PCOS/Insulin Resistance Support - Which diet would be better for Insulin Resistance/PCOS?

09-13-2012, 12:48 PM

I have a question regarding a good diet for insulin resistance/PCOS. I've been diagnosed with mild insulin resistance, without PCOS, but I have some of the symptoms and considering my sister and mom have PCOS, I should prevent it.

Anyway, I've read thee books for The Insulin Resistance Diet and The South Beach Diet, and both seem pretty good, and right now I'm reading The Metabolism Miracle by Diane Kress. Have any of you who have PCOS/IR have tried any of these diets, have they been good for the symptoms and easy to follow? Out of the three I think the easiest one to follow for me (taking lifestyle, social life and everything else into consideration) would be The Insulin Resistance Diet, but I've heard mixed reviews... but I've also read the same about South Beach and The Metabolism Miracle. So this is confusing!

The Metabolism Miracle sounds really good except it requires an 8 week "carb rehab" phase, which means almost no carbs for 2 months! I think my pancreas could use that rest, but I'm not in charge of cooking in my household (mom is) and also social life and such would make it a bit tough (considering where I live most foods are carb heavy).

My stats are as follows: 5'7", approximately 147 lbs. (at least last time I weighed myself like a month ago, I hate weighing myself). I'm on 750 mg metformin a day, and I'm on the pill. Before I started the pill, my periods were regular, so I don't know about having PCOS, but some symptoms I have are: fatigue/tiredness, mild depression, low sex drive, hair thinning, dandruff/seborrheic dermatitis, mild hirsutism on lower stomach, slow weight loss.

Any input is welcome :)

09-13-2012, 12:58 PM
I am insulin resistant and prediabetic, and my doctor recommended that I try low-carb but warned me not to go too low (but he admitted he didn't know what would be too low - I'd have to experiment).

No-carb doesn't work for me. I get very sick with low-blood sugar crashes. Metformin (which I was prescribed for the IR) makes the crashes even worse.

I've tried quite a few low-carb diets, from a modified Atkins (couldn't do induction for the full 2 weeks, made me too sick) to South Beach, to an asortment of low-and reduced carb diets.

They all worked fairly well, but I did eventually need to add a calorie-counting component. I chose a low-carb exchange plan (because I'm familiar with exchange plans and like them) like the ones found on the frugalabundance.com website (I started with the 1800 calorie high-protein diet which is a carb-restricted plan that isn't "too low" for me. Though I did end up having to reduce the bread exchanges to only 2 servings).

Because you're about half my size, you'ld probably need to start with a lower calorie plan, if you wanted to do an exchange plan, unless you're extremely active.

You're on more metformin than I am (I'm on 500 mg), so I'd suggest that you be even more careful about "no carb" diets. Everyone's different, but the side effects of too-low are just too unpleasant (severe headaches, lightheadedness, even vomiting and passing out in extreme cases). So until you know how low you can comfortably go, always carry around a protein bar with you, for blood sugar crash emergencies.

09-14-2012, 11:03 AM
Well, at your height of 5'7" and 147 lbs, you're in the normal range for BMI.

So, I'm not sure if you want to lose more weight? Or do you just want to treat your IR?

The Metformin is helping your body to be more sensitive to glucose/insulin, so it doesn't give you the side of effects of high glucose in your system, which includes converting that extra energy into fat, but also high triglycerides, and damage to your internal organs.

However, any of those diets would work to manage it. I think the key here is to find one that does. I bought the IR Diet Book and I thought it was a good primer to understand the linking of protein and carbs and fats, which I think we should all do (even if its hard) to balance how our blood sugar reacts.

But any of those diets will set you on a good path.

As for mom cooking and stuff -- I think that your mom probably knows about your health issues, right? I think you need to sit down with her (or however you have the more serious conversations with her) and tell her that you need to help her plan the meals so she makes things that you can eat and are healthy for you and your sister (if your sister is still at home too).

To be honest, if the rest of the family eats this way, it's not really going to be a bad thing... It's just learning about portion controls and the linking of the carbs/protein/fats.

As for eliminating carbs altogether, I agree with Kaplods -- you need to be careful because the Metformin is already loweing your blood sugar. So, play around with it and see how you feel.