At the end of 2015 I was diagnosed with PCOS. PCOS is the acronym for the condition poly-cystic ovary syndrome. I had heard of this prior to my diagnosis but I didn’t really understand what it meant. Or what it might mean to “suffer” with this. Honestly, if my sister hadn’t pestered me to get a doctor’s appointment, I might still not know about this condition.
So what is PCOS, and how does it affect women? In it’s simplest terms, it means that women who suffer from tend to have some irregular sacs or cysts around their ovaries. In more complex terms, it can cause hormonal imbalances; potential insulin resistance; increased cortisol levels; excess testosterone and androgen; and irregular, heavy periods.
As with many conditions, not everyone is affected in the same way. One of the main things, that is usually more noticeable, is an increase in body hair. I’m looking at you snail trail, and moustache! I feel somewhat lucky in this respect as I only have a few darker hairs around my belly button, but even then it can make me feel a little self-conscious. For the people affected, they may notice that they quite have the regular periods that we are all taught about in school. One every two months is not normal, and if yours are like that please go and arrange a doctor’s appointment. Although there’s no cure, it may help you manage other health conditions you have.
Since Being Diagnosed with PCOS
Since my diagnosis I have noticed a couple of things. I thought the main reason that I struggled to lose weight was because I was getting older and my metabolism had slowed down. We are all told that so naturally that’s what I assumed the issue was. I mean, if I really try, I can drop weight but it is a lot more effort than it used to be. And now, I’ve found that even if I’m eating right, I will put weight on each week. Only a little, but enough for it to start causing some concern. That’s the main reason I started up my fitness diaries. (You can read the latest one here.)
By the way, my main reason for concern with increased weight is that I am now more at risk, than someone without PCOS, to get type 2 diabetes. Because I really don’t want this, I am trying what I can to make the changes I need.
I wanted to record the different ways I was trying to make positive changes and see what would work best for me. From the looks of it, 20 mile walks a day are the only things that have made any significant impact. Even when I started calorie counting, and was on 1200cals a day, I was still unable to make any real dents in my fat content. It kinda makes you feel like you’re doing something wrong
Weirdly, a couple of weeks ago I was talking to my mum about not being able to make any headway and how it was getting me down. Proof that my phone listens to my conversations, as I went on facebook shortly afterwards and had a suggested page to like about “Healthy PCOS”. This is a facebook page ran by a guy in Australia, link here. As much as it freaked me out, I’ve found out so much more information about my condition and what I need to do to make the changes that I want.
Unfortunately, for those of us who suffer with PCOS it’s a case of hormonal balance which helps us to lose weight the most. It’s not that regular diets won’t work, just they will be more difficult to maintain. So with my research I’m currently trying a few new tactics, and I’m hoping to write up how this has gone in a few weeks!
It’s weird that not many people are aware of PCOS or its symptoms when an estimated 1 in every 10 women will be diagnosed with this at some point in their life. But there has only been a handful of people, who I’ve mentioned it to, who have known what it is. This could potentially be due to the stigma that women shouldn’t talk about their monthly issues to others.
Find Out More
If you want to know more about this condition, please take a look at this link https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/polycystic-ovary-syndrome-pcos/. This website contains all the medical information that you might need for a mini pre-diagnosis of this condition. If anything does sound familiar to you, do please go and get checked out. You might find it helps more than you realise.
Also, do have a google to see if there any other sites to help. Although it’s something that isn’t spoken about a lot. There is more and more information available each day.
Hasta la fuego