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5/29/11 3:18 A

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I think weight loss does work with PCOS. I was overweight in my early teens but once I lost the weight (35lbs) my acne disappeared, until I ate badly. My peroids came every month and my facial hair disappear although hairy women run in my family. I had the little mustaches here and there. I'm 5"10 and I want to get to 170 where I was when I was in my 20's. I had no PCOS problems then.

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FEATHERDUST's Photo FEATHERDUST SparkPoints: (10,588)
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4/29/11 8:41 A

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I was tentatively diagnosed with PCOS about four years ago (no cysts, but every other symptom). My periods were horribly irregular (I would go four to five months without having them a year) and when I did have them, I'd spot afterwords for weeks. I also have problems with facial hair growth. I had a VERY good endocrinologist who diagnosed me and talked with me about PCOS, and we tried metformin for awhile, but I'm one of those people who is leery of taking drugs for long term periods, so I tried to get the symptoms down a more natural way, and decided to discontinue taking the drug.

I notice that every time I start eating healthy, or simply running - my period comes back with slightly more regularity (not complete regularity, but I still generally have it once a month for several days, which is a plus!), and my facial hair growth slows (but doesn't stop). I think getting into shape helps my body 'reset' itself, so to speak, and get back into a more appropriate cycle.

One other thing I've noticed is that while I can lose weight slowly but surely if I eat well and exercise (~1 pound a week) I can gain it back REALLY fast if I don't watch it very carefully. If I splurge or stop running for awhile ... the symptoms creep back.

So yes, for me, weight loss does help - but I'm not sure if it's just weight loss, or if it can be attributed to eating better and/or exercise. :) Probably a combination of the three, but seriously, I think the latter two helped me a lot without the weight loss on top of it.

VLHGSD Posts: 48
12/21/09 3:41 P

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I've heard the same thing, but then I think back to when I noticed all of this starting. I was only 140lbs then and gained 10lbs without blinking and kept going. So not sure if it will ever be completely under control for me.

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CDLILLARD's Photo CDLILLARD SparkPoints: (7,673)
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9/14/09 4:25 P

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Sweetsunshine: Thanks for all the helpful information.

A few years ago my period stopped for 6 months. I got very concerned and my gyn just told me to lose weight (she didnt diagnose me with PCOS at that time). I lost 20 pounds and my period eventually became regular.

Taking the supplement Saw Palmetto seems to have helped lower my testosterone and I seem to not have any additional hair growth. I am in the process of getting laser hair removal (have had 6 treatments) and I am very happy with the results. I used to have what seemed like hundreds of dark hairs on my neck, chin, and upper lip. I spent 5-10 min per day tweezing them. Now I probably have 10 hairs on my neck and some light hairs on my upper lip...so I have to shave them in order to continue the laser treatments. But I am very happy so far with the results. I hope its permanent, but even if it's not...I can handle 10 minutes of laser hair treatment every 6-8 weeks.

I still don't have the insulin resistance under control. I'm working with a nutritionist on trying to do this naturally.

In summary, I think my symptoms have gotten better as a result of losing weight. My cholesterol is back to normal, my facial hair is not returning, the hair on my head was thinning but seems to be more normal now, I have a regular period. If only I could get my depression and mood swings under control.

Christi - Houston, TX clillard.isagenix.com


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SWEETSUNSHINE72's Photo SWEETSUNSHINE72 Posts: 533
9/13/09 7:36 P

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Facial hair and acne are responding to an increase in your androgens (ie, testosterone, etc.). Your androgens are one of the last hormones to re-balance themselves. In some people, it can take a year or longer, depending on how out of balance they were to start with! (This is not including using anti-androgen meds.)

Facial hair, especially, does not respond well because once a vellus ("peach fuzz") hair has turned into a terminal hair (dark and thick - like the hair on your head), it can never turn back, although it CAN get lighter and thinner than it is now. Once your androgens are more normal, then at least new hairs won't be "turning", and that's when you can start looking at electrolysis or laser hair removal.

There are meds (like Spironolactone) which help to reduce the androgens in your body, but you have to make ABSOLUTE SURE that you don't get pregnant as they can do NASTY things to a male fetus! Some BCP's, like Yaz and Yasmin, also have a little anti-androgen in them, too, which is one reason they are usually recommended for women with PCOS.

Keep in mind that BCP's in general are only symptom control, and do nothing to reduce your risk of high blood pressure, high triglycerides (cholesterol), or developing diabetes. In fact, long-term use of them is connected to INCREASING those risks! They also don't necessarily "protect" your fertility, either, as some women think, although they do work well at giving you a regular period, and if you are prone to large, painful cysts (different than the mini-cysts from PCOS) or heavy bleeding, BCP's can help to control that.

