PCOS/Insulin Resistance Support - I didn't even know...

View Full Version : I didn't even know...

05-26-2011, 08:59 AM
... that PCOS affects weight gain/loss.
My gynecologist told me I have pcos two years ago but that was it. He didn't recommend treatment or anything really. So I thought it was just one of those irrelevant things like crooked teeth or big toes.
Should I go look into it? Is there any danger associated with it? I do have menstrual cycles every 24-28 days for 5days at a time, so I didn't have a warning sign there. :(

05-26-2011, 10:31 AM
PCOS is associated with extra weight, sometimes acne and body hair. It can also come along with diabetes or insulin resistance. (Correlated, not causation.)

Weight control is actually the recommended treatment for those with PCOS at the moment. Regular exercise and weight management is basically all that can be done about it currently (that I've ever read into), and both together help to minimize the symptoms of PCOS.

It honestly can't hurt to look into it a little bit more if you want to be familiar with it. :)

Here's the link to the sticky at the top of the PCOS area with some very basic information.


05-26-2011, 10:39 AM
The big dangers associated with PCOS are infertility and the insulin resistance and resulting weight issues. If it goes unchecked it can lead to type 2 diabetes.

It isn't fatal, but it can be a real pain and there isn't any reliable treatment. Some docs will treat your symptoms with birth control or other hormones like spiro to help with excess hair/acne, or metformin for the IR. I have chosen to take none. The hormones they tried to give me made my weight balloon, and I was not interested in metformin for the side effects.

The good news is that by keeping your weight down you will also lessen any symptoms you have. The heavier you get, the worse PCOS is. It is a double edged sword-it makes you gain so easily and symptoms/damage increase with the pounds.
The fact that you still have a regular cycle puts you as in the fortunate group, it is a good sign that there hasn't been much hormonal damage done.

Lots of people take a cinnamon supplement to help with the IR. Also, you'll probably find that carbs are your mortal enemy. You don't have to go off the deep end and do Atkins for the rest of your life or anything, but being mindful about keeping simple sugars to a minimum will definitely help.

05-28-2011, 03:49 PM
Thanks so much people.
I got an appointment next week with my gynecologist to get it checked out together with my anual pap-test.
Perhaps I don't have so many symptoms because I didn't let myself get as heavy as I was about to become the way I ate the last four years. Or it will get worse in the future?
I can't wear make-up etc since anything touching my face causes acne. But when I have my face natural and clean I don't have any problems. Also I am an extremely slow weight loser. It is like one pound per month for me, even though I do 90 minutes of cardio-weights every day and eat only 1300-1700 calories a day. My worst problem is the thinning of my hair... I love my hair and I read yesterday PCOS can affect hairgrowth. Damn why didn't my doctor tell me something? :( I thought there was nothing I could do about these things.
I hate periods of course, but I really don't want to lose em either. I'm too young and childless.

05-28-2011, 04:52 PM
The absolute best thing you can do to preserve your fertility (and all other PCOS problems, including hair stuff) is to maintain a healthy weight. Excess really does worsen the hormonal issues, which in turn worsen symptoms.

I find it annoyingly ironic that hair grows like a mutha everywhere I don't want it, but on my head I've been thinning for years...and I'm only 32. I blame myself for letting my weight get out of hand, going up and down so drastically so many times.

A few months ago my doc told me to start taking vitamin E for that, and that as a bonus it might also help with the hormonal breast tenderness, but I haven't been taking it regularly. I need to start, maybe that and losing more weight will keep me from going bald lol.

05-28-2011, 05:18 PM
Well I became a healthy eating vegetarian eight months ago, but I did it without knowing about pcos yet. I thought all these problems are my "bad genes's" fault.
It is going to be really hard to stop eating carbs as a vegetarian... I mean fruit and veggies are my life now and without the occasional bread or pasta I'd starve... I do eat whole wheat stuff though... do not know if that counts... I suppose not since it has the same carbs.
Meh... I thought carb diets are for grandmas with diabetes :(

I do hope we get our hair back dragonlady. It sucks to have to wear mine short and sprayed full of lack all the time.

05-28-2011, 06:28 PM
Chubbykins....you do need carbs to survive. Carbs in veggies are ok! fruits are ok in the recommended serving per day or 1 fruit 3 times daily. As for "traditional carbs" I usually allow myself 1 per day I.e. I will have a bagel in the morning and no other "carb" (bread, rice, pasta) al day. Or I will not have any "carbs" all day and have pasta or tacos for dinner. It can work. As a vegetarian tho I do recomend eating rice, but ONLY with beans. Beans and rice make a complementary protein or whole protein together and balance eachother out pretty well. I.e have 1/4 -1/2 cup of rice with 1/2-1 whole cup of beans. You should be fine. Also if you link your carbs with a protein I.e. an egg/egg white with toast you should be fine ;)

05-28-2011, 08:28 PM
Yeah, I wouldn't worry about carbs too much as long as you are doing whole grains and avoiding too much refined sugar. For sure you may want to eat less than the average person, but I don't think there is a need to avoid them entirely.

05-28-2011, 10:44 PM
I'm actually not eating low carb right now. I have before (atkins) and lost 80 lbs in a little over 6 months. I stayed in phase 1 because it just melted off, and that was great. But I hated the diet and couldn't wait to be finished with it, so I never went through the levels of maintenance. When I quit it I gained it all back, so it was all for nothing anyway.

