About two years and after having my first child I still wasn’t feeling well. As I blogged about in How I Gained Over 100 Pounds, I gained 100 pounds while I was pregnant with Taylor and despite my best and sometimes extreme efforts hadn’t lost any of the “baby” weight. Like most women, I couldn’t help but compare myself to my friends who had babies around the same time as me. They had all lost most or all of their baby weight regained their energy and/or were successfully pregnant with their second child. I was discouraged, isolated, and ashamed.
It was crazy to think that a few letters strung together could be the culprit – PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome)…….and even crazier to believe that I could actually reverse my PCOS diagnosis.
I was so focused on my inability to lose weight, I didn’t take note of the numerous other symptoms I was experiencing. They included:
- Numerous Miscarriages
- Irregular and Extremely Painful Periods
- Pelvic Pain
- High Blood Sugar
- Insulin Resistance
- High Cholesterol
- Brain Fog
- Sleep Apnea
- Body Hair in Some of the Strangest Places
- And then there was the worst symptom of all: the big “D” Depression
My Husband, Tony suggested I see an endocrinologist. The endocrinologist ordered several tests and a sleep study. A few weeks later I had sleep apnea, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and PCOS diagnoses.
The PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) Diagnosis
While delivering my diagnosis, the Doctor dutifully listed the risk factors associated with PCOS:
- High Blood Pressure
- High Cholesterol
- Heart Disease
- Endometrial Cancer
- Sleep Apnea
- Fertility issues
It has been fourteen years since I received the PCOS diagnosis and I can’t remember the entire conversation but I will always remember how I felt. The Doctor’s words were so overwhelming and discouraging, the room started to spin, I started to sweat, and I fought my body’s instinct to pass out.
The Doctor shared that traditional medicine believes that there is no cure for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and suggested I “try” a pharmaceutical drug that may help some of the symptoms. She alluded to the fact that many people cannot tolerate it and I quickly found out that I was one of those people.
Looking At Non-Traditional Ways of Reversing My PCOS Diagnosis
This is where I stop, breathe, and thank God that I am just a little bit spoiled and even more stubborn. I remembered an Eleanor Roosevelt quote I often used when training sales and recruiting professionals, “Never take a no from someone who can’t say yes”. Since this Dr. couldn’t cure me PCOS, I went elsewhere for answers.
Researching For Something to Cure My PCOS
I read and I read and when I wasn’t reading I was researching. Fourteen years ago there wasn’t a fraction of the information available on PCOS that there is today. In fact, instead of researching specifically about PCOS, I had to break down my symptoms and research individual therapies and protocols. I researched: insulin resistance, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, irregular periods, infertility, miscarriages, female facial hair, and migraines.
Supplements That Helped Reverse My PCOS
Luckily, I came across a line of supplements, and a complete program, that was specifically designed for the treatment of PCOS from Insulite Health. I loved them because there were four different supplements that worked synergistically together to heal the symptoms and hormonal imbalances associated with PCOS. They were very helpful in my recovery from PCOS.
Apple cider vinegar came up multiple times in my searches as something that helped increase insulin sensitivity and I knew it had been helpful in my past successful weight loss efforts so I started supplementing with it. Unfortunately, apple cider vinegar aggregated my acid reflux and I had to stop taking it.
I knew insulin resistance was a big part of my problem and read about the benefits of fiber so I increased my fiber intake drastically. The supplements I was taking from Insulite Health had a great fiber supplement, GlucX, which was an excellent source of fiber. But I didn’t think it was enough, so I also took fiber supplements daily and sprinkled chia seeds on my food throughout the day. It’s crazy how much something as simple as fiber can benefit us and how little most of us get in our diet.
Exercise & Diet Were Part of the Remedy for My PCOS
A friend told me about the South Beach diet and I skimmed through her book. I came across a fertility success story where a previously infertile woman became pregnant shortly after she started the South Beach diet and I was sold. Days later, my husband and I started the South Beach diet and continued with it for almost a year. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t recommend the South Beach diet, but believe I benefitted from reducing sugar and processed carbs. Ultimately, I maintained a low carb, high protein lifestyle.
