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1/20/11 11:39 A

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I agree with IMOFF2DLOONYBIN, PCOS is full of a wide range of sypmtoms. Personally I have skipped periods (or non-existant), facial hair, body hair, a small balding spot on my head, and I'm obese. However, I'm not insulin resistant, no cysts, AND get this-my hormone tests came out perfectly normal. No extra testosterone, androgens etc, and I have enough estrogen. However, in Canada I'm still diagnosed. (My doc told me that in the UK and maybe the USA this would not be enough to diagnose me). So I have a hard time losing weight, but I'm not sure why. I'm not sure if I should eat less carbs like someone with an Insulin resistance.
Bottom line (tldr): PCOS is a VERY varying syndrome/disease and everything from weight loss to how you eat varies as well. Basically do what works for you.

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10/31/10 2:42 P

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My understanding is that PCOS is a syndrome that is full of symptoms, and you don't have to have all of them to have PCOS. Such as cystic ovaries, it's right in the name and yet it's not required to be diagnosed with PCOS. While I am insulin resistant many of the other people I know with PCOS aren't. I think it varies person to person what symptoms you have.

"We don't know who we are until we see what we can do." - Anonymous

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10/23/10 1:40 P

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I have to agree with PANDASAURUS PCOS means you have insulin resistance even if your hormones are all within normal levels.

Like many syndromes and diseases one day you don't just wake up with the disease. It slowly develops over time. so when you are young the Insulin resistance is not going to jump out and say look at me look at me but it is slowly developing.

Read about insulin Resistance and eat a diet that is good for people with insulin resistance (low carb is often mentioned as doing so). One of the best things you can do for insulin resistance is Daily moderate exercise. Go for a mile walk you will be surprised at just how much that helps you lose weight and decreases your PCOS symptoms.

I myself eat a Mediterranean diet full of fruit, veggies, good oils, high fiber, lots of protein.

I take vitamin D, and 1000 of fish oil a day and I sprinkle flax seeds around when ever I think of it. I also take metformin and Byetta and I have never felt better and had more energy. As I take off the weight it is staying off. No more Yo Yo ing. I don't have problems with hair loss or growth. The spare tire around my middle is slowly going away. I had regular periods up until I had the hysterectomy (due to sever bleeding) When I started on the fish oil my PMDD really diminished.

It is difficult to make myself eat well each day but I have to for me. I am important as are you all. You can do this healthy living thing one day at a time and being kind to yourselves.

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BELROSA's Photo BELROSA Posts: 697
10/12/10 4:45 A

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I always wonder how rigorously those who are 'not insulin resistant' have been tested. So many clinicians seem to understand the problem so poorly and the tests required to gain insight into what is happening.

A glucose tolerance test or GTT may or may not tell the whole story, depending upon how it was done. It is very important to do accompanying insulin levels not only at the fasting point, but also at 1 and 2 hours post-load, and possibly longer, depending upon the results.

A regular GTT, which only checks fasting insulin levels and then blood glucose over a couple of hours, may only pick up quite severe insulin resistance, bordering on Type II diabetes.

Edited by: BELROSA at: 10/12/2010 (04:46)
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10/11/10 11:57 P

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@PANDASAURUS: FYI, you CAN have PCOS and not be insulin resistant. I have PCOS and have tested as 'normal' on the insulin resistance test (GTT). Maybe it's uncommon, I don't know, but it definitely can happen.

I know this is an old post, but I imagine new members still read through them to gather information as I am doing right now, so I thought I'd share!

Edited by: PRINCESS_TWISTY at: 10/11/2010 (23:59)

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5/29/10 3:45 A

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From what I understand, no matter what, PCOS IS insulin resistance. So, you can't have PCOS and not be insulin resistant.

Met is meant to help your body process carbs and sugar correctly, which alone will help you lose weight but don't depend on that as your only source of weight loss. A proper lifestyle change and exercise will help immensely in coordination with Metformin. :) If you eat anything full of carbs and sugar on Met, expect some... unpleasant side effects.

I have mild PCOS, my doc prescribed 500mg and said I'd only be on it for 6 months. I have decided to lose the weight naturally, which is possible. Just because you don't want to take Met or your doc doesn't prescribed it doesn't mean that you CAN'T lose weight, it'll just be a little bit harder to lose weight.