I'm not trying to "bash" BCP's - it's just that so many women are on them (or have them as their only "treatment" for PCOS) without realizing their risks and limitations.

As for weight - losing weight helps the underlying Insulin Resistance that almost all of us have as the main cause/trigger of our PCOS symptoms. IR can cause extra insulin to "float around" in your system, which then triggers PCOS symptoms and weight gain/difficulty losing weight. As the IR gets better, you have less insulin "floating around", and your symptoms tend to improve. If you happen to be one of the very few who really doesn't have an IR problem, then you might not see much change, even with a good deal of weight loss over a long period of time. Use your symptoms as your guide. If you see good changes happening, you're on the right track!

HTH, everybody!


DipMT, Hon (ACTM)
(Diploma in Massage Therapy, with Honours from the Atlantic College of Therapeutic Massage)


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9/13/09 6:14 P

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My doc told me that my acne and facial hair would decrease as I lost weight...it really hasn't even after 45lbs. The only thing that changed is that my cramps have stopped. I don't know about my period because I've been on bc since I was 16. As to fertility, my doc says to check out the women in your family who also have PCOS. If they had a problem getting pregnant, most likely you will too. Thankfully both my mother her twin sister, who both have PCOS, had no problems getting pregnant(twice for my mother, 3 times for aunt), so I am hopeful that when the time comes I will have minimal problems.

“Fall seven times, get up eight.” - Japanese Proverb

The best inspiration is not to outdo others, but to outdo ourselves.

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NELLEPHANT's Photo NELLEPHANT Posts: 4
9/9/09 10:04 P

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Hi ladies,

I've found this survey that i thought some of you might be interested in. It would seem that a new service is being established for Australian women with PCOS to help them lose weight, seems they are trying to provide some good info too. Here's the link, and the privacy policy.

"Thanks again here is the link
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=z ... PoOg_3d_3d

And the Privacy Statement:
The information collected in this survey will only be used for the development of the aforementioned service. In accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 it will not be shared or sold. The Use of the information provided will never contain identifiers and only ever be an analysis of statistical data of all responses."

I hope it happens!

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LILREDHEADGIRL's Photo LILREDHEADGIRL SparkPoints: (14,398)
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9/9/09 7:54 A

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When I was in my mid-twenties I lost about 60 pounds and really increased my exercise, and it regulated my periods. It didn't do much for my other symptoms, although I do think it prevented them from getting worse.

I have read that losing belly fat, which has in impact on both IR and androgen excess, is key. Weight training is therefore important in addition to cardio and stress reduction.

Either way, there is no downside to getting to a healthy weight. Good luck!

5'4"



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LYPRIS SparkPoints: (0)
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7/24/09 2:44 P

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I don't take any hormone treatment and my Gyn said I can control my PCOS through diet and excercise. I know she's right because when I followed her guidelines I lost my excess weight and my periods returned to normal and my acne improved a lot. Unfortunately I didn't stay fit and started eating the wrong foods again and became even more sedentary. Now I'm trying to get back on track. She also said that my PCOS wasn't very severe, so that might also have helped.

Edited by: LYPRIS at: 7/24/2009 (14:46)
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MS_AISHA's Photo MS_AISHA Posts: 56
7/1/09 4:52 P

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Gryffin- Not all women DX with PCOS suffer from the same symptoms, some never suffer from Infertility. Just give it a try. My doctor told me once I lose eight I should see alot of changes.

"God Never Gives You More Then What You Can Handle"

Name Aisha
Age 30
Height : 5 “2
Start Weight 207 lbs
Goal Weight 130 lbs



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SWEETSUNSHINE72's Photo SWEETSUNSHINE72 Posts: 533
12/14/08 3:46 P

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The main cause/trigger of PCOS is Insulin Resistance - which can be hard to pick up on bloodwork, and lots of docs miss it or say you don't have it when you do. Losing weight helps IR, which is why it helps the symptoms of PCOS. Some experts say about 80% of us have IR (personally I think it's a bit higher, but that's just me).

The flip side of it, though, is that there's also a part that's centered in the ovaries. It could be a super-sensitivity to insulin, or something like that. No-one really knows for sure, but I think that's why some of us don't really improve symptoms-wise with weight loss and improving IR. Most of us will improve, though. In fact, one statistic I've heard is that, once the IR is treated and you get ovulating again, you have about the same chance of getting pregnant as the "average" woman! Definately, IR treatment should be first on the list of things to try!

