Mastering PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)

Yay!! I’ve lost 25.6 pounds total so far with 54.4 pounds to go to reach my goal!  My BMI has dropped from 36.9 to 33.1 and my goal BMI is 24.9.

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Mastering PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)

Polycystic ovarian syndrome is one of the most common hormonal problems in women – one in ten premenopausal women in America has it.

Women may find out they have PCOS when they have trouble getting pregnant.

It’s the #1 cause of female infertility because women with the condition don’t ovulate or menstruate regularly.

But girls as young as 11 have also been known to develop this condition – they typically find out when they develop severe acne or excessive facial hair.

PCOS is usually characterized by a combination of 2 hormonal dysfunctions – insulin resistance and androgen excess.

What comes first?

No one knows for sure.

One theory argues extra insulin stimulates your ovaries to produce extra testosterone.

Another theory says the condition starts in your hypothalamus.

But not all of them are overweight.

That’s why some doctors believe in 10 years we’ll have a PCOS type 1 and type 2, like we have type 1 and type 2 diabetes now.

One thing is for sure – women who have PCOS start to experience a lot of collateral damage from their condition, in the form of these symptoms:

Abdominal obesity

Acne

Infertility

Irregular or missed periods

Weight gain or difficulty losing weight

Thinning hair on head

Higher LDL

Dandruff

Oily skin

Excess hair on upper lip, chin, chest, back, stomach, thumbs, or toes

Skin tags

Excessive snoring/sleep apnea

Higher triglycerides

Lower HDL

Darkened skin on neck, arms, breasts, or thighs

Some of these symptoms can be a hassle, but the long-term health concerns of PCOS are even worse – women with PCOS are up to 7 times more likely to suffer from a heart attack than women without the condition.

Pregnant women who have it face a steeper rate of miscarriage, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and premature delivery.

More than 50% of women with PCOS will develop prediabetes or diabetes by the time they’re 40.

Managing your symptoms will not only help you feel better right now, it’ll reduce your likelihood of developing these serious complications.

If you suspect you have PCOS, make an appointment with an endocrinologist and ask him or her to test your androgen and blood glucose levels for signs of insulin resistance.

Other hormones to test include luteinizing hormone (LH), estrogen, progesterone, and thyroid hormones.

Your doctor may even order an ultrasound of your ovaries, which might show a string of small cysts – hence the name of the disorder.

If you’re pregnant (or want to be) and have PCOS, don’t despair – your doctor can tell you about the various treatments available.

PCOS isn’t curable, but some lifestyle and diet tips can help make the symptoms more manageable immediately and help prevent greater risks down the road.

Give these a try:

Monitor your blood sugar.

Even if you’re not diagnosed with diabetes, you’ll want to get very comfortable with a blood sugar monitor – it’s a great way to keep tabs on how your diet influences your insulin response.

Be sure to lean toward higher-protein meals and snacks – when women with PCOS used higher protein/lower carb diets to lose weight, they reduced their blood sugar, lowered levels of free androgens, and maintained a healthy HDL.

Lose that 10%.

The Department of Health and Human Services says even a 10% drop in weight can help to make your menstrual cycle more regular – not to mention improve your body’s insulin sensitivity.

Definitely use this diet, but don’t forget to exercise.

One study of women with PCOS found doing just 30 minutes on a stationary bike 3 times a week netted them an average loss of 4.5% of their body weight and improved their insulin sensitivity significantly without even dieting.

Quit smoking.

Think of your increased heart attack risk!

Smoking jacks up your blood pressure and heart rate, raises testosterone, cortisol, and other adrenal hormones, causes insulin resistance, and messes with your ovarian function – in other words, it makes every aspect of PCOS worse.

Just don’t do it.

Stick to organic dairy.

Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) stimulates the production of certain skin cells that plug skin ducts and lead to acne.

While no link has been proven between rBST hormones in dairy and PCOS, cows treated with growth hormones do produce milk with higher levels of IGF-1.

Given the many other reasons to choose organic dairy, less acne is just icing on the cake.

Come join me on my weight loss journey!  I’d love to have you along!

Have an awesome day!

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If you’d like to read Jillian’s book, you can get it here: Master Your Metabolism: The 3 Diet Secrets to Naturally Balancing Your Hormones for a Hot and Healthy Body!

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Dick and Lenay

email: Lenay@dickandlenay.com – 715-431-0657

P.S. If your diet isn’t working for you, join me on my weight loss journey here – http://bit.ly/13lxgzD


 

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