You can also consider turning to herbs for treatment. I know there are a ton of herb supplements that can help with PCOS, like Chaste Tree which has been used to many years to help balance our hormones. You can try and get together with an herbalist or do some research online and see if you're interested in going the natural route like I am. :) HTH

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TAYVIE's Photo TAYVIE Posts: 130
5/28/10 9:38 A

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Endocrinologists are great, as PCOS is really a hormonal thing (you don't even need to have the polycystic ovaries to be diagnosed) I would definitely recommend one.

As far as everything else, I agree with everyone else about the low carb thing. My doctor told me it was the only thing that will work, and for me it has been the only thing that has.

I really like to stay away from any medications if at all possible, but are you on birth control? I know the hair and acne are always an issue, and the weight is probably the biggest annoyance of all, but the right birth control can help. Of course a lot of the problems with PCOS come from excess androgens in your body and the testosterone is what leads to the hair growth and acne (can also lead to male pattern balding and deepening of the voice...AHHHHH!) but by taking birth control, you are sending a negative feedback to your body to stop making the hormones, and so your body won't be producing these ridiculous amounts that cause you to have all of the problems. Of course there are a bunch of different kinds of birth control out there, and one with low androgenicity (basically, won't cause the hair and other testosterone-like effects) might help, if you aren't on one already. I had a PCP who recommended birth control for me before I was diagnosed to help with the hair, but gave me one known to cause increased hair growth (Alesse, with the highest likelihood to cause acne and hair, so just be careful about that.
(there's a table at the bottom that shows the androgenic activity of all of the different kinds of progesterone that is in the different birth control pills. The lower the score, the better!)

Edited by: TAYVIE at: 5/28/2010 (09:40)

...taking it one day at a time!

It is never to late to be what you could have been!

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BELROSA's Photo BELROSA Posts: 697
5/2/10 10:11 P

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Excellent advice Thick_Luva.

Metformin is only appropriate in women with PCOS whose BMI is over 35 and it sounds like you have successfully gotten yours well below that.

There are plenty of natural options to help increase insulin sensitivity - I've written a lot about them on my website - the link is in my signature.

A few you might want to look into are Cinnamon, D Chiro Inositol, Gymnema sylvestre, chromium and Vitamin D. 73% of women with PCOS have low Vitamin D levels which makes losing weight difficult.

Best of luck!

I have a website with loads of PCOS info Please stop by!

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THICK_LUVA06's Photo THICK_LUVA06 Posts: 16
4/30/10 12:46 P

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I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2006 after I had lost 30 lbs and put it all back on after 2 months of working at the movie theaters (free popcorn + PCOS= disaster btw). The first time I lost weight I was only doing cardio everyday and I was on a low carb diet. I didn't know about the importance of strenth training, plateaus or anything else that I know about now or I would have lost more weight. More recently I visited a doctored who informed that people with PCOS need to be very aware of the amount of carbs they take in because of increased insulin resistance. She told me basically my meals need to fill up a saucer not a large plate and portionwise half of the saucer should be vegetables, 1/4 should be protein and the carb serving should be ridiculously small lol. I tried it fow a while and it definately works in shedding the pounds. Unfortuneately my willpower is a little low these days but it definately worked while I did it.

So in conclusion:
-smaller portions w/ lots of veggies and protein
-fewer carbs
-Eat every 3 hrs(small portions) to raise metabolism
-continue cardio
-make sure to do strengh training
-change routine 4 weeks to battle plateaus
Good luck!

Edited by: THICK_LUVA06 at: 4/30/2010 (12:48)
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MICHELLE_1446's Photo MICHELLE_1446 Posts: 58
4/13/10 9:29 P

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Thanks for all of the suggestions! I will definitely look into a referral to a good endocrinologist b/c it would also help with my thryoid issues :)
Like I said, I can definitely respect my primary care providers opinion, and agree with it...but I do think there has to be more to look at sometimes b/c as you said...there is a whole lot of crap going on in these bodies of ours!

