause difficulty losing weight, as insulin’s primary role is controlling blood sugar — it can also cause fat storage. Eating fewer sugars and simple carbohydrates can help you lose weight, feel better and lower your diabetes risk. Sugary foods are typically pure simple carbohydrates and they cause unhealthful spikes in blood sugar. PCOS sufferers should avoid sweetened juices, sweetened cereals, cookies, cakes, candies, sodas, syrups and other sugary foods. Foods with sugar-free sweeteners such as stevia are acceptable, though.


Foods Made With White Flour

White flour is a simple carbohydrate that most PCOS sufferers should avoid. Breads, bagels, cereals, cookies, muffins, cupcakes and other baked goods are common sources of white flour. When baked goods made with white flour are sweetened, they become even richer in simple carbs. Opt for baked goods made with whole-wheat, whole-grain or multi-grain flours instead.


Sodium-Rich Foods
PCOS sufferers should limit their sodium intake to a maximum of 2,300 milligrams per day, or — to be cautious — 1,500 milligrams daily. Skip high-sodium foods like smoked meats, canned vegetables, pre-made broths, commercial marinades and sauces, chips, salted nuts and canned soups. Instead, season dishes with fresh herbs, lemon juice, vinegar, cracked black pepper, ground white pepper or mustard. The sodium content of foods is clearly stated on their labels; pay attention not only to the sodium content, but also to the serving size. A single teaspoon of salt has more than a day’s allotment of sodium.


Fatty Foods

PCOS sufferers should avoid saturated fats and instead opt for lean meats, fat-free dairy, fat-free dressing, white meat and skinless poultry. Instead of frying food, steam, broil, bake, grill or even microwave them to avoid excess oil. When you must use oil, opt for types such as olive oil that are high in unsaturated fats. Check the labels on all foods and eliminate those high in saturated fats and cholesterol.


Considerations

Never embark on a diet intended to treat PCOS — or any other condition — without first consulting your health-care professional. He can aid you in building a list of foods you shouldn’t eat, personalized to your condition. In addition, he can make picking the correct foods easier and less stressful, which is helpful when dealing with a hormonal disorder. Also, allow your doctor to monitor your health, PCOS severity, weight loss and other conditions. This can help bring attention to progress, but more importantly, alert you of any worsening conditions immediately.