(St. Cloud, MN. USA)
I am 58 years old, recently diagnosed with insulin resistance by a MD that also practices alternative medicine.
I am certain I have had this for most of my life, but it was never looked for by any other doctor.
I had a hysterectomy due to endometrial cancer when I was 32. I now think this could have been avoided if I would have found a doctor that was knowledgeable about PCOS, and alternative treatments for PCOS.
Thank God, I was finally able to have two children before my hysterectomy - which I feel was an answer to prayer.
The gynecologist that did the hysterectomy surgery diagnosed PCOS when viewing my polycystic ovaries in surgery. My ovaries were not removed.
I've had hirsutism since puberty and excessive hair growth continues on my face and body, despite multiple treatments with electrolysis and laser.
I was put on low dose birth control pills with spironolactone, in my late thirties and early 40's to help control the hirsutism, but this never helped, only disrupted my electrolytes.
The only time I did not have hirsutism was for 5 months when I breast fed my 2nd son. I have told many doctors this, but they couldn't tell me why the hirsutism stopped during the time I breast fed.
Now, I am dealing with male pattern hair loss.
I have been thin most of my life but since puberty I have always had a problem area with fat accumulation in my abdomen, even though I exercised regularly.
Because of information on this website, alternative medical providers, and other reading I have done, I now try to maintain a whole food diet.
I have been dealing with chronic back pain, disc degeneration, and joint pain since my late 30's. I recently was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I have lived with daily pain for 20 years and not until recently with the help of alternative medical providers have I received help and a big reduction of pain, and increase in energy.
My energy was so low a year ago, I could hardly get through a work day, and was unable to keep up with housework.
I have gone gluten free which also has decreased the pain level in my muscles and joints.
I used to have fibrocystic breast that showed calicifications on my mammograms. This is now gone due to better diet, and addition of a magnesium supplement, and reduction of calcium supplements.
My previous doctor kept telling me to take more and more calcium but never told me about the importance of balancing this with magnesium so my body good actually benefit from the calcium. I had developed calcifications in my ribs, breasts and perhaps other places that weren't checked, like my arteries. I used to have tachycardia which is now gone.
A hormone panel done a year ago through Genova labs shows my progesterone levels and estradiol to be extremely low.
I feel the lack of estrogen for all these years has caused my skin to age (wrinkle) prematurely and the collagen to be depleted in my joints.
I have suffered with depression off and on and have always become stressed easily. I have done much mind body connection work to overcome this, but feel the hormone disruption makes it quite the challenge.
I am passing this on in hopes it will encourage all of you to stay with the diet recommended on this website, exercise and take the supplements suggested.
I wish the internet and this website was around in my younger years when I struggled with infertility and the other problems listed above.
This web site is a blessing.
Editor's comments: Thank you, Marie, for your story! I hope that the younger women will read it and begin to understand that PCOS and hormone imbalances are a life-long challenge that cannot be solved simply by taking birth control pills during your younger years.
We are dealing with a systemic disorder with a multitude of symptoms that don't seem to be related to one another. PCOS is a disorder that directly or indirectly affects nearly every gland and organ in your body, as well as every cell in your body. This is why we see such a variety of symptoms.
From our perspective, the best long term solution is to adopt healthy lifestyle practices for the rest of one's life, including: healthy diet, regular exercise, stress management, psychological counseling, good lifestyle habits such as adequate sleep, taking selected nutritional supplements, developing a team of health care professionals to provide health and medical advice, and connecting with others with similar challenges so you can support each other.
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