Not a Typical PCOS Patient

by RB
(Illinois)

Hello,

I've been receiving and reading your newsletter for many years, I have the book (since it was offered in paperback at the time), and after reading I gain new ideas, questions, concerns, or things to try.

I've been diagnosed with PCOS; what I have dealt with over the years are irregular to no periods, hirsutism, and an eye for insulin resistance.

However, I am not the typcial PCOS profile.

I haven't done an ultrasound in some time, but I've done two a long time ago, and neither found any cysts.

I am not overweight. I am athletic and active, with a petite frame - 5'5" 120 lbs.

I usually get 7 or more hours of sleep, and I exercise on a regular basis, and drink lots of water.

I eat a healthy, clean diet, and always have. I've been gluten- and dairy-free for 5 years. When I first went off gluten and dairy, my periods returned on a regular basis. Yet, over time, my periods became irregular again and have since stopped. One gyn doctor said that is not uncommon as the lining can thin when on the Pill. I'm still not convinced.

I've been taking birth control and spironolactone for years, and currently both are compound meds, so it's free of wheat or dairy fillers.

I've done blood work over the years, and I'm told my testosterone levels are not high. If anything, lately, my levels were low, according to one gyn doctor. However, that is the point of the spironolactone and birth control.

My vitamin D levels have been low, and I've taken supplements, and lately I was even doing shots. Currently, my levels are ok, according to my Dr., and I continue with my supplement at 3-5,000 IUD/day.

My B vitamins were low, so I was also doing shots, and continue with a supplement to boost those levels.

I also drink spearmint tea once a day. My acupuncturist learned of this about a year ago. I am not sure that it is helping, but I'm taking it anyways. I figure there's got to be some good to this tea, and then, read your newsletter about teas, which helped reinforce that the tea could help.

I take a host of other supplements throughout the day, too, due to other symptoms like sweating under one arm (not a hot flash), early onset of a lot of grey hair, dry skin, and heart palpitations in the morning. I feel like I am going through early peri-menopause (I am only 38). Or, as I say, my body feels like it is in chaos.

I've seen gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, acupuncturists, naturopaths, and I've tried to do my own research, which usually just makes me frustrated or more concerned.

I wonder if you have any suggestions of types of doctors to see or particular reference material.

I am in Chicago, and while it seems like a place that I should be able to find someone who works with such cases, I haven't had much success.

I apologize if this message was too detailed. I know the book and newsletter have helped many women over the years, including me, so I thought I would reach out to you.

Thank you for your time, and in advanced for any ideas/suggestions.

-RB

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A Few Things to Consider
by: PCOS Editor

Hi RB,

Thanks for your detailed message. The problem with PCOS is that it is very complex and not well understood. In fact, I consider it to be more than one disease, which might partially explain the wide variation in symptoms among individuals.

You've done amazingly well thus far. Keep up the good work!

Well, what more could you do? Tough question. I can only toss out a few random thoughts.

1) Vitamin D. Your doctor says your vitamin D level is "OK". That means nothing. I might suggest to you that you get your vitamin D level up to at least 60 and keep it in the range of 60-90. You could take whatever amount of vitamin D that is required to make that happen. Vitamin D is a master regulator in the body -- very important.

2) Progesterone cream. You might look into bioidentical progesterone cream from a compounding pharmacy, prescribed by a doctor. I wonder whether you have and estrogen and testosterone overload and insufficient progesterone. Lab testing might provide some clues.

3) Essential fatty acids. What is your dietary ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids? I would be inclined to take a considerable amount of EPA/DHA fish oil concentrate, probably for the rest of your life. A secondary consideration might by GLA such as borage oil.

4) Gut function. Are you absorbing your food? Do you have pathogenic microorganisms residing in your gut? Intestinal permeability and gut dysbiosis are very important factors in PCOS. A comprehensive stool and digestive analysis and/or intestinal permeability test might provide some useful data.

And there are a lot of other factors you could look into. But this is a start.

I have yet to encounter anyone who fully understands how to effectively treat non-classical PCOS such as yours. Sorry I can't be more helpful.

I can only say you've done remarkably well so far.

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