Every time I feel like I have a firm grasp of understanding this ‘thing’ called PCOS I stumble across new information that brings me back to square one. I’m not complaining however; knowledge is power.
On speaking with several women over time regarding their PCOS symptoms it has become evident that there is no standard format in the way that this disease exhibits itself. Every woman has different symptoms. For example; some complain of abnormal growth of facial hair which I’ve never experienced. In fact, I have had the total opposite; my hair has thinned out drastically since my diagnosis. Also, some complain of lack of or irregular periods whereas mine is always on time.
A few months ago, I had the opportunity to be featured as a guest blogger on ‘Best of both Worlds Doula Services’ (see link and scroll down to the blog titled: The Face of PCOS http://www.bestofbothworldsnc.com/blog/archives/10-2016) which detailed my PCOS journey from diagnosis to how I manage it.
My PCOS journey began (as you will gather if you’ve clicked the link and read the blog) when I came off birth control. The ‘type’ of PCOS I have is called ‘Post-Pill PCOS’. While I have been able to get my hormones back on track with the supplementation of vitamins and minerals, regular exercise and mostly from switching to a healthier diet, some women have found it harder to manage their symptoms due to the type of PCOS they have. While doing the above WILL help to manage your symptoms as they did mine, based on the type of PCOS you have you will have to alter certain parts regarding the type of vitamins to take and what you should or should not include in your diet. You SHOULD always do some form of exercise if you have PCOS.
Here is a short summation of some of the different types of PCOS. In my next series of blogs I will go into each type in more detail.
- Post-Pill PCOS – This is where you maybe had a PCOS tendency (which I realized through my family history that I do) and only until coming off birth control do you realize that it is difficult for your body to start the communication between your pituitary and ovaries compared to other women who came off birth control without issues. Luckily for me, this is one of the easier types of PCOS to manage. By exercising, eating healthier and taking the necessary vitamins and minerals, I was able to stimulate the communication between my pituitary and ovaries.
- Insulin resistant PCOS – This type is the most common type of PCOS. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that allows your body to use sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates in the food that you eat for energy or to store glucose for future use. When you are insulin resistant despite the presence of insulin in the bloodstream, the cells basically don’t become unblocked and doesn’t allow enough glucose in the blood into the cells. As such, your pancreas is working overtime to produce more insulin because of the body’s cells resistance to the effects of insulin. High insulin levels cause the ovaries to make too much testosterone and not ovulate regularly. This usually causes your hunger hormones to come into play a lot. If you’ve been diagnosed with PCOS and struggle a lot to lose weight, you probably have this type of PCOS. Avoiding high fructose products is one of the easiest ways to begin to correct insulin levels.
- Inflammatory PCOS – This type of PCOS can show up with other inflammatory symptoms like skin problems, chronic allergies, joint pain and headaches for example. Another indication that you may have this type of PCOS is sensitivity to gluten or dairy. Another way to interpret if you have this type is if your insulin levels are fine i.e. you are NOT insulin resistant.
“Power is gained by sharing knowledge, not hoarding it.” – Author Unknown.