I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) in November 2011. I had never known anyone with PCOS before so I didn’t have anyone who went through it to go to for tips. That is why I have written this article, so other woman diagnosed can have something to help them from someone who is going through it to start planning for a healthy lifestyle.
Here are a few things that have worked for me.
- Know Your Symptoms – Women with PCOS experience different symptoms and side effects. Some of these symptoms can be Insulin Resistant (IR), weight gain, irregular menstrual cycles, hair loss, hair growth in places you don’t want, severe acne and sensitive and itchy skin. You can have any one of these, all of these or a combination of a few of these. Each may need different attention.
- Read Labels & Look Up Nutritional Facts For Food – Do this for everything you eat and I really mean everything. You would be surprised how much sugar is in some vegetables you eat. Also watch for the sodium intake. If you’re like me, the PCOS can also give you headaches from the fluctuation of insulin and hormones and the added sodium will only make it worse.
- Eat What’s Right For You– When I was diagnosed, I was 226lbs and had been on a point’s program diet for months without it working. Try to remember that when you have PCOS, the chances of most “diets” working for you are slim. Instead, make a lifestyle change. Switch from regular pasta to whole wheat, have whole grain breads and cereals, have brown rice, go for the no sugar added ice cream and try not to sweeten beverages such as tea (iced or hot), coffee (iced or hot) and even lemonade (just have lemon slices in water).
- Get the Right Medication for You – Getting on the right medication will help you get on a healthy path. Speak to your physician and gynecologist to find out what is right for you and make sure you take them as prescribed.
- Keep Moving – I know it’s hard to imagine yourself working out right now when you feel heavy, tired and frustrated, but you have to at least start moving. I still find exercising one of the most difficult things to do. Most of the time, I just go on a long walk with varied paces that feel right for me. You decide what’s right for you and stick with it. The important thing is just to do something that gets your body moving and the blood pumping.
These are things that have worked for me. I will probably have to adjust a few things as time goes by but do what feels right for you. The symptoms of PCOS are difficult to deal with and hard to get a handle on but they are not impossible. Keep positive and don’t give up.