A post about PCOS pt 1

I’m not sure whether this will be a connected series, but there will be a lot of posts about this, and how it affects me personally.

I have PCOS. It is a endocrine (hormonal) disorder that affects menstruation and has many other health consequences.
I was diagnosed Christmas 2007, after a blood test, an ultrasound and an MRI. The blood test measured how out of whack my hormones were (very), the ultrasound to see what my ovaries look like (cyst-y) and the MRI to ensure my pituitary gland was working out (it is). I am pretty much infertile. I have insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance is when your body needs to produce more insulin to get a response, compared to someone without this resistance. Insulin is a finite resource, once levels get too low, you get diabetes. So I’m at a high risk for type 2 diabetes.
To combat the insulin resistance I am reducing my sugar and simple carb intake. I’ve…fallen off the wagon lately, lots of potatoes as the weather is cold and mash is a comfort food. I have been having a metric fecktonne of veg so I’m hoping that will counteract it slightly. Must try harder. People don’t know whether PCOS causes insulin resistance, or visa versa. Same thing with weight. Carrying extra weight around the belly can cause erratic hormone levels. However, high levels of insulin in the body (a side effect of insulin resistance) can lead to weight gain. This all boils down to it being incredibly hard to lose weight when you have PCOS. Bleugh.

I have just been put on Dianette to help with my hirsutism, and hopefully my moods. It will also induce menstruation regularly, which protects against cancer, which may be caused by lack of periods. Maybe. However my body has not liked them, responding with very tender breasts and then severe nausea. My friend gave me some anti nausea medication she had and its working wonders. I’m heading to the Dr. tomorrow (hopefully I’ll get an appointment) and see if they’ll prescribe me something for it.

Thankfully, I no longer want children, so the infertility doesn’t bother me that much. It’s the side-effect that I think about least. There are things that can be done if I change my mind, ovarian drilling and IVF. Some of the drugs for pre-diabetes can also help.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Phi
    Feb 23, 2010 @ 16:54:03

    hey my lovely- v interesting post πŸ™‚ I was on dianette for my skin in my late teens before changing to Yasmin, no reaction for me but it didn’t really help my skin out either. If you find the hirsutism a problem have you been considering non-drug paths- like lazer treatments?- I suppose they may not be covered by NHS very readily and would be expensive otherwise. Ugh! No mash! that is just meeeeaan. You better get into a lab and solve this sharpish- let the mash drive you! How about cheese- do you have to limit it at all? I know its not a carb but if you have to keep your weight down for extra type 2 prevention do you have to limit it- because that would just be sooooo wrong. I think PCOS needs it’s arse kicked- if you can ever anthropomorphise it then i’d be happy to provide the foot.


    • Gem
      Feb 23, 2010 @ 21:52:26

      Hey πŸ™‚
      Yeah, they can’t do much else for me on the NHS as far as I know, and laser treatment is expensive and supposedly painful. This is the first thing I’ve tried for the hirsutism to be fair, so just see how it goes.
      Cheese. Yes and No. I do have less cheese now then I did back in first year-maybe once a week, twice if I’m feeling generous – but it was more of a gradual thing. I just stopped wanting cheese all the time. Which is better than me having to try and cut back myself, I guess πŸ™‚

      PCOS does need its arse kicked! Hard!


  2. attack_laurel
    Feb 25, 2010 @ 14:17:21

    Hi – came here from Shakesville. πŸ™‚

    The latest studies on diabetes and insulin resistance seem to be pretty clearly pointing at weight gain as a symptom, not a cause, of diabetes and PCOS. So please, don’t beat yourself up over that. You have enough to deal with, without also blaming yourself for something you have no control over.

    (I write about weight and diet and FA on my blog fairly frequently.)

    *much love*


    • Gem
      Feb 26, 2010 @ 23:41:29

      Thank you πŸ™‚ I try not to beat myself up, but there’s that voice in the back of my head, y’know? I can wax poetic about being healthy and fat, but, especially due to the PCOS, I have a monologue of omgfattype2diabetesliverdiseaseraaagh every time I choose potato over some other veg. Bleugh. I’m slowly getting there though. I’ll definitely head over to your blog and have a read!


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