My PCOS

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PCOS Awareness

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My PCOS:

By Donna M My PCOS

Who am I?:

I am 24 years old. I am a Child and Youth Worker and this is my passion. I love kids and I have a soft spot in my heart for children who have disabilities or behavioural concerns. My boyfriend, Mike, and I have been together 7 years and we have begun planning more seriously about our future . We have a small family and that includes his 11 year old daughter, whom I love as if she were my own. We have a dog named Tuggs who is our baby and a devilish cat named Ming. I am the second oldest of 4 kids. My mom raised us alone as my dad had some difficulties with alcohol abuse. He moved to Alberta many years ago and we maintain a close relationship. Who am I?

What is PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) :

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition in which there is an imbalance of a woman's female sex hormones. This hormone imbalance may cause changes in the menstrual cycle, skin changes, small cysts in the ovaries , trouble getting pregnant, and other problems . PCOS occurs in 5% to 10% of women and is the most common cause of infertility in women. The Symptoms of PCOS are: Absent periods, usually with a history of having one or more normal menstrual periods during puberty Irregular menstrual periods, which may be more or less frequent, and may range from very light to very heavy Development of male sex characteristics: Decreased breast size Deepening of the voice Enlargement of the clitoris Increased body hair on the chest, abdomen, and face, as well as around the nipples (called hirsutism ) Thinning of the hair on the head, called male-pattern baldness What is PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)

What does it look like?:

What does it look like?

Emotional Health:

Living with a chronic condition, such as PCOS can impact on your emotional health . Some women also find that the symptoms of PCOS can affect their feelings of femininity and sexuality . Depression and anxiety can impact on physical (eating and sleeping patterns), psychological (motivation and feelings of worthlessness) and social factors (relationships with others). Negative mood may make it difficult to look after ourselves, follow a healthy lifestyle, and make the best decisions about our health. It is important to be aware of the effects of mood as managing these aspects of lifestyle is an important part of managing PCOS . If you are suffering from the emotional affects of PCOS, it is important to seek help from your GP, psychologist, or accredited health professional. Quality of life may be improved by: gaining a better understanding of PCOS, anxiety and depression getting treatment to manage symptoms as soon as possible Emotional Health

How I was diagnosed.:

All my life I have never had regular periods. It was never a cause for concern as my mom didn't have regular periods either. It wasn't until I was in my 20's that I started to worry. It started when my period would come one month but then it would skip the next. This happened many times until I went four months without a period. I was terrified. I had taken a few pregnancy tests and they were all negative, which I expected as we have always taken precautions. I went to a walk-in clinic as I find it very difficult to get results from my doctor. That doctor referred me to a gynecologist. I met with the gynecologist on April 5th 2011 and she was really nice. She asked me many questions and then told me that it was PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). I was as confused as I had just had my physical which included an ultrasound on my ovaries and the doctor had not found anything. So I went home and told Mike what the doctor had said. We researched a little online but I am not sure that was a good idea. Many scary things came up and those shadowed any of the positives or treatment. It was like my worst nightmare. Mike tried many times to reason with me (which he is usually very good at) but there was no consoling me. I instantly began thinking about all the possibilities and it was always the worst. How I was diagnosed.

How I was diagnosed cont.:

I made an appointment with my family doctor to see if there was anything that could have been missed. Mike and I both went in and told him what the gyno said. This was when it became even more confusing. My doctor disagreed with the gyno . He said that there were no cysts found at the time of my ultrasound so it was not likely. I later found out through research that they are not always present. After the long conversation we had agreed that there was an issue regardless of what we called it and that until we decided to have kids we wouldn't have to do any medical interventions. I left that appointment feeling more lost and confused than before. That week was very trying for Mike and I as we had many conversations about things we never thought we would have to. One example would be when we were at Walmart I approached the topic of adoption (not a good idea when I was irrational). He practically shut down and refused to accept that we would have to go there. When we first started dating we had a conversation about having kids and I told him that it was something I wanted and if he was not willing to have children than we would not work as a couple. He agreed and has always maintained that we would have children one day. At that moment at Walmart I decided to bring that conversation up again. I told him that it was not fair of him to dismiss the idea when he hadn't given it some thought. We shared many tears and many long discussions after that. Eventually he agreed that we both wanted children and if I couldn't have any than we would find another way. How I was diagnosed cont.

Getting educated!:

The internet can be a wonderful tool in finding information but as we know it is not always the most reliable and does not always tell all of the information. These two books have been very helpful. One book is on understanding PCOS and the other book is on the best diet for PCOS. A Patient's Guide to PCOS: Understanding--and Reversing Polycystic Ovary Syndrome By Walter Futterweit , M.D. This book has taught me that everything I have to live with is all in my control. My frustrating acne, my weight gain, my mood changes, and the hair growth is all something that can be managed with diet. Everything I have read online has said the same thing but they never say what kind of diet or what kinds of foods I should be avoiding. Well here it is....... The G.I. Diet. It's a low glycemic diet. It looks at the way certain foods affect your body and then rate it. Anything with a glycemic index of 55 or lower is healthy for a person with PCOS anything higher is not good. So the book I have been reading is The g.i . diet- The green-light way to permanent weight loss by Rick Gallop. It's super simple and easy to understand. They have it setup with the green light food you should be eating and the yellow light foods that you can have once and a while and then the red light foods that you should stay away from as much as possible. Getting educated!

Your solution!!:

What no one ever wants to hear……. DIET & EXERCISE!! Depending on genetics, unhealthy diet and small amount of excercise you have: increased insulin -> increased androgens (like testosterone) -> increased estrogen -> irregular periods, weight gain, hair growth or hair loss, lack of ovulation -> infertility. How to minimize your symptoms: Limit carbs (whole wheat carbs are best) Stay active Use nutritional & herbal support Support your emotional health Your solution!!

PCOS is a simple case of eat less & do more. If only it was as easy as that.:

PCOS is a simple case of eat less & do more. If only it was as easy as that . 16 years old 120 lbs 23 years old 195 lbs 24 years old 178 lbs

Conclusion:

In the future I would love for there to be open dialogue about fertility issues and not just PCOS. I hope that women with PCOS have the strength to conquer PCOS and become healthy and have children. I hope that we can bring more awareness to PCOS so that more women can get help and have them diagnosed correctly. I wish for myself that I am healthy and strong and can bring a healthy child into this world and show them the love that my family has to share! Thank you for watching my video! Conclusion

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