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SUCCESSN2014's Photo SUCCESSN2014 SparkPoints: (38,770)
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6/11/12 6:14 P

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My old gyno in 2010 ran a panel of blood work, did an ultrasound of my ovaries, and a pap smear. She never came right out and said I had PCOS. She blew it off as "Oh your fine. Your cholesterol is high. Lose some weight and your period will come back." I hadn't had one in over a year. My blood work showed high cholesterol, crazy hormone levels and the ultrasound came back clear.

My new doctor here in FL didn't even examine me. She just looked at the 6 pages of tests results that I had brought with me and very matter of factly said "Your hormones are out of wack. You more then likely have PCOS." After talking with my mom about it and finding out she had it (Gee! Thanks for not telling me that sooner!) and researching the symptoms I was fairly confident I had it. I have the bad acne, male facial hair and areas your not suppose to ahve it, excessive weight gain (which old dr contributed to my trauma of being in a head on collision with a drunk), etc. My mom asked me "How are you standing the pain right now?" Confused, I asked her what she meant. Apparently she had cysts on her ovaries and that's how they found hers. ((KNOCK ON WOOD)) I don't have cysts but I have all the other symptoms.

Honestly, if you don't feel comfortable with the care she is giving you find another doctor. It unfortunately took me moving from TX to FL before anyone would take me serious and I'm just now over 2 years later finally finding out what is truly wrong and getting treated for it.

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Edited by: SUCCESSN2014 at: 6/11/2012 (18:17)
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4/26/12 8:10 P

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Wow!! Thanks everyone, I never thought I would get so many great first hand experience replies. I try to research info about pcos on the web, but first hand experience is an important part of the learning experience too. I realize everyone is differant and will experience differant symptoms which does make it more difficult. I realise now that I should keep an open mindabout male doctors, and I definatly do need to look for a new doctor. I think I will start looking sometime this week,I hope, I have been busy looking for a job and trying to get everything in place to start college for the first time ever in the fall. It will be pretty crazy trying to do all that and get a grasp of this pcos at the same time but I know I will feel so much better and more at ease....again thanks so much for sharing your experiences with me

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4/25/12 11:30 A

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Hi, sorry to hear you're having a rough time with docs and the diagnosis - I think the hardest bit for pcos is the fact that the symptoms between sufferers are so different and unless you have the polycystic ovaries it's a little more difficult to diagnose the syndrome part of it.

You've had lots of answers and responses and I only wanted to pass on my experience of having PCoS, underactive thyroid and diabetes - the biggest thing that helped me along the way was to eat like a diabetic and to exercise harder. The right food helps to balance your blood sugar and moods and the exercise as well as helping with your weight also helps to elevate your mood and helps deal with any anxiety or depressive periods. I would agree with taking omega 3/fish supplements but also try getting some reading material from your local library or of course online to find your best course of action. If you make yourself feel better then you can deal with residual symptoms later as that is what PCoS is all about, dealing with your symptoms rather than the diagnosis.

Remember you are not alone, but again that can be one of the side effects of the imbalance of moods - feeling isolated.

Take care and hope you find the right doctor for you, agree with the post about finding the right doctor not the doctor of the right sex. My doctor was also male and without his conscientiousness and not stopping until he had me sorted I wouldn't be where I am today, don't get me wrong I will always be a work in progress but at least I feel human again.

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PIPPAMOUSE's Photo PIPPAMOUSE Posts: 437
4/24/12 5:51 P

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I was diagnosed based on symptoms, but I also had a testosterone level done and ruled out hypothyroidism. When I was first diagnosed (4 years ago) it was because I went off of birth control and 2 months later stopped menstruating. My doc at the time was pretty flippant about it and said just restart birth control. This year I had some questions about PCOS and the newer doc I was seeing was not what I needed. She spouted off all the info she knew about PCOS but couldn't answer the actual questions I had. She suggested I use the DASH diet because it's good for everything. Well, the DASH diet is designed for high blood pressure. It recommends something like 5-7 servings of grains. That, along with the lack of answering questions and talking about bloodwork results had me seeking a new doctor. I decided I didn't need a woman doctor, I needed a doctor that would be part my team. I want to have questions answered and discussions and make a plan for my care. So I researched and did. I have a wonderful, supportive, (male) doc that cheers for me with my successes and suggests things to do for my struggles.

I started out thinking that male docs couldn't understand because they don't have the same parts as I do. I have changed my line of thinking to finding the qualities I am looking for regardless of their gender. It has helped tremendously!

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JULMUT's Photo JULMUT SparkPoints: (20,952)
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4/24/12 12:47 P

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I was diagnosed based only on symptoms. I have never had an ultrasound. But when I went to the endocrinologist for the first time, she did do blood work which gives you a better understanding of what's going on. Also, everyone is a bit different and everyone has a different combination of symptoms. So, the more info you have about you as an individual, the better.

