At Fertility Chef, we are well aware that PCOS is a syndrome that spans from adolescence through menopause and can touch on many different areas of a woman’s life. Emotional, physical, and social aspects of dealing with PCOS are just a few of the things that make this such a challenging journey. We love to hear from women who are tackling this disease one day at a time while learning to love their bodies and their life. There is nothing more awesome than a girl kicking butt. If you would like to share your PCOS journey with our readers please get in touch with us here: http://www.fertilitychef.com/contact/
How long did you deal with PCOS symptoms before being diagnosed? What was the trigger for pursuing a diagnosis?
I’m 22 and I had my first period at 11. My periods were only regular for a few years, and then they slowly began spacing out. Every 3 months, 6 months, once a year, and then they stopped all together when I was 19 or 20. I’ve had abnormal hair growth since shortly after I hit puberty, and I’ve been gaining weight since I was about the same age, as well. I’m stubborn/dumb when it comes to going to the doctor. I generally won’t go unless I’m possibly dying. So of course I only ended up going to an OB/GYN because my mother found out!
What did you know about PCOS before being diagnosed?
Next to nothing. I vaguely knew my cousin had some type of disorder (PCOS, it turns out!) because she had an extremely difficult time getting pregnant. Lots of fertility shots. She has a four year old now! Everything I found out after was all personal research. My doctor told me I had PCOS, that it causes weight problems, hair growth, and infertility. Gave me some birth control, told me I needed to lose weight (which just made me feel like crap about myself because he never actually explained that it would help with PCOS) told me to come back in three months and sent me on my way!
How has PCOS affected your relationship with your significant other? How can we increase awareness / sensitivity towards PCOS among men?
I don’t have a significant other at the moment, so no problems there. I’m also a lesbian, so I’m not sure I could give any input in regards to men! However, I have heard a bit about lesbians being more likely to be diagnosed with PCOS. I’ve also recently been beginning to think of myself as agender, which is also apparently common with people who are diagnosed with PCOS. It’s something I’ve been meaning to look into a bit more to better understand the validity of what I’ve heard! It’s fascinating to me.
What lifestyle or diet changes have you had to make and which ones have worked best for you?
Keto! Cutting out carbs has been immensely helpful. I feel so much better all the time. Fewer digestive issues, more energy, and I’ve lost 10 lbs in 3 weeks! I also like to say I exercise more, and I was for a while, but at this point that’s a lie. I’m working on it, though!
I’ve had my first period in 2 years 3 weeks after starting Keto. I’m not sure if that’s the weight loss, or the birth control, honestly. I’m leaning more toward weight loss being the reason, because I’m not actually supposed to be having periods yet with the type of birth control I’m taking.
Are there any special challenges you have faced treating PCOS?
No more than anyone else! I haven’t yet developed insulin resistance, as far as I know, and I’m hoping that’s not something I will have to worry about since I’ve cut out carbs and sugar. I have to shave a lot more than most women! I have a neckbeard and a mustache. And a unibrow. And you don’t even want to hear about the other places!
For women interested in trying lifestyle and diet changes as part of their PCOS management, how would you recommend they start?
[Tweet “Keto! Cutting out carbs has been immensely helpful for PCOS.”]
Cutting out carbs is the easiest thing in the world. It sucks, and you feel like absolute crap for the first week or so, but once you get a routine going, figure out what you like to eat, and start getting your kitchen stocked it’s pretty simple. I had never even heard of almond flour or flax seed before I started Keto, and now those are a regular part of my kitchen!
What is your favourite PCOS fighting recipe?
Anything involving tortillas! Without low carb tortillas, I would not be able to do Keto! I love quesadillas and tuna wraps.
- Slap Ya Mama
- Hot sauce
- Cream cheese
- Hand shredded cheese
- For quesadillas I mix some Slap Ya Mama (which is basically red pepper/black pepper/garlic powder/salt in a can) and hot sauce with cream cheese, spread it on two tortillas, add some hand shredded cheese and some chicken, slap it together and fry it in a pan with butter! Can’t go wrong with cheesy, chickeny, spicy, crunch!
For quesadillas I mix some Slap Ya Mama (which is basically red pepper/black pepper/garlic powder/salt in a can) and hot sauce with cream cheese, spread it on two tortillas, add some hand shredded cheese and some chicken, slap it together and fry it in a pan with butter! Can’t go wrong with cheesy, chickeny, spicy, crunch! I actually made a Reddit post about this one, for anyone who wants pictures! (http://www.reddit.com/tb/21hg6n)
Tuna wraps are even simpler! Mix tuna with mayonnaise, add a ton of chopped pickles, spread it on a tortilla and roll it up! Now I’m hungry…
What’s the one message that you think our readers should take-away if they are diagnosed with PCOS?
I was only diagnosed about a month and a half ago, so I don’t think I’ve had the time to let it properly sink in yet. But I know that my diagnoses does not make me a different person. I’m exactly the same person I was two months ago, the only difference is that I now have actual motivation to better myself. I always wanted to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle, but I was never properly motivated. The idea of diabetes, heart disease, yadda yadda, was always just a “it’ll never happen to me,” problem or a “I’d never let myself go that far,” kind of thing, when really it’s something that ANYONE who doesn’t take care of themselves properly should think about. I guess having PCOS is kind of a good thing if you think about it like that. It’s a source of motivation that not everyone gets!