There's also "thin cysters". One theory with them is that they really have an estrogen deficiency so while their testosterone levels are "normal", the ratio of estrogen to testosterone is off, causing symptoms. This can be triggered basically by being too thin/athletic earlier in life. It seems to "set" a baseline that is very difficult to change later on.

There's also a genetic condition called "Non-Classic Adrenal Hyperplasia" (NCAH). This is NOT POCS, although it mimics it. Key differences to note are a really early growth spurt and sexual development, but ended up being short as an adult. This is treated with steroids, like dexamethasone. PCOS is not.

Here's a link to an excellent article I found: www.jarrettfertility.com/PCOS%20pati
en
t%20handout.pdf


HTH!!! :D

Edited by: SWEETSUNSHINE72 at: 12/14/2008 (15:46)

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THINMINT318's Photo THINMINT318 Posts: 1,059
12/14/08 10:34 A

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some of my other symptoms have lessened a bit, but nothng has gone away entirely. i've started getting regular periods ever since i started losing weight

Do whatever it takes to live the life you want.


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JMCAMJ1's Photo JMCAMJ1 SparkPoints: (26,520)
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12/13/08 3:26 A

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my sister was dx with pcos after having fertility problems, (not 1st) and they gave her clomid, and it only took her 2 months. i don't know what type of pcos she had, and after my dx i asked and she doesn't remember either. she just lives w/o having a period and no treatment. i don't know.

my endocrinologist stated that my pcos should go away with my weight loss, but then she changed her mind and put me on dexamethasone. i'm still hoping.

Keep on keeping on!

“Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but doesn’t get you anywhere.”


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GRYFFIN's Photo GRYFFIN Posts: 25
12/8/08 4:19 A

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When I was diagnosed on PCOS, I was about 16 years old. Since then I take the pill to regulate my period. I am 26 years old now, and I want to get pregant. But I´m really scared that it won´t work. I have no Idea how my cycle is now. I have lost al lot of weight (18 kilos) but I don´t know if that has any results, because I never had unwanted hair or acne or any other side effect of PCOS than the unregluar ovulation and horrible pains during my period. I want to stop taking the pill in April next year and, as I said, I´m a little scared.
I´m hopeful though, that it will come to good ending because I never suffered so much from PCOS.

Edited by: GRYFFIN at: 12/10/2008 (07:51)
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MSTAKEN8's Photo MSTAKEN8 SparkPoints: (0)
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12/4/08 3:02 P

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My PCOS symptoms started when I was at a healthy weight. Metformin really helped my monthly cycles regulate, but the other symptoms have never gone away.

Slowly, Slowly I am making positive choices for positive changes.

Julie


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TEACHERRJD's Photo TEACHERRJD Posts: 438
12/1/08 10:56 A

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Weight loss helps my symptoms a lot, especially the fertility ones. The more weight I lose, the more regular my cycles. I am hoping that if I drop below 200 lbs, maybe I will cycle on my own without medications. Can't hurt to try!

Rachelle, mom of two.


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BUMBLEBUMLAURA1's Photo BUMBLEBUMLAURA1 Posts: 34
12/1/08 7:29 A

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My fiance and i have been together for 7 years now and are wanting to have kids in about 5 years time, I have PCOS and i am hoping that if i lose weight, i will find it easier to conceive when the time is right. I have never monitored my cycle because i have been on BC since the beginning of our relationship, I have other symptoms of PCOS such as unwanted hair and dark underarms but don't know if i have any actual cysts. I feel very confused and would appreciate your help and advice.

Laura:

Get knocked down seven times...stand back up eight.

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RAEBRALOP's Photo RAEBRALOP SparkPoints: (10,833)
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10/1/08 1:13 P

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So I'm wondering if any of you are in my boat. About 8 years ago I lost 100 lbs and my periods still didn't return to normal. (I got down to 175.)

My mother was never diagnosed with this, don't know if they even knew what it was in that era but she had irregular periods that got heavier/closer together as she got older and she had a hard time getting pregnant.

So now for me I am going to be 38 in November. I have been hitting the SP plan hard for about two months and my last periods were only 35 days apart. Unheard of for me. Also, I didn't have any cramps or cravings. Also quite unheard of for me.

Has anyone else found that your periods are regulating as you get older??? And because they are coming closer together they are also lighter which I sure can deal with!

I'm wondering if this is just my family history works or if any other close to 40 PCO girls have found this to be true.

