About two years after having my first child, Taylor, I still wasn’t feeling well. I gained over 100 pounds while I was pregnant with her and despite my best and sometimes extreme efforts hadn’t lost any of the “baby” weight. Like most women, I couldn’t help but compare myself to my friends who had babies around the same time as me. They had all lost most or all of their baby weight, regained their energy and/or were successfully pregnant with their second child. I was discouraged, isolated and ashamed. It was crazy to think that a few letters strung together could be the culprit – PCOS?
I was so focused on my inability to lose weight, I didn’t take note of the numerous other symptoms I was experiencing: infertility, numerous miscarriages, irregular and extremely painful periods, pelvic pain, high blood sugar, insulin resistance, high cholesterol, headaches, fatigue, bran fog, sleep apnea, and body hair in some of the strangest places. And then there was the worst symptom of all: depression.
My Husband, Tony suggested I see an endocrinologist. The endocrinologist ordered several tests and a sleep study. A few weeks later I had sleep apnea, insulin resistance, and PCOS diagnoses.
While delivering my diagnosis, the Doctor dutifully listed the risk factors associated with PCOS: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, endometrial cancer, sleep apnea, depression, and fertility issues.
It has been fourteen years since I received the PCOS diagnoses and I can’t remember the entire conversation but I will always remember how I felt. The Doctor’s words were so overwhelming and discouraging, the room started to spin, I started to sweat, and I fought my body’s instinct to pass out.
The Doctor shared that traditional medicine believes that there is no cure for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and suggested I “try” a pharmaceutical drug that may help some of the symptoms. She alluded to the fact that many people cannot tolerate it and I quickly found out that I was one of those people.
This is where I stop, breathe, and thank God that I am just a little bit spoiled and even more stubborn. I remembered an Eleanor Roosevelt quote I often used when training sales and recruiting professionals, “Never take a No from someone who can’t say Yes”. Since this Dr. couldn’t cure me PCOS, I went elsewhere for answers.
I read and I read and when I wasn’t reading I was researching. Fourteen years ago there wasn’t a fraction of the information available on PCOS that there is today. In fact, instead of researching specifically about PCOS, I had to break down my symptoms and research therapies and protocols for insulin resistance, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, irregular periods, infertility, miscarriages, female facial hair, and migraines.
Luckily, I came across a line of supplements, and a complete program, that was specifically designed for the treatment of PCOS from Insulite Health. I loved them because there were four different supplements that worked synergistically together to heal the symptoms and hormonal imbalances associated with PCOS.
Apple cider vinegar came up multiple times in my searches as something that helped increase insulin sensitivity and I knew it had been helpful in my past weight loss efforts so I started supplementing with it.
I knew my insulin resistance was a big part of my problem and read about the benefits of fiber so I increased my fiber intake drastically. The supplements I was taking from Insulite Health had a great fiber supplement GlucX that was an excellent source of fiber. I also took fiber supplements daily and sprinkled chia seeds on my food throughout the day. It’s crazy how much fiber can benefit us and how little most of us get in our diet.
A friend told me about the South Beach diet and I skimmed through her book. I came across a fertility success story where a previously infertile woman became pregnant shortly after she started the South Beach diet and I was sold. Days later, my Husband and I started the South Beach diet and continued with it for almost a year. Ultimately, I maintained a low carb, high protein lifestyle.
I have always loved to exercise, but when my PCOS was at it’s worst, I exercised very infrequently. I was exhausted, suffered from frequent headaches, and incredibly uncomfortable in my own body. Once I was diagnosed with PCOS and fueled by my determination to overcome the diagnosis, I started walking daily, lifting weights 2-3 times a week and occasionally practicing yoga.
It took a few months to see improvement in my symptoms, but fairly quickly my periods got better, the crazy hair growth slowed, and the headaches and fatigue diminished. Within about a year and a half, I became pregnant with my Son, Andrew!
Today I am not only symptom-free of PCOS but as of last week and my most recent physical, I have officially lost my PCOS diagnosis! Please know I am not alone. Nicole Graeto the author of the blog MGBHealth and Kate Kordsmeier who authors the blog Root & Ravel have also written about how they were able to successfully heal their PCOS.
The best part is, I didn’t have to do anything crazy or drastic to heal my PCOS. I exercised, took daily supplements from Insulite Health, apple cider vinegar, extra fiber, chia seeds and adjusted my eating.
I know it can be difficult to start a new routine when you are feeling terrible. I have been there. The time is going to pass you by one way or the other. You can either invest in your future over the next few months and get yourself to a much better healthier place or not work towards getting healthier and be in the same or worse place. I hope you choose the first option. You are worth it!
I hope this blog reaches anyone who is suffering from PCOS and needs to hear there is hope. If you know someone who would benefit from it, please pass it along! Sharing