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CHRISTINA791 SparkPoints: (69,579)
Fitness Minutes: (116,862)
Posts: 789
11/5/12 6:45 P

I was diagnosed with PCOS and Diabetes around the same age as you, and in a similar situation (I was only about 20 pounds overweight at the time, and up at almost 170 due to poor habits and depression along with the medical effects). I spent the next ten years ignoring it, gaining weight and getting sicker, so first of all: Good for you for meeting this head on.

For me, success came with getting my blood sugar under control first. I was on metformin and had luck with it for the first few months, but eventually oral medication didn't do anything but make me sick to my stomach. I ended up on insulin before I finally got my blood sugar to where it needed to be. You'll obviously be a bit different if you're not diabetic yet, but the biggest advice I could give is hold up your end of the bargain. The pills alone aren't going to fix you, but they can help if you help them out by eating well and exercising. Denial was my worst enemy. I could rattle off a perfect list of food for my doctor, but my body knew when I was slacking off.

These days, I'm off all insulin and other medication aside from birth control, and I control my blood sugar with diet and exercise. I no longer seem to be sensitive to carbs, so I follow a fairly balanced diet to maintain my weight. If I did develop more of a sensitivity or started noticing that it was harder to keep my blood sugar in non-diabetic ranges, I'd consider going to a slightly lower carb diet than I follow now. As I've lost weight, the symptoms of PCOS have been dramatically reduced and I feel pretty normal.

Every person is different, so what worked for me might not work for you. Having a good medical team is vital for dealing with this, because it messes with you from so many different angles. Don't neglect the emotional toll this condition can take - that's what held me up, and I actually ended up meeting with a therapist who specialized in the emotional effects of chronic conditions to help me get my mind in the right place to fix my body. I don't think I'd have been able to do it if I hadn't gone through that step first.

Good luck. It's tough, but fighting it is a million times better than the alternative.

Edited by: CHRISTINA791 at: 11/5/2012 (18:48)
11/5/12 4:29 P

I was on met for 2 years while we tried to get pregnant - after a week or two of continuously taking it, the side effects went away. After my daughter was born I went on the pill, and I like it better than the met because of fewer side effects, plus the regulation of the periods, which I never got with the met (cycles got a little shorter, but still had some cycles of 90+ days).

I haven't found a specific diet that works, but definitely tracking and being more aware of my eating, plus added exercise, has helped me slowly lose about 15 pounds. I know it's not going to happen overnight, so I just try to focus on one day at a time.

Good luck, and welcome to SparkPeople!

SPARK_COACH_JEN Posts: 65,299
11/5/12 5:52 A

In addition to the good advice you've already received, you might want to post your question in one of the PCOS SparkTeams. You'll find others there who can share what's worked well for them. Here's a link to some of those teams:

Coach Jen

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (241,166)
Fitness Minutes: (41,039)
Posts: 26,438
11/5/12 4:59 A

Here are a couple links which may help you. Be sure to explore the links within those links:

I would be inclined to talk with your Dr about the effect that it has on you. There may be some trick to dealing with that.

Where it comes to the low carn/high protein, it isn't so much "low carb" but rather restricting processed carbs and eating wholegrains and fruit/veges, because you will need the extra fibre as well as other nutrients to help maintain and even blood sugar level, but the best thing that you can do is ask for a referral to a qualified Dietitian so that you get the BEST advice as it pertains to YOU and YOUR health!

Good luck,

ELLEJEAN90 SparkPoints: (853)
Fitness Minutes: (488)
Posts: 8
11/5/12 2:47 A

Thank you for the reply! I've heard that low carb, high protein would be the best shot at losing weight with PCOS. It makes sense. I have to agree about the metformin, I was prescribed it and haven't been able to take it on a steady schedule because I get such bad side effects from it, but I know it's important in order to treat the insulin resistance.

BERKANA_T Posts: 138
11/5/12 1:51 A

I'm on Metformin. It's helped a lot, for me. At the very least it's a pretty big deterent to eating a lot of the high simple carb foods that I used to. Side effects to combining Met and a meal of simple carbs are definitely not pleasant.

My doctor put me on a modified diabetic diet, to help deal with the insulin resistance. It's pretty much second nature now, although I found ways to cheat it before I started back with SP. Now I'm working at getting my diet back where it's supposed to be.

There were many times in the past when it didn't seem to matter what I ate (or didn't eat) or how much I exercised, my weight just stayed the same. It's like my body had found a comfortable level, and that's where it was going to stay, no matter what I did. I've managed to change that this time around. I picked one thing, focused on that, and then gradually added in more changes as the first became habit. The weight has been slow to come off, but it IS coming off, and that's really the important thing.

I have a great doctor who is very encouraging. As I lose weight, he's told me that my estrogen levels will start to come down. My hormone levels will probably never be properly balanced, but reducing the disparity will help reduce symptoms. I haven't noticed any huge differences so far, but I've also only lost 16 pounds so far. Still have a ways to go!

ELLEJEAN90 SparkPoints: (853)
Fitness Minutes: (488)
Posts: 8
11/5/12 12:03 A

First post, right here! I'm a 22 year old woman who was recently diagnosed with PCOS. My initial symptom was that I started gaining a LOT of weight, especially in the tummy. I've been slightly overweight since high school but I always had a small waist and no bulging tummy. Since I started gaining weight I've also had problems with my menstrual cycle, hair loss, acne, and other symptoms. These are all pretty depressing things, which lead to eating binges, which obviously lead to more weight gain.

Now to the point of this post! I was wondering if there were any other PCOS ladies who had success with a specific diet or if generally watching portion size and types of food helped. I've been on a pretty strict portion control diet and I haven't lost a pound.

I've heard about "PCOS diets", insulin resistance diets, and people who have used the glycemic index to guide their eating. Anyone have any experience with these diets and PCOS?

Finally, I'd like to know if there are any PCOS ladies who have had success with metformin.

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