~Kirstin~

Now thanks be to God who ALWAYS leads us in triumph in Christ! 2 Cor 2:14a




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GMEISSNE1's Photo GMEISSNE1 Posts: 121
8/28/08 7:05 P

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Losing weight is the ONLY fool proof treatment for PCOS...your periods will not regulate naturally at first. you have to maintain the weight loss for a while...and its not JUST weight loss, its actual health. being skinny and not having muscle mass or eating the right amount of the right things wont do it.

all of your symptoms will never go away, but you can get rid of, or drastically reduce most of them by controlling your weight.

also, if you can eat an organic diet, or at least a hormone free one, you will see a HUGE improvement

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THEJENSAYS's Photo THEJENSAYS Posts: 149
8/28/08 11:00 A

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After losing weight my periods have gotten better, but my facial hair etc has not! I also wonder if it is genetics...

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TRUKRSGRL's Photo TRUKRSGRL SparkPoints: (7,044)
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8/24/08 8:25 A

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Years ago when I was on the pill for my PCOS (at age 14) it never did a thing for me but make me gain weight. A couple years ago, when I was on another diet plan, I lost a little more than 100 lbs. My periods came back regularly before that, I was lucky if I had one a year. Many of my symptoms went away when I was 21 and had to have a partial hysterectomy (the removal of half my uterus, one ovary, 1 fallopean tube). Between 15 and 21 I had 7 surgeries for PCOS. Even though I had put much of the weight back on that I had lost my periods are still regular, though they last so much longer than they did before. The one thing that has never changed is the hair growth. I am 42 yrs old and I have learned to live with these symptoms. I do believe that the symptoms and treatments are different for everyone. Some will lose the symptoms with weight loss others won't.

Never let life stand in your way, get out and live it!


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THINMINT318's Photo THINMINT318 Posts: 1,059
8/11/08 2:30 P

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since losing weight i've had regular periods, i almost cant believe i've had five or so already this year lol..the hair issue is still there, but having a regular cycle is satisfying..at least i know i'm healthier on the inside

Do whatever it takes to live the life you want.


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PRETTYLIKESUN's Photo PRETTYLIKESUN Posts: 163
7/31/08 12:13 P

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Well, I can't speak for everyone else, but I lost a bunch of weight about 7 years ago (Gained it all back since then...sad), and some things got better but others didn't. The bad: I was still hairy (though I'm starting to wonder if I am Captain Cavewoman because of genes, not because of PCOS!), and my belly was still the LAST thing to go. The good: I had a lot more energy, had a much more regular cycle, and got pregnant REALLY easily.

Ah, now if I could just lose it again!

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LYNETTE761 Posts: 6
7/28/08 10:48 P

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Even after losing weight I still do not have regular periods I got of the pill to see and gained 7 pounds. Everything that I have read says weight loss helps but does not treat PCOS. I was told I would be on the pill must likely until I reach menopause.

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AUDIOAMBROSIA's Photo AUDIOAMBROSIA SparkPoints: (5,321)
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7/25/08 9:35 P

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I've lost 40 pounds as a SparkPeople member, and have started ovulating and having regular periods, which I've NEVER had before. Even as a 16 year old kid (I'm 33 now) my periods were messed up and VERY infrequent. I can finally say now that they are truly regular for the very first time! I've also had phenomenal improvements in my bloodwork (cholesterol, triglycerides, A1C blood sugar level) from the Dr. I can't say I've had a decrease in unwanted hair, but hey, at least SOME things are getting better!

Who you are is God's gift to you, who you become is your gift to God!


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6/3/08 5:43 A

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Cant say weight loss has meant a decrease in symptoms for me when it comes to the PCOS

I am down almost 100 pounds and nothing has changed in regards to it that I am aware of .. am still IR, am still infertil (and taken the last step to keep it that way).




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GAJEN2345's Photo GAJEN2345 Posts: 300
5/21/08 11:19 A

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The last time I went to the doctor, I asked him once, I get to my goal weight can I stop taking the metformin and BC. He stated that there is a chance that I may gain some of the weight back. Weight loss helps, but the symptoms do not truly go away. He stated in my case, losing weight is a way to help me become more healthy.

Jennifer


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MOTHERCROW's Photo MOTHERCROW Posts: 163
5/16/08 5:19 P

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Some women report that their symptoms lessen as they lose weight, but not all. Everyone's body is different. As for me, I'm praying that at least the testosterone levels back off. I know that my symptoms started when I was 110 lbs. so it's probably a safe guess that losing weight is going to help me be healthier but it won't end the symptoms. But that's okay, because now that I know what I'm fighting I can better manage it this time around!

disboards.com--blackunicorn

I dream of pants that fit me at my waist *and* my hips in an affordable price range.


