I'm looking for some specific advice regarding managing PCOS. Let me tell you a bit about my story first..
I have been eating close to a Paleo lifestyle since the age of 15, and I have been a stricter Paleo since I turned 17. There have definitly been gaps of less perfect eating, i.e. freshman year of college, but I have been strict about not eating grains / frankenfoods.
As you can tell from looking at my past posts, I have had a hard time managing my weight for years. I recall gaining weight when I added fruit to my diet or if I took off from exercising-- I never understand how these things could cause weight gain, but doctors insisted that I was fine. I was also concerned because I was menstruating every two weeks, but again, doctors said I was okay.
Before beginning college, I visited an acupuncturist that had treated me for an illness when I was younger. I expressed all of my concerns to him, and we agreed to work together on these isues. I stayed in contact with him throughout freshman year, sending food journals and health updates.
Fast forward to the end of freshman year. I had maintained Paleo as best I could, but wasn't eating optimally- i.e. I ate bananas, almond butter, lots of sweet potatoes, and everything was cooked in bad oils. I gained around 25 lbs from February 2013 - May 2014. (That time includes some of my senior year of high school, when I added fruit to my diet.) My period was still coming every 2-3 weeks.
That summer, I followed a strict Paleo protocol under the guidance of my acupuncturist. I ate Whole 30 style for FOUR MONTHS. Not a single cheat. I didn't eat fruit or any sort of carbohydrate. Breakfast was eggs w/ veggies, lunch and dinner were animal protein w/ veggies. I lost about 10 lbs, which wasn't nearly my goal. I didn't menstruate all summer, and by the end, I found myself very depressed. I cried often and couldn't sleep more than 5 hours.
RIght before beginning my sophomore year of college, I became fed up with this lack of progress. So I visited a naturopath. She suspected I had PCOS, and referred me to an endocrinologist. Based on my bloodwork, he couldn't diagnose me with PCOS, but he prescribed metformin. I menstruatd for the first time in months after 2 weeks on metformin.
Sophomore year of college. I cook everything myself, eat Paleo, and my average cycle is now 26 days (significantly better than my old average of 14!). I don't exercise. I still have PCOS symptoms-- my hair is still thinner, I cannot get my weight under control. I also get anxious and depressed often, and while therapy has helped, it hasn't helped enough.
I will be home in one month and I believe I have a chance at finally conquering these symptoms now that I have been taking metformin for so many months. Specifically, I want to return to my comfortable weight of 125 lbs (I currently sit at 145 lbs at 5'3) However, I'm not really sure where to begin. I know that I want to exercise (strength training and some cardio and yoga) and sleep a lot. And of course maintain Paleo. But low carb? High carb? Which carbs? Any supplements? How many calories???
I'd greatly appreciate any specific experiences or suggestions that any of you may have to offer. I feel very hopeful that I have the potential to solve these issues, I just need some tools/guidance to do so.
asked bySydney_1 (421)
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on April 03, 2015
at 12:23 AM
You may get varying opinions, but here's a report from the trenches.?? I have severe PCOS that started to manifest at the very onset of puberty when I was very thin.?? I never had an ovulatory period on my own and had to do two IVF procedures to conceive my first child after 2 years of other fertility treatments first--that's when I first started to gain weight.?? When my first child was 7 I read about new approaches to treating PCOS and was blessed to find a wonderful endo who knew what to do.?? I was 41 at that point, NOT trying to get pregnant, I just wanted to correct my metabolism to avoid diabetes and Alzheimers.?? He put me on a regimen of Metformin and low carb (Protein Power) and told me I could get pregnant, so I laughed at him.
I had my first EVER ovulatory period without fertility drugs within 30 days and was pregnant 6 months later (very happy with our little surprise who is now 14 years old and has PCOS too).?? I truly believe that it took BOTH the Metformin and the low carb to see a difference.?? In those days nobody ever heard of following a Paleo diet, but my testosterone and insulin levels came down significantly as a result of that regimen, and I was losing weight like a house afire until I became pregnant.??
IMHO, low carb was essential to MY success in acheiving normal ovulation and weight loss.?? I think it has also made my menopause much easier and more comfortable.??
?? Now you are going to get a lot of people telling you low carb is stupid (because they never walked in my shoes), but you'll have to figure out what works for YOU.?? Try it for a month and see.??