My PCOS Struggles
I'm 28 and have been diagnosed with PCOS for the last 1 1/2 years.
I had been on BC for years, kept quite thin and was only off the pill for 6 weeks when I conceived my daughter. I stayed thin after delivering, ran a marathon and lost even more weight.
Probably because of all the running, I ate mostly healthy but had no problem eating what I liked and not gaining.
Then I decided to go off the pill again. Before I knew it, I had started gaining weight.
I was still running all the time, so this seemed "wrong" to me.
After speaking to several doctors - all of which assured me I was just overreacting, I gave up and worked out harder than ever to slow the weight gain down.
Shortly after, my husband and I decided to try for our second child.
After a year of trying and all sorts of fertility treatments, we still had not conceived and I had gained a tremendous amount of weight no matter what I did.
Amidst all that, I was finally diagnosed with PCOS.
I have been on glucophage (metformin), diuretics (supposed to stop the androgens) and all sorts of natural supplements.
Nothing helped me conceive and the weight kept coming.
I've tried Atkins, Nutrisystem, Low GI diet, a non-dairy/gluten-free/egg-free diet, and finally lean protein and lettuce basically. No matter what I eat and how hard I work out/run... I just keep gaining weight. I'm currently trying Acupuncture, but no positive results so far.
I truly love to read everyone's stories and tales of success.
I just feel hopeless in my own tale. I don't know what to try next.
I would love to lose a single pound with all the work and diet that I do.
I would love to get back to my old, thinner self and try again for another child.
I've been back on the pill for 7 months now and I've finally gotten my period back, but keep getting heavier.
I'm so hopeless and don't know where to turn or try next.
Has anyone else had this much challenge and frustration finding a solution that works for them?
Has anyone gone through all this and finally found something that works?
Why are doctors so hesitant to listen and help?
Sorry to be negative, I'm just looking for some support right now as I sink pretty deep into depression through this unexpected life struggle.
Editor's comments: Hi Jen, there is a subset of women who have PCOS and have an experience very similar to yours. They seem to be OK and then all of a sudden, for no apparent reason, they start gaining weight and no matter what they do, they just keep gaining. This is one of the several extremely distressing aspects of polycystic ovary syndrome.
I have no magic solution to offer. I can only offer a few thoughts.
1) Most doctors don't have the time or the inclination to be health detectives and try to solve a very complex situation such as yours. Their job is to "manage disease" with pharmaceuticals or surgery, i.e., identify "X" disease and treat it with "Y" therapy. This approach does not always work when multiple causal factors may be involved.
2) Since you like in the UK, I strongly recommend you get your vitamin D level checked. It is a simple blood test. If your level is low and if you can get your level up to the optimal level, you may see some good things start to happen.
3) So long as you are on metformin, take extra vitamin B12 because metformin induces a vitamin B12 deficiency. You definitely do not want to be vitamin B12 deficient when you conceive and during your pregnancy. Once low, it takes a very long time to rebuild B12 levels unless your receive injections.
4) How is your thyroid function? Thyroid dysfunction can cause weight gain and is very common in PCOS. Optimal thyroid function is critical to your success.
5) Some of the diets you mentioned are not helpful for PCOS. I don't have time here to explain this.
If it's weight you want to lose, I might suggest you purchase The Natural Diet Solution for PCOS and Infertility ebook and follow that diet as best you can. I have no idea whether this will work for you, but if you don't lose at least two pounds at the end of two months, just ask for your money back.
Here is part of what a health professional recently told me about another health professional who followed the diet in the ebook:
"I have seen what it's [the ebook) done for her. At the age of 37 she has been trying to get pregnant since she got married back in 1999. She has never conceived because she didn't ovulate. She exercised regularly, ate a balanced and nutritionally dense diet, had a positive attitude, was in a healthy loving relationship.
She sought out experts in nutrition and has done cleanses and detox programs, has tried many supplements. She went on several diets to try to lose 10% of her body weight, I believe she tried the Zone and the last one she was on was Jenny Craig or something like that.
The weight came off but did not stay off.
She has had hormone testing done and was diagnosed with PCOS several years ago.
Nothing that she was doing worked, she didn't have a regular menstrual cycle, in fact if she had a period twice a year that was normal. When she had a period she had extreme cramping.
She found this book a few years ago but did not invest herself in it at the time to follow the plan.
Last fall she and her husband made a conscious effort and said, we are going to give this a try and they followed it to a T.
She lost 27 pounds, feels better than she has since she was 17, and she is now 14 weeks pregnant.
I know there isn't one thing that works for everyone, but she found this book very helpful in determining what foods would be helpful and harmful, and what type of exercise to do and when.
Many people need a strong guide. She believes this is it.
We are in the business of helping our patients through natural and holistic means and though we have both been trained in the same specialty of pediatric and prenatal care, we did not receive a guide such as this to share with our patients. With this specialty, though, we consistently are referred patients who need this kind of help whether it's to be able to conceive or just to reduce PCOS and other hormone related conditions. This book would be a tremendous resource for us and our patients."