Making friends with PCOS
I know what you're thinking...
WHY would I want to make friends with PCOS? She is a mean girl. She makes me feel bad about myself, she does weird things to my body and I just want her GONE!
I understand those thoughts. I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2006. I was a newlywed and struggling to conceive a baby. After having a baby as a teen, it was very confusing to be 28 and having this struggle.
It didn't just affect my fertility. It affected my entire body. Weight control, depression, acne...
In a later post, I will go into the many treatment plans that my doctor had me try, but it would take a lot of words and time that I don't have now. It involved hormones replacement therapy (birth control, progesterone), pokes and prods, many ultrasounds, a surgery to remove a canteloupe size uterine tumor and nothing that made me feel better or helped me conceive. My official diagnoses was amenorrhea (lack of menstrual cycle) and endometriosis (they diagnose symptoms, not PCOS as a syndrome). I knew my options were few and I was also told that because of the endometriosis, it wasn't a matter of "if" but "when" I developed uterine cancer and I should have a hysterectomy. Those are very scary words. Especially because I knew I wanted to have another baby. Controlling estrogen dominance became a matter of life for me.
In the midst of this, I was doing a ton of research. Knowing ALL THE THINGS made me feel like I was doing something; like I had control over my body and what was happening. I don't really know "all the things”, but I have learned so many things about how the environment around me was affecting my health. So many things were out of my control, but I knew I could control what I allowed in my home that affected my body and hormones. What I learned is that I cannot CURE PCOS, but I can make friends and understand what is happening to me and dance the dance of balance.
The food I ate and the environment around me were causing me to produce excess estrogen. This was preventing me from having a menstrual cycle and feeding endometriosis that thrives on estrogen. Have you noticed girls are starting their cycles earlier and earlier in age? Are you more prone to hormone induced cancers (breast, ovarian, uterine)? Have you struggled with thyroid issues? Do you have an irregular or absent period? Trouble sleeping? Excessive mood swings? Decreased sex drive? I could go on and on. This crisis of environmentally induced hormonal imbalances affect us all!
I started where I could. I looked to the food I was putting in my body and I began by replacing common household cleaners with natural ones (seriously, just google "chemical cleaners and hormones" and you will find a plethora of information on how these are contributing to excess estrogen). I switched from plastic food containers to glass; from plastic water bottles (even BPA-FREE) to stainless steel water containers. I unplugged all of my plug-in smelly good things. I found alternatives to the yummy scented candles I love so much, because I discovered how harmful they were to my health. It didn't happen all at once and I'm still learning and making changes.
Where do you start? Learn symptoms of hormone imbalance and when to get tested. Check out this blog at Natural Fertility Info. Don't let the title fool you, even if you have no interest in conceiving, the information is for EVERYONE!
Here I will share my resource list of ALL THINGS PCOS. Learn to make friends with PCOS so you can tame the beast!
The PCOS DIet Plan does a great job of explaining what is happening to your body when you have PCOS and how to nourish and heal your body through the food you eat (and avoid).
WomanCode: Perfect Your Cycle, Amplify Your Fertility, Supercharge Your Sex Drive, and Become a Power Source is another great book by Alisa Vitti, a holistic health coach who has PCOS.
My go-to blog on all things PCOS is natural-fertility-info.com. Even in if you are not trying to get pregnant, they are a fabulous resource for all thing south of the border.
Start here: Resources for treating PCOS Naturally