I have always loved to exercise, but when my PCOS was at its worst, I exercised very infrequently. I was exhausted, suffered from frequent headaches, and incredibly uncomfortable in my own body. Once I was diagnosed with PCOS and fueled by my determination to overcome the diagnosis, I started walking daily, lifting weights 2-3 times a week, and occasionally practicing yoga.
And Little by Little, My PCOS Symptoms Were Reversed
It took a few months to see improvement in my symptoms. However, fairly quickly my periods got better, the crazy hair growth slowed, and the headaches and fatigue lessened. Within about a year and a half, I became pregnant with my son, Andrew. And was exactly what I had been working for.
Today I am not only symptom-free of PCOS (although it still seems as though I have a harder time losing weight than most women do), but as of last week and my most recent physical, I have officially lost my PCOS diagnosis! Please know I am not alone. Nicole Graeto, the author of the blog MGBHealth, and Kate Kordsmeier who authors the blog Root & Ravel have also written about how they were able to successfully heal their PCOS.
How I Healed my PCOS Symptoms
The best part is, I didn’t have to do anything crazy or drastic to heal my PCOS symptoms. I exercised, took daily supplements from Insulite Health, apple cider vinegar, extra fiber, chia seeds, and adjusted my eating.
The high protein, low carb diet, and WHOLE30 diets worked beautifully at reducing my PCOS symptoms but they just could not help me lose the weight I needed to lose. After over 15 years of trying, I finally went to the Doctor and received an official weight loss resistance diagnosis. Once I received the diagnosis, I did everything the Doctor told me to. However, I still couldn’t lose the weight I needed to lose.
An Update on My PCOS Symptoms
This blog was originally written in November of 2016 and has been updated in April of 2021. Overall, I was enjoying a symptom-free life, except for these two things. I still had a lingering case of weight loss resistance and I just couldn’t lose the weight I desperately needed to. And, when my not-so-friendly friend visited, it was like a hurricane.
In August of 2020, a friend told me about her new weight loss program and I very reluctantly tried it. Well, at least I can say something positive came out of 2020….
Finally, I found a weight loss program that worked for me and I lost my last PCOS symptom: weight loss resistance!
And then, I noticed an amazing NSV, the not-so-friendly friend was no longer a hurricane. It was more like a light rainstorm – like the kind, you want to go out for a walk-in.
PCOS Weight Loss
After 17 years of trying to lose weight, I was finally able to do it! My program hasn’t just helped me, it has helped many women with weight loss resistance, PCOS, and hormone and insulin issues. I’m not a doctor (nor do I play one on the internet), but as a health nut who is all but obsessed with healing PCOS, insulin resistance, and weight loss resistance, I have a hypothesis……
My Hypothesis on Why My New Weight Loss Program Reversed My Last Two PCOS Symptoms
Most low carb-high protein diets lack fiber and as Martha McKittrick, RD explains in the article Benefits of Fiber for PCOS, fiber is very needed to improve PCOS symptoms. Additionally, most diets have a high amount of animal protein. My program has a great source of fiber and clean (nonanimal) protein.
I am so in love with the program, I am now a coach for it! Please message me if you would like to talk. My heart goes out to anyone suffering from PCOS and I would love to help if I can.
It can be difficult to start a new routine when you are feeling terrible. Trust me, I have been there. The time is going to pass you by one way or the other. You can either invest in your future over the next few months and get yourself to a much better healthier place… or not work towards getting healthier and be in the same or worse place. I hope you choose the first option. You are worth it!
I hope this blog reaches anyone who is suffering from PCOS and needs to hear there is hope. If you know someone who would benefit from it, please pass it along! In this instance, sharing is truly caring!
And please don’t hesitate to message me. My heart goes out to anyone suffering from PCOS and I would love to help you if I can.