Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Thoughts on PCOS

I've been reading about PCOS lately, and it's been quite enlightening. 5 years ago, when I was first diagnosed, I did a little research, but I was busy learning Japanese at language school and didn't have a lot of time for extra things. Later, I pushed it to the back of my mind and tried not to think about it.

In facing it head on and being more proactive, I've learned that a lot of things I've thought were just weird genetic quirks are, in fact, symptoms of PCOS.

1. Excess body hair (yes, it is as bad as it sounds). My dad is a hairy beast, I thought he had passed it on to me. Apparently not. I've noticed over the last few months that this has gotten worse, and it's quite icky. All that extra testosterone in my body is not good.

2. Dark patches on knees, elbows, and stomach. I have them on my knees, and I thought they were callouses from kneeling down while working (sanding, cutting out fabric, whatever). Not so.

3. Weight gain and difficulty losing weight. I got the short end of the gene pool when it comes to height, so I figured I got the shaft in the weight area as well. Unfortunately, this looks like something I will struggle with all my life, along with the other symptoms.

4. Infertility. My hormones are imbalanced, so I don't ovulate on a regular basis.

5. Miscarriage. Because of the hormone imbalance, it is much more difficult to maintain a pregnancy. The more I read, the more I realize that Little Miss Sunshine really is our miracle baby (I've said this along)- I have no idea why we were able to get pregnant and stay pregnant with her, and not the other two.

6. Insulin resistance. Intertwined with the hormone imbalance. The metformin is supposed to help correct the insulin resistance, which in turn should help balance out my hormones.

7. There's others, but I can't think of them right off (must not be too big of an issue for me).

There's no cure for PCOS- you manage it through drugs such as metformin, and through diet and exercise. Eating a low glycemic index diet is also supposed to help with the insulin resistance, and of course exercise is always good for the body.

My goal right now is to lose weight with the metformin, the gf diet, and exercise. If I can get to a healthy weight, I really feel that I'll be able to get pregnant and stay pregnant. I think I've lost a pound or two (improvement over the slow but steady gain that I have been experiencing), which is encouraging, but I have a long way to go- I need to lose 50-60 pounds altogether.

1 comment:

  1. So after reading your post about PCOS I thought all the symptoms were similar to my sister. I asked her and she said that PCOS had been part of the diagnosis, along with insulin resistance and a few other things. She's never had an ultrasound that showed the cysts. She said she did best on a diabetic diet, but never tried going gluten/yeast free (she likes bread too much). She had a 8 year gap between two of her children, so hopefully you can have another little miracle - it just might be a long wait.