It isn't that all carbs are evil, the glycemic index is what is important. Whole grains, veggies, and berries do have significant carb counts but they don't affect insulin resistance nearly as much.

I try to keep my carb count around 100-120 grams a day. I allow myself treats and sometimes I go over that amount but I am always mindful to keep lots of those grams coming from complex carbs rather than simple. I find that number is plenty enough to keep me from feeling like I'm restricting, but low enough that I can still lose.

I don't think we have to eat any of the structured low carb diets, more like we have to eat less sugar and simple starches.

05-29-2011, 07:13 AM
My father-in-law to be did a low carb diet and ate only chicken and fat-free cheese with a vitamin/mineral pill. It actually made him sick, so I doubt those extremes are good either.

I had the idea that eating "right" or as right as possible was actually simple :dizzy: . Lots of vegs and fruit, wholegrain bread/pasta, brown rice with the peel still on, no sugar (as in crystal sugar), honey, fat free milk/joghurt, eggs, lentils and more lentils. We do eat lentils like crazy in greece :p It is like every second day.

Well I suppose it can't hurt to try and lessen the bread/pasta/rice to one portion a day.

I wonder, do we need actually less carbs with pcos or are we like diabetics: doomed to live a bit unhealthier than the rest as not to die young?

05-29-2011, 11:53 AM
I wonder, do we need actually less carbs with pcos or are we like diabetics: doomed to live a bit unhealthier than the rest as not to die young?

I'd hate to think of it as "doomed"! ^^

It's just that for some with PCOS and Insulin Resistance controlling carb portions helps them control OTHER portions. Their bodies just manage better keeping them to healthier carbs rather than the "white" carbs.

Eating fewer carbs doesn't mean that a person is less healthy, it just means they've found the amount of carbs their body needs on a daily basis and try not to have more than that, as more can be detrimental.

I'm a person who doesn't count carbs or protein, or fat, but I do make sure that the majority of my carbs are from whole grains/veggies/fruits and the like, that my protein is from lean sources, and my fat is from healthy places.

05-30-2011, 04:01 AM
So I've had three days with only one portion of carbs (whole wheat pasta/bread or brown rice) per day and I actually LOST a pound in only three days O_O That, compared to my pound/month weight-loss, is phenomenal. And it almost ALL left from my tummy.

I don't know if I should be happy or sad. This means I probably DO have a problem. I'll do it though, I'LL DO IT DAMMIT! :dizzy: I'll eat less carbs if that's what it takes. Carbs are anyways to me just a nuinsance I fill my meals with so I do not have to eat the whole day to reach my calories.

It is a nightmare to reach my calories by eating veggies, fruits and lentils :( I probably have to put in more olive oil or higher fat cheese. Starving myself is not an option. I do high intensity training for 90 minutes every day and I want to become muscular.

05-30-2011, 03:59 PM
You don' t have to starve. But yes, you may have to add in some healthy fats to bump the calorie level. Oil, nuts, seeds.

Hang in there!

05-31-2011, 05:17 PM
Ooook. Been to the girl-doctor today. Everything is in check and she says I do not have the syndrome most probably, she only found a couple of small cysts on the left ovary and says it isn't enough to do damage.

We wait for my blood test to see the hormones. Aaaand I was sent to check my thyroid again.

I will trust her for now and hope I don't do a mistake. After all I don't have the worst tell-tale sign, infertility, and not enough cysts... :)

It seems my old doctor just was talking crap (I hope). Perhaps he had a bad day when I came in.

So I won't bother you ladies anymore on this part of the forum.
Gat better everyone and good luck with your weight loss.

05-31-2011, 05:49 PM
I sincerely hope that you don't have it....but infertility is not mandatory for a PCOS diagnosis. It is just a common symptom that occurs, usually after years of hormonal imbalance has occurred. I have never been infertile, I have 3 kids and would still be fertile now were it not for surgery.

Just keep in mind that SO many doctors have no experience diagnosing or treating PCOS. It is extremely hard to get a diagnosis. It took me years. I actually had an ob/gyn tell me that he didn't "believe in" PCOS.

Not enough cysts? That makes no sense whatsoever. I've had probably 20 ultrasounds over the years, twice I've had NO cysts. That doesn't mean I don't have PCOS :(

Best of luck to you chubbykins, whatever the result I hope you find the answers you are looking for ((((hugs))))

05-31-2011, 06:00 PM
PCOS manifests in at least 5 ways:

1. traditional PCOS -- anovulatory, increased androgens, no insulin resistance
2. endocrine syndrome X -- anovulatory, increased androgens, insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes
3. non-traditional PCOS --anovulatory, normal androgens, obese, insulin resistant or type 2 diabetes
4. non-traditional PCOS -- ovulatory, increased androgens, mild insulin resistance
5. idiopathic hirsutism -- ovulatory, increased androgens, no insulin resistance

So while I wouldn't wish it on anyone, don't think you are in the clear just because there's no cysts building up from lack of ovulation. You could be one of the ovulatory types.

Better to get the condition managed early than let it go on and on without an eye kept on it.

Hopefully your hormone labs will come back good and show you aren't having androgen or insulin probs.