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PCOS/Insulin Resistance Support Support for us with any of the following: Insulin Resistance, Syndrome X, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or other endocrine disorders.

What do I do if I suspect something is wrong?

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Old 04-10-2014, 09:45 PM   #1
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Default What do I do if I suspect something is wrong?

Hi ladies!
Long story short, I have had a weight problem my