Listen to Your Body: Dealing with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) 8

Over the summer, I started to notice some sudden changes to my body that I couldn’t quite understand. I am pretty in tune with my body and know when something isn’t right, so I became a bit neurotic with getting to the bottom of what was going on. Well I finally found out that I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).

The changes started earlier this summer, I started to have major adult acne and I have never in my adult life dealt with acne. I also went from normal to dry skin to super oily skin. I became a product junkie and started trying every new product someone would recommend. I went to an aesthetician in the hopes of helping me with deal with my acne. Needless to say some products worked and some just didn’t.

In addition to my acne, I wasn’t losing weight. Which for the amount of exercising I was doing and healthy eating, I knew that I should have been losing a lot more weight. I chalked both the acne and difficulty losing weight to signs of getting older. I even did a post about aging and weight loss. With the exercise, I was doing T25 religiously, no matter how tired I was I never missed a day and I completely transformed my eating but for some reason I wasn’t losing weight. I lost about 5-7LB’s after months of being on the program. It was really bugging me and I just couldn’t understand why I wasn’t losing any weight.

The last change to my body that made me realize that something was definitely wrong was when my menstrual cycle stopped coming. I stopped getting my period in August. When the first month passed, I assumed maybe I was stressed so I didn’t think much of it, but when September went by and October, I knew something just wasn’t right. I am pretty regular and this was just odd.

When I went to the Fitness meet and tweet in October, one of the sessions was around injury prevention and the doctor who led the session talked about physical injuries as well as lack of menstrual cycle as a potential risk if you over exercise. I assumed maybe I was over exercising. I spoke to the doctor and she recommended that I a) go to my doctor as soon as possible and b) go to a sports nutritionist who can help make sure that I am eating properly for my workouts.

Fast-forward to a few weeks ago, I went to my primary doctor for an overall check up and I told her about the issues I have been having and the lack of a period. She did some blood work and told me to take sometime off from the intense workouts until they can determine what’s the issue. She called me a few days later to explain that some of the results of my blood work were a bit abnormal and asked if I have ever been tested for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).  She recommended that I see an endocrinologist to confirm.

As soon as I got off the phone with my doctor, I went straight to “Dr. Google” as my friend likes to call Google to research as much as I could about PCOS and every article that I read listed the top symptoms of PCOS as acne, difficulty losing weight and lack of a period. I knew in my heart without the endocrinologist confirming that I had PCOS. Everything I read about it is literally everything I have been feeling for the past few months.

I finally saw the endocrinologist and she confirmed that I have PCOS and I wasn’t surprised at all. I actually think I mentally prepared myself to receive the results.

So what is PCOS? I found the most simplified definition on MayoClinic

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine system disorder among women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may have enlarged ovaries that contain small collections of fluid — called follicles — located in each ovary as seen during an ultrasound exam.
  • Infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods, excess hair growth, acne, and obesity can all occur in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.
  • The exact cause of polycystic ovary syndrome is unknown. Early diagnosis and treatment along with weight loss may reduce the risk of long-term complications, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

There’s so much more to PCOS then this description, but I didn’t want to make this post longer then it already is J. You can learn more about PCOS here.

Since being diagnosed, I have been working with a dietician to help with my weight loss, as while it’s harder to lose weight with PCOS, weight loss is an essential part of the cure. Part of PCOS is an insulin resistance, which means there are certain foods that I have to completely avoid (i.e. sugary foods, etc.). I am also currently taking medication and I’m back to working out. I have to admit when I first found out I was definitely bummed and cried my heart out as I’m at my child bearing age and this just makes things a bit harder. Thankfully I am blessed with one child, but I do hope to have another. But I am also happy to finally know what was wrong with me as I felt it and knew in my heart something was wrong.

I wasn’t going to share this, as I didn’t think I would be ready, but I wanted to share it, as I wanted to remind all of you of how important it is to listen to your body. Know body knows your body better then you. I know this sounds crazy, but when I was telling people that something wasn’t right, be if friends or family, I would get the same response “girl, you’re getting older, etc.” yes aging comes with its own set of issues, but not all things are related to aging.

I will keep you posted on my journey with PCOS. In the meantime, I would love to know if you have ever heard of PCOS? Do you have it or know anyone that has had PCOS?