You should have your blood sugar and a1c checked. The blood sugar tells your the amount of glucose in your bloodstream at the current time. The a1c gives you an idea of what your blood sugar is over time. People with pcos are often insulin resistant, so its go to know what your blood sugar is. If it is high, that can idicate insulin resistance or even diabetes, not to mention that its really bad for your health. If there is a problem, the doctor might want a glucose tolerance test. This is where they test your blood sugar repeatedly over a few hours to see how well your body is processing insulin.

The doctor would also likely want a lipid panel to check your cholesterol and tryglicerides, basically just because they are part of your metabolism which is what causes the pcos symptoms. Plus, once you have pcos, if your cholesteral and tryglicerides aren't already out of whack, they are way more likely to start causing you problems in the future.

They may also want to test other hormone levels, like the growth hormones and androgens to see if anything is out of balance. People with pcos often high very abnormally high testosterone levels. You just have to make sure you have a really good doctor interpreting these tests. For example, I have excess hair growth, so you'd think my testerone would be high, but its not. So you have to find a doctor that you can work with that will look at all of the many facets of this and come up with options for you.

Many doctors will say to try just diet and exercise first. And I think its worth a shot. If your body will respond to that, then great. That's better than being on a ton of medicines. In my case, my body stopped responding. My weight was up as well as my sugar, cholesteral and tryglicerides. So, I'm on several meds to control those things as well as birth control to regulate my cycle and spironolactone to prevent the excess hair growth from getting worse. I'm not thrilled with having to take 6 prescriptions, but I will say this. I am way healthier on them than I was without them. I was so frustrated and feeling so miserable. I was even having a lot of problems with depression and anxiety. Now, I feel a lot better. I've been able to lose weight. My quality of life has greatly improved. And I know I probably won't ever get off meds completely, but I'm doing so well that my doctor is going to eliminate one prescription this summer if I am still doing well.

I'm sorry for the long post, but I know what it feels like to be in the position that the doctor is not there to help you and is putting you down. It feels aweful. I had type 2 diabetes and pcos for about 15 years before I actually had a doctor really try to understand what was going on and help me. Best of luck to you. Keep us updated.

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CHRIMSONFYRE's Photo CHRIMSONFYRE SparkPoints: (92,661)
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4/23/12 9:55 A

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To confirm, you need to have your hormones tested and they usually do a scan of your ovaries to look for cysts.
If indeed you have PCOS, weight loss will be difficult usually without metformin to help you. If you do not want to do the drugs...there is natural information out there. Also try to stick to a diet that you would think of as a diabetes type diet, because your blood sugar tends to be out of whack with everything else (hence the metformin). Once I cut out refined carbs and most of my sugar intake, the weight loss began to happen.

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BETHIEBOOPS's Photo BETHIEBOOPS SparkPoints: (10,975)
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4/23/12 6:53 A

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Argh! That's so frustrating! I am so sorry to hear that this has been such a bad experience for you.

I agree, you need a new Dr. I'm 23. My hormones are stuffed. Thanks to all the garbage in processed foods, there are plenty of opportunities to have screwy hormones.

Also, for info on managing PCOS I love pcosdiva.com. She is a lifesaver. the information she has and the attitude she has is empowering. And eating clean is good practice even if you do not have PCOS.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!

*Elizabeth*

"If you don't take care of your body, where will you live?"

Last Life Goal Completed: Had a Baby! May 2013

Last Weight Goal achieved: 50 pounds lost! September 2012

Shredding through the post- baby weight! 17 pounds to go!


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4/22/12 3:14 P

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Thank you both for your replies, I just feel so alone with this sometimes. The only blood work I got done was the metabolic panel, I simple blood test done in a lab but they did tell me not to eat for I think 12hours before the test. The only thing I remember her mentioning was the low good cholesterol and the high triglycerides, and suggested fish oil as a supplement. The weird thing is she wasn't going to go over the results with me at all until I mentioned them. I could be wrong, and maybe the blood work included one of those tests that would help rule out or diagnose PCOS, but it if did, my dr. didn't clue me in on any of that.
In fact, when I first saw her I mentioned that I thought I might have a hormone imbalance and she pretty much laughed and told me that my insurance wouldn't approve for a (then) 23 year old woman to have her hormones tested, and that at my age it shouldn't be a problem but then a few visits later she thinks that my physical symptoms alone are enough to have me pretty much self diagnose myself with pcos, which ironicly from what I hear is a hormone imbalance. When I went and saw the dietician I told her that I wasn't given any tests to officaly diagnose the pcos and she told me it was one of those syndromes and that it isn't tested for often. I feel like they want me to wait until I have diabetes or heart disease, like they don't think its important right now, but so many of the symptoms are there, it would be nice to get a handle on it before it gets worse. I lost so much faith in my Dr. that I haven't been back in a while and even missed my annual exam quite a few months ago (I know, shame on me). Looks like I will be looking for a new Dr. on Monday, and for now I am trying to read up on what effects exercise, diet and losing weight have on pcos since that's something I can start on my own without official testing until I can get the info I need from a dr.

