Finally Taking Charge of PCOS
by Carolyn (Rynn)
(Editor's summary: Rynn has combined Weight Watchers with exercise, medication and research to lose weight and get some control over PCOS. She is excited!)
My name is Rynn. I was diagnosed with PCOS in August 2002 after finding out I was pregnant in January 2002 and miscarrying 5 days later, then not having a period for 5 more months.
My new husband and I were devastated. We struggled with 3 different infertility doctors and clinics, money issues, insurance issues, time constraints and family misunderstanding and unsupportiveness.
I have been researching PCOS since that time and have finally found your site. For the first time, someone has finally said that there is a direct connection between hormones and PCOS, not just "lose the weight and everything should go back to normal" or "just lose the weight." But I am getting ahead of myself.
My situation started when I was 11 (1981) and got my period for the 1st time. It was very heavy, lasted 8 days and I was the first girl in my catholic class to get it. They say that it takes 1-2 years for it to even out. Mine never did. I always thought that that was how it was going to be. The only thing that was "normal" was that it was 8 days long. I would skip a month, have it the next month, skip 2 months, etc. Sometimes skipping several months at a time and sometimes having it "normalize" for several months at a time.
I developed dark circles at my elbows and knees as well as be a little "chubby." My family would comment on the "dirt" of my elbows and knees and ask me if I used a washcloth when I bathed.
When I was 17, my sister was getting married and I was preparing for SATs. I skipped my period for 7 months. My mother took me to the doctor and all she said was that it was stress and I should get it back when the stress triggers were gone. At that time PCOS was not even heard of.
When I was 19, I wanted to prevent pregnancy so I went on the BC pill. The doctor at the clinic where I got the pills told me that the length of my period was unusual and put me on the strongest form of BC pills at the time.
As a result, I was constantly munching on all the bad kinds of processed foods and in 3 years gained 100 pounds! I also went from 8 days of bleeding to 1 hour in that time frame.
After I stopped the pills I did not get a period for 2 1/2 years. When I did get it back again it was extremely heavy, lasted for 8 days and I had the worst cramps I ever had (and had cramps for the first time).
I had gone to a gyn when I was 25, and complained of this along with symptoms of painful acne and the weight gain and she mentioned possibly it could be PCOS and wanted to prescribe BC pills again which I refused. She also told me to just lose the weight and it should return to normal.
I had never heard of PCOS and she couldn't completely explain it. I learned it was just becoming headlines and not really understood. I figured I was otherwise healthy, not in a relationship where I need to prevent pregnancy, happy with myself, so why bother trying to change?
I met my future (and current) husband when I was 28 years old, luckily for me he adores big women. I weighted 277lbs. We did the 3 big life changes in one year; we were happily married in May 2001, bought a house in November, 2001, and I discovered I was pregnant January 7, 2002 which spontaneously miscarried January 12, 2002. We were devastated.
Which brings me back to the beginning. I went through 3 doctors, all of which prescribed drugs and tests to confirm PCOS and all said "lose the weight."
No one tried to tell me what diet to try, except my current doctor, who did advised me to cut out the carbs and exercise more, but nothing about lower GI foods.
I have been on Weight Watchers since August 2006 and a medication called Byetta (which is a 2x daily injectable diabetic medication to help the betta cells work more efficiently and is also an appetite suppressent) since April 2007. I have lost 21 lbs so far and still counting.
I recently bought a treadmill and have been exercising 3-5x per week.
I am very excited to have stumbled upon this website and am trying to get a copy of the book. I have read several books on PCOS which did not touch on the hormone connection. I am also researching more on the low-GI diet.
Thank you for all the information your website has to offer. I will be looking into nutritionists who specialize in PCOS and infertility. It has been a long hard road and I now finally feel armed with the correct information and tools to becoming a mother before my 40th birthday in 2010. Thank you.