My Battle with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome).

Hi Loves,

So today I plan on talking about my battle with or PCOS, how it has affected my life up to now and how it is still affecting my life. I'm also going to talk about what I plan on doing to completely heal my body.

Everyone has a story. My story, in this case, starts when I realized that my body wasn't working the way it was supposed to. My body never really got on a set cycle like most women. I went to the doctor when I was 18 and, after several tests, I was told that I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. I knew nothing about it at the time. I hadn't ever heard of it before. All I knew is that I was prone to severe pain in my sides, had a very irregular menstrual cycle and I had a doctor who was pushing me to get a total hysterectomy. Thankfully, my mother was completely against it and talked me out of it. Instead of getting the hysterectomy, I was prescribed birth control for this disease that I still didn't know very much about.

What is it?

This is what Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is as explained in the Wikipedia article: PCOS is the leading endocrine disorder among women between the ages of 18 and 44. It is also the number one cause of infertility. It is caused by excess androgen (a male hormone) in a woman's system. This excess hormone causes irregular or no/heavy periods, excess body/facial hair, acne, pelvic and lower abdomen pain, difficulty conceiving and patches of darker skin. It also makes it harder to maintain a healthy weight and obesity is common. Because of the hormone irregularity, associated illnesses such as Type 2 Diabetes, Mood Disorders, Heart Disease, Sleep Apnea and Endometrial Cancer can be contracted. PCOS can be diagnosed by a long-term lack of ovulation, high androgen levels and ovarian cysts (thus the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) which are detected via ultrasound.

Long story short, there is no known cure for this disease. However, there are things you can do to reduce the severity of the symptoms. The best thing, and most beneficial to your overall health, is to maintain a healthy body weight and an active lifestyle. Birth control can be prescribed to try and regulate your menstrual cycle, along with the acne and excess body hair. Then there is also Metformin, the diabetes medication, which can help with the insulin resistance.

Doesn't that seem like a peach? (sarcasm) It gets better. When I was a teenager I was also diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder which, to a certain extent, is exacerbated by PCOS. It's not uncommon. 5-10% of women are diagnosed with PCOS and 1-4% of the population (men and women) suffer from Bipolar Disorder. The symptoms of both disorders interact with each other and make each worse. The high level of stress and increased cortisol that comes with Bipolar Disorder (and also can be caused by PCOS) can lead to the excess androgens. 50% of ladies with Bipolar Disorder who have taken Valproate, a mood stabilizer and anti-convulsant, have been shown to have cystic ovaries. And so the cycle rolls over.

How Has It Affected Me?

Over the years I've battled major acne problems, hyper-pigmentation around my neck, inner arms and around my joints, unwanted thick hair all over my body, irregular periods and extreme weight gain. At one point when I was younger, I was sub 100 pounds. Earlier this month I was looking at 220 pounds. I sometimes experience immense pain in my lower abdominal area around my ovaries. It got so bad at one point that sent me to emergency room and I absolutely hate hospitals.

I've also dealt with mental and emotional struggles because of and alongside the PCOS and Bipolar Disorder. I had a tough time growing up and some of my experiences have left scars that cause me anxiety and depression, even after being away from the sources for around 5 years.

I've tried everything to control my PCOS: I've taken birth control on and off since I was 15 to try and regulate my period before I was diagnosed with PCOS. That was a horrible experience, just lemme say that! I've tried a warm compress when I get pain in my lower abdomen, taking pain medications, creams for my hyper-pigmentation. At one point I resorted to bleaching my skin because I had just become so insecure with my body! Don't worry, I've learned the dangers of skin bleaching and I no longer do it.

Because of my weight gain I've become so insecure with myself that I've tried crash dieting and diet pills. The weight gain over the years has also contributed to my depression, especially after I lost my dad to multiple heart attacks when I was 14. Combined with horrible fat shaming from certain family members, I was driven into bulimia which made me drop down under 100 pounds. I turned to alcohol and drugs to self-medicate and forget my troubles. I led a high speed, somewhat self-destructive lifestyle. I would get up around 4 or 5 am, after MAYBE an hour nap, then I would go to school all day then go to work in the afternoon/evening. Once work was over it was time to pound a bottle of tequila with my friends and mix in some time to hit the gym and study for my classes.

Then when I met my husband, and he showed me how much he loved me no matter my weight, I started to get comfortable in my body and stopped working out and started eating junk and quickly went to the opposite of bulimic. I gained weight rapidly and now I have a whole new set of problems, but the PCOS is still there.

What's Happening To Fix It!

Anywho, I've just decided that I no longer want to let PCOS win. I'm not gonna give in to being insecure cause of my health issues. I will treat my body like a temple. I will slowly, but surely, heal my body. I will do regular blog posts on my diet and exercise routine to help with accountability and to share my successes with ladies, and even guys, who are struggling with extra difficulties to living a life that they are proud of.

I've always heard people say that you live once but I believe that you live everyday. You die once!

So, I wanna do everything in my power to nurse myself to health. I wanna heal my body, my mind and my soul! I WANNA LIVE EVERYDAY!

I recently got engaged and being high off life taught me one thing: I don't need booze or drugs to feel happy! I'm not going let my PCOS control my life! I will lose weight and endeavor to be healthy for real, not just anorexic. As a new bride-to-be, I want to look great in my wedding dress. I've been so insecure that I've been scared to go try on wedding dresses. I've managed to lose weight so many times but I gain it right back so my insecurities never completely went away.

You may ask: "How is this different than any other time you've tried to get healthier and tame PCOS?" Well, my goal this time is to completely get rid of it, not just to do better, but BE better. It's going to be a new lifestyle with new priorities and not just some extra thing I do to feel like I'm doing something productive. I'm not going to suppress the pain. I'm going to heal my body!

I've tried all the modern medicine that doctors have put me on and I have decided that it is best for ME to refuse to take them any longer. I'm gonna turn to mother nature and heal with natural herbs and good whole foods, fruits and vegetables. I've been doing a lot of research and in future blog posts I'll be getting more in depth about some of the lifestyle changes that benefit women that have PCOS. If you have PCOS and have suggestions that will help, please comment below the post or shoot me an email or message. I would love any extra advice and tips to be able to share.

Well Loves, this is goodbye until the next post. Hopefully I will help myself and many other women out there. I love you guys!

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