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4/22/12 2:02 P

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That is strange that she didn't do extra blood work! Before I was diagnosed officially, and after the doctor found cysts on my right ovary, I was given a fasting glucose test, a fsh (follical stimulating hormone) test, a LH (Luteinizing hormone) test and a couple other tests that I can't recall. My insulin levels were high and my FSH and LSH were low low low. And of course TOM was increasingly irregular. Only then did she mention some of the other symptoms like the skin discolourations, fatigue, weight gain, and so on and so forth and I agreed that I had them. It seems ass-backwards to do it the other way around.

PCOS is often just the go-to diagnosis for lazy doctors. Please get it checked out again. Some of my symptoms (like pain when I ovulate) are linked to PCOS and other reproductive issues. Your Doctor can't just say that you have PCOS without doing proper hormonal and glucose tests.


*Elizabeth*

"If you don't take care of your body, where will you live?"

Last Life Goal Completed: Had a Baby! May 2013

Last Weight Goal achieved: 50 pounds lost! September 2012

Shredding through the post- baby weight! 17 pounds to go!


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JENNPAGE71's Photo JENNPAGE71 SparkPoints: (2,887)
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4/21/12 5:39 P

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Did they check the hormone levels, functions of kidney and liver?
They did the blood work and when it came back they then did the pelvic ultrasound. (They found the cysts the first time on mine) Some people don't have the cysts.



Edited by: JENNPAGE71 at: 4/21/2012 (17:40)
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4/21/12 5:37 P

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Also, I would like to add that she did send me to hospital to have my blood drawn for some test, I think it was called a metabolic panel or something along those lines. I had to mention it for her to go over the results with me, which showed high triglycerides and low "good" cholesterol, for which she suggested fish oil. Also, the dr. I was seeing was a Licensed Nurse Practitioner at an internal medicine office, maybe this inst something she would treat? I kind of just chose a dr. at random and had slim pickings because I wanted a female. I just have a hard time putting faith into doctors, I think my anxiety is to blame for that.

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4/21/12 5:27 P

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Hello,
I am new to this group. I am 24 and was told by my doctor about a year and a half ago that she suspects I have PCOS. It was during an annual physical that she noticed the physical clues that I might have it. She printed out some info for me to read about it and I told me to read it over and decide if I think I have it, well it didnt take me long to scan the symptoms and realize that yes, I do have alot of them, I asked her what would be the next step if I thought I had this condition and she just vaguely said "there's some medications that are sometimes used to treat the symptoms". I felt like she was trying to blow me off,or didn't have the extra time to discuss it with me, I felt helpless.
At that time, I had also been on antidepressants and anti anxiety medications which, combined with the loss of a job, contributed to me gaining a significant amount of weight over a short time, which was never acknowledged by her either, I had to bring that up too. I felt a little discouraged that every time I would go in for a meds check my weight would be higher and higher, to the point of severe obesity and my dr. didnt see it as a problem. Well I finally got up the courage ( I suffer from social anxiety, which makes it hard for me to speak up for myself) to mention my weight and ask her if she had any tips, she referred me to a dietician which was great.
The dietician put me on the "plate method diet" which is pretty much 1/2 the plate filled with veggies,1/4 with protein and 1/4 with a starch, and possibly a low fat dairy and/or a fruit on the side,and allowed snacks if hungry, if 150 calories or less. I did well on this diet and lost 9lbs in one month even with the meds ( and was taking birth control pills by this time as well). Well for whatever reason I got side tracked and gave up the diet and since then have gained at least another 25lbs. in a year. I have since stopped taking all the meds and am just now trying to lose the weight again.
I guess my question is what testing can be done to confirm pcos? Can it be confirmed without tests? I have alot of the classic symptoms: Acne,dark male pattern body hair,never conceived even when not on BC, and I have been overweight if not obese for as long as I can remember. My periods are pretty regular, never missed a month except a couple months ago when I suffered a fractured bone in my leg. How safe is it to have pcos and not be on any meds for it? Should I find a dr. that will do something about it or is diet,exercise, vitamins and supplements enough for now? I just dont know where to go from here.Sorry this post is so long, but wanted to give as much info as I could.

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