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MLMC69's Photo MLMC69 SparkPoints: (5,705)
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4/13/10 9:22 A

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I have an absolutely fabulous endocrinologist who made my diagnosis. I had been having trouble with weight gain and inability to loose it for a long S1. ime. I had tried just about every sensible thing on the books and had no real success. So, my GP started me on metformin and Byetta as a means to help me loose some weight with the impression that was insulin resistant. I had a hysterectomy 10 years ago and only have one ovary, cystic though it is.

So, after using the medications for a while I decided to go ahead and get an endocrinologist as I was rapidly traveling the road to diabetes.

He ran multiple tests and diagnosed me with PCOS. I have severely elevated levels of DHEA-S which the body converts to testosterone. The way he explained it to me, PCOS is purely a hormonal disorder that leads to excess weight, among other things. The excess weight in turn throws the hormones even further out of whack and it becomes a viscious cycle. He put me on a higher does of both the metformin and the Byetta and the weight started to come off. I was also told to eat a mediteranean style diet - full of GOOD carbs, lots of veggies and fruits and very little meat other than fish and seafood. I am to limit my carbs to 45 grams per meal and my fat to less than 15 grams each meal. That's the tough one.

The metformin alters the ovarian production of the DHEA-S and brings it down which in turn also lowers the overall level of sugar in the blood and allows the body to metabolize our foods more normally. I lost roughly 40 pounds following the above regimen and then sort of stalled because I fell off the wagon diet-wise due to extreme stresses (my father in law was diagnosed with terminal cancer).

Further blood tests revealed, in my case, that my DHEA-S was lowered but not enough. Your adrenal glands also produce the DHEA-S and mine are in overdrive which explains why my levels were so high on initial testing. He has added a low dose of Decadron to bring my adrenal glands around. I am back on my diet wagon and the weight is starting to come off again.

HOpefully this helps you understand the illness a bit better. My advice would be to add an endocrinologist to the team if you don't already have one, preferably someone who specializes in PCOS treatment. YOu will be surprised at how much more success you may have.

Laugh some everyday.

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ANGELFYRE020's Photo ANGELFYRE020 Posts: 56
4/13/10 8:22 A

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I am newly diagnosed so you can choose not to listen to me :) but all I have read is LOW carb diets with women who suffer from PCOS. You can eat heatlhy but watch your carb intake. Hope this helps.


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NYXWOLFWALKER's Photo NYXWOLFWALKER SparkPoints: (153,144)
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4/13/10 1:31 A

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there is no reason to be on met less you are Insulin Resistant or a type 2 diabetic

can't help with the weight loss for the PCOS since its a person to person deal, only way i lost any weight was while being on Depo Provera and Lupron, since going off them it took almost two years to get 7 pounds off.

I've been eating right, never was into junk to start with. Working out 7 days a week, always being active - bbut nun of its made a differance in the weight.

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Living with...
+Type 1 Diabetes
+Acute Intermittent Porphyria (AIP)
+Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

1,299,932 steps taken in 2015
1754 floors climed in 2015
973.85 km (apx 606 miles) walked in 2015
651,412 calories burned in 2015
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MICHELLE_1446's Photo MICHELLE_1446 Posts: 58
4/12/10 11:43 P

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So.. I recenly moved up here to NY, and have finally found a pretty good medical team. They have answered a lot of my questions, found a lot of answers. They have pretty much without a doubt in their minds diagnosed me with PCOS, and going over medically history have determined that it answers a lot of things left unanswered from when I was a teenager (i/e the weight gain/inability to lose/no cycle/pain...etc.)
So....after a crapload of lab work the doctor looked at everything and said he was very impressed with what he saw, but it also confirmed his notion that he didn't want to put me on Metformin. I can respect his decision b/c as he stated there is no point in messing with everything else good in my body if my biggest problems are the weight around the mid-section, the acne, and weird hair, and would be afraid what damage would be done for using treatment. My hubby and I currently have no desire to try and that's a non-issue right now.
So...of course now the problem is how do I lose the weight? And what do you find to be the best treatments for the other not so pleasant symptoms? My doctor/nutritionist and my partner in crime (my personal trainer buddy) all agree that for the most part I am eating right, working out right...and really some of the only fat I have left is in my mid-section.
Any suggestions??? I work out 4-7 times a week with a good mix of cardio/strength training...and eat all the healthy junk.

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