I had my appointment with the endocrinologist this week. I wanted to clear out any possibilities of a thyroid imbalance, pituitary gland issue etc… in relation to my PCOS. Obviously I have a hormone imbalance, but the cause of that is what I have been trying to get to the bottom of so I can ensure I’m choosing the treatment.

Up until now, I have taken a ‘natural’ approach focusing mainly on my nutrition and supplementation, as well as my exercise of course. All things that I do anyway, but have just tweaked in order to try and restore my hormone imbalance and ensure my body is getting as much nutrients as possible in order to heal, whilst keeping my weight in check.

Nutrition includes:

  • organic lean proteins – chicken, fish, some grass fed beef, pea protein
  • heaps of leafy/green veggies
  • huge fresh salads
  • fresh green juices every morning
  • healthy fats with an emphasis on increasing omega 3’s (flaxseed oil)
  • low carb (small amounts of low GI carbs like sweet potato, brown rice & quinoa to fuel workouts)
  • sugar free
  • gluten free
  • mostly dairy free (only some organic)

Supplementation includes:

  • Juice Plus+ Fruit, Veg & Berry Blend
  • R-ALA
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Fish oil
  • Maca root
  • Chromium Picolinate liquid
  • Probiotic
  • Glutamine

Improvements so far:

  • gut is digesting well and feels good
  • sleeping better (since taking magnesium)
  • no more night sweats (since taking maca root)
  • skin is clearer (since taking maca root & zinc)
  • Zinc levels are back to normal
  • Vitamin D levels are better (linked to insulin resistance)
  • more energy
  • low C-reactive protein levels (marker of inflammation which is important in relation to cholesterol)
  • better cholesterol levels and ratios (from Feb 16th to Mar 1st)

Total Chol. – 6.2 to 5.3 mmol/L
HDL Chol. – 2.4 to 2.0 mmol/L
LDL Chol. 3.5 to 3.0 mmol/L
Triglycerides – 0.7 to 0.6 mmol/L

Total Chol. (after adding Juice Plus+ Berry Blend in Dec 2011)
Apr 18th 2011: 6.7 mmol/L
Feb 16th 2012: 6.2 mmol/L
Mar 1st 2012: 5.3 mmol/L

  • testosterone levels have lowered since August 2011
  • progesterone levels have increased a little since August 2011

Testosterone:

23rd Aug 2011: 1.6 nmol/L
1st Mar 2012: 0.8 nmol/L
Progesterone:
23rd Aug 2011: 0.3 nmol/L

1st Mar 2012: 1.5 nmol/L

So things are definitely improving with the changes I have already made, and I’m feeling good…however, the thing that hasn’t changed is that I still have not had a period for over 18 months since being off the contraceptive pill. This is obviously not a good thing, and unfortunately, it’s at the point where I have to try something different in order to get my hormones balanced. So although it goes against my philosophy of keeping things as natural as possible, the endocrinologist has prescribed me Metformin to try.

Now, a drug is the last thing I wanted to try, but after much consideration, I’ve had to accept that I may have to “kick start” my body. There isn’t really any other choice at this stage. My diet is spot on and my supplementation is good too, and I will continue to do that of course. There are not a lot of side effects to Metformin; if any it can just cause some stomach/digestion upset but generally you ease into the dosage and your body adjusts. I’ve been taking it for a week or so and so far have just had a little upset digestion, but nothing major and it seems to be getting better each day. (I have the slow release one which is easier on the digestive system.) I started with a half dose and within a few days increased to the normal dose and have been fine so far.

Metformin works in three ways:

  1. decreases the absorption of dietary carbohydrates through the intestines.
  2. reduces the production of glucose by the liver.
  3. increases the sensitivity of muscle cells to insulin.

So the best possible scenario I am hoping for is that the combination of my nutrition, training, supplements and now the addition of Metformin gets my hormone balance in order and then in time I can stop taking the Metformin. I do not want to be taking any drug on a long term basis. So that’s where I’m at.

Fingers crossed.

balancing food & supplementation
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