So I finally have an official ‘diagnosis’ for the hormonal imbalances and lack of menstrual cycle for over 18 months. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS for short. It was what I had basically self diagnosed myself in the past few months after doing so much research on various symptoms which when connected, led me to PCOS. Before this research, it was surprisingly not something I had heard of before, despite it being a very common endocrine issue for many women…and seemingly becoming more common as our lifestyle has changed over the years (for the worse) and our weight is going up.

yup that’s one of my ovaries…a little weird sharing that!

Whilst finding out for sure that I do have PCOS, I’m O.K. and still alive and kicking! As the world works in mysterious ways, I feel rather blessed to have crossed paths with my amazing partner John because if it were not for meeting him, I would likely be a ticking time bomb right now and in a much worse state. Let me explain. PCOS is generally associated with overweight women because it is linked closely to insulin resistance. Had it not been for my change in lifestyle over the past three years, and more recently the changes I have made in the last one year (quitting sugar, low/med carbs, wheat/dairy free etc…) I would be suffering from much worse symptoms.

In fact, were it not for my healthy lifestyle, exercise and clean nutrition, I would very likely be overweight and suffering a whole multitude of symptoms linked to PCOS. I do still have some symptoms obviously or I would not be writing this, but compared to some of the case studies and personal stories I have been reading, I’m very lucky I have looked after myself. The gynecologist that gave me the official diagnosis even said that I have kept it in check. In fact, the only advice he gave me was to keep doing what I’m doing. Which was not very helpful honestly…especially considering he had no concern about not having a period. That’s not an issue how?!

For those of you who do not know much about PCOS, I wanted to share some information with you so you can understand any changes I make to my nutrition and lifestyle. I’ll quote a good resource I found…

The word syndrome can mean a disease or disorder that can produce different collections of symptoms and physical signs. The word syndrome also can mean a collection of symptoms and physical signs that can be due to a variety of different diseases. The word syndrome in the polycystic ovary syndrome has both of these meanings.

In the polycystic ovary syndrome, women may suffer from a variety of symptoms and also have a variety of different physical signs, all of which can be due to a number of different causes. It is therefore important not to regard the polycystic ovary syndrome as a diagnosis or disease in itself but, instead, as the start of a search to find the underlying cause of the symptoms and problems….

In the past the polycystic ovary syndrome has been diagnosed if a woman has two out of three sets of conditions:

  • The first is increased levels of male hormone. It is usually first noticed by the effects of male hormones such as acne, excess body hair growth or accelerated loss of hair from the scalp.
  • The second condition is called anovulation, the medical term for lack of regular ovulation. Lack of regular ovulation results in irregular and, usually, infrequent occurrence of menstrual periods. A few women who are not ovulating, however, will still have regular periods.
  • The third condition is the finding of polycystic ovaries on an ultrasound examination of the ovaries or at laparoscopy, an operation where a gynecologist inserts a laparoscope, a telescope and light, into the abdomen or tummy.

The core things that should be noted is that every case is very individual and finding the underlying cause of symptoms is what will produce the best results. PCOS can be caused from various things including insulin resistance, thryoid, pituary gland etc… so finding the triggers and working back from there is my goal.

I don’t want to bore you with the symptoms but suffice to say a hormonal imbalance can wreck havoc on the body in many ways. I’ve been lucky to not have them all, but some of the key ones I do have is lack of period, poor skin & hair health, hot flushes/night sweats and whilst I’m not overweight, I do hold all my body fat around my mid section.

My recent blood work came back fine according to the gynecologist, but I am yet to really look at it. I also know that because of my lifestyle and diet in particular, things like my GTT readings could be inaccurate. Not to mention that blood tests of things like thyroid are not always accurate and even hormone readings, even if not way off can still effect how your body is operating.

SO I now the road ahead for me is to do some more research. I do not want to take drugs to mask or ‘fix’ my symptoms, nor do I want to undergo surgery. I know I can heal my body with great nutrition, whole foods, exercise and the right supplements – the proof is in the fact that I have already seen some improvements in symptom since introducing a few supplements and starting to tweak my food. I won’t share exactly what I’m doing quite yet, until I’m clear of what direction I’m going – but I hope my experience can at least give others some ideas and help with healing their PCOS or at least showing that drugs are not the only way (keeping in mind how individual each case is.)

As far as doctors and seeking alternative medical support, I do have a referral to an endocrinologist but an not sure what my next step is quite yet. I am considering going back to my holistic GP to get a natural progesterone cream made from a compounding chemist to at least get my period because this is not a good thing. I’m also keeping an open mind and looking at other alternative therapies.

For now its just more research, research and research!

Tagged with →