i have recently been diagnosed with PCOS. i am 22 years old, 111 pounds and am fit and active - i've always eaten a very healthy diet of fish, eggs and vegetables (never really liked meat).
i am pretty devastated, as the doctor says my fertility will be affected. also, the fact that i don't have the 'typical' PCOS indicators such as hirsutism or being overweight makes me feel that i can't do anything to help - most treatment programs involve weight loss to improve insulin resistance. i had an internal scan, so it is 100% confirmed that i have PCOS.
i greatly believe in the power of 'food as medicine'. i was wondering if anyone has any ideas or experience? i have been taking agnus castus tablets in the hope of reinstating my menstral cycle (no period for a year - sorry if too much information there!)
thanks a lot, j
asked byjen_paleo (187)
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on November 05, 2012
at 05:46 PM
I have PCOS and was always thin (until after years of fertility treatments, no hirsutism either. You absolutely CAN maintain your fertility, you don't have to be heavy to have insulin resistance and the proper diet WILL help.
Get yourself to a GOOD Endocrinologist ( there are a lot of rotten ones out there, so keep looking until you find the right one) who really understands PCOS. A good endo will be doing comprehensive testing if your insulin metabolism (ie C-peptide test) and your hormones to differentiate whether your PCOS is mostly insulin pathway or adrenal pathway. Thyroid needs to be looked at carefully as well.
Then a proper treatment plan can be established. The cornerstone is a good Paleo diet, low in carbs if you're insulin resistant, and not too high I carbs if you're not (why invite trouble?).
Birth control pills are often prescribed, but they tend to mask problems, not treat them. Some women with PCOS find their symptoms much worse when they finally come off BCPs, especially tricyclics.
If you're insulin resistant (yes, you can be thin and insulin resistant) Metformin is the miracle drug if diet alone does not restore your cycles.
At the age of 40 I started a regimen of low carb dieting and Metformin for health reasons, never expecting to conceive. I had 2 in vitro procedures to conceive my first child--they did not know about the insulin resistance in those days. I had my first EVER ovulatory period within 1 month of starting met (age 40!) and six months later was shocked to find myself pregnant (our wonderful surprise turns 12 this month!).
You are fortunate to live in a time when we know so much more about PCOS and you have the ability to make changes in your diet and get good treatment. If you want children you will have them.
Start by finding a doctor who knows more than the doctor you have now. Weightloss was negligible when I started cycling on my own--correcting metabolism was key. Too many doctors think obesity is the cause of PCOS rather than recongnizing obesity as a long term consequence of PCOS--and if you're thin they think nothing can be done. That's absolutely incorrect.
on May 22, 2013
at 12:23 PM
You might want to Google around and learn more about iodine supplementation for combating PCOS.
on November 05, 2012
at 06:35 PM
Did your doctor rule out hypothalamic amenorrhea? Hypothalamic amenorrhea can also cause polycystic ovaries, but can be caused by excessive emotional and/or physical stress. If you don't have the typical markers for PCOS, and the diagnosis was made based on your ovarian ultrasound alone, it might be something worth looking into. I've been without my period for over 2 years, but don't have most of the typical symptoms either, and although most of the doctors I saw who couldn't explain it seemed to want to peg me as PCOS, I finally saw someone who diagnosed me with hypothalamic amenorrhea due to low body weight/restrictive eating/excessive stress.
Sorry that you're having to go through this. It's a frustrating place to be. Fortunately, the amount of information out there is on the rise, and more and more people seem to be finding ways to heal themselves. If you haven't been there already, Paleo For Women has some great information about both PCOS and hypothalamic amenorrhea, and how one can approach treating them through a Paleo diet and lifestyle changes. Definitely worth checking out! :)
on November 05, 2012
at 04:48 PM
Hi there - I'm in a hurry, but I wanted to say that I'm one who undid the diagnosis. For me, the primary indicator was prediabetes - and now I no longer qualify as prediabetic. I dropped 30 lbs and ate paleo (was already gluten free, so stopped eating all the other whole grains, way cut back on filler-carbs). My endocrinologist high-fived me. It's possible!
How is your blood sugar, anyway? You don't have to be overweight to have goofy blood sugar.
Have you checked out the SoulCysters website? I recommend it.