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BROWNEYEDGAL5 Posts: 42
5/14/08 3:50 P

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Hey guys I was reading your posts and I asked my doctor about weight loss and PCOS getting better. And she stated that it might alleviate the hormone imbalances, but it might not go away completely. She mentioned that there are skinny girls who you would think wouldn't have PCOS, but they have to take the pills and watch their weight..perhaps not as drastically as some of us whom are overweight. In all she mentioned that obesity is really not healthy and leads to many complications with these disorders in terms of losing weight, hormone imbalances, and newer complications such as uterine cancers and so forth. The metformin from what she mentioned can help with losing weight and diet and exercise, but in certain periods you can reach plateus..it all is different in everyones body chemistry. Some people may lose alot of weight first and then slow down later, or some people may lose weight slow, and then pick up later...

Either way when you hit that plateu...I find that I have to push myself even harder to exercise, eat right, and a motivational article, or picture of someone whom has lost alot of weight is a huge motivator.

I have been overwight most of my life. The last five years I have gained over 80lbs..and almost hit 300.. I have hit many plateus. It doesn't help too that while I have to eat right, exercise and so on, my husband can eat whatever, not do any exercise and remain fit...It's definitely true how body chemistry and genes are different in everyone.



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MOTHERGOOSE04 Posts: 5
5/14/08 2:06 P

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They will tell you that there is no correlation between the pill and weight gain which is a load of bull. Everytime I went off the BC I would lose weight. Plus, the side effects of the pill were horrible for me. I was moody and cranky all the time. I also started on the pill right before I started college and I would gain weight even when I was eating healthy and attempting to exercise.

Good luck, you can get to your goals. My reccomendation would be to get off the BC unless you need it for non-PCOS reasons. It was the best thing I did for myself.

 
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5/14/08 2:01 P

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So you lost weight AFTER going off BC? I need to talk to my Endo, maybe that will help me. It's really hard to say if BC caused weight gain with me. I started the same time I started college...and we all know what that does for weight gain.

Congrats on the weightloss! I hope I can follow in those footsteps!

Height: 5' 11"
Starting weight: 228
Ultimate goal: 180-170

Currently working and going to grad school. Given my stress level and time constraints (and with my doctor's blessing), I'm not trying to lose a lot of weight, just be healthy and not gain. Once I get my degree I'll pick things up again.



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HEATHERNY's Photo HEATHERNY Posts: 897
5/14/08 1:14 P

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MotherGoose, I can only pray that my symptoms decrease this time! Congrats!

~Heather
Mommy to
Addison ~ 6 /7/06
Autumn ~ 4/16/09


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MOTHERGOOSE04 Posts: 5
5/14/08 1:09 P

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I am also 5'10" and trying to get down to about 160/165. At my peak I was 235 and had never had a normal period without being on BC. I went off the BC in May of '06 and immediately started losing weight and within the first 3 months, I lost 15 lbs and started having regular periods. Since then I've lost a total of 55 lbs and most of my symptoms have disappeared. The excess hair has gone away for the most part, periods are regular, mood swings are normal and not extreme, blood sugar has stabilized and no depression.

 
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HEATHERNY's Photo HEATHERNY Posts: 897
5/14/08 11:23 A

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I honestly think that it depends on the person and the severity of the PCOS. I am down 80 lbs but I an not too sure about he inner body changing. I can see that hte hair growth has slowed, not stopped but slowed. This is my 1st month off BC, just to see what happens, if no AF within 45 day I will have it brought on and back toon BC until I get to my ultimate weight goal of 130 (I am 5"4). See I have never had a normal cycle, I have been all weights from 102-256 and it was never normal. I guess only time and testing will definitely tell.

~Heather
Mommy to
Addison ~ 6 /7/06
Autumn ~ 4/16/09


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5/14/08 11:05 A

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So I've heard a lot about PCOS being connected to weight and I was wondering, if you lose a serious amount of weight, can you reduce/get rid of your symptoms? I'm trying to get down to 160 (for 5'10", I think it's pretty good) and I'm wondering if it will help.

I haven't really noticed a difference and I've lost almost 20 lbs, but I've been trying different BC pills, so I wonder if it has anything to do with that.

Height: 5' 11"
Starting weight: 228
Ultimate goal: 180-170

Currently working and going to grad school. Given my stress level and time constraints (and with my doctor's blessing), I'm not trying to lose a lot of weight, just be healthy and not gain. Once I get my degree I'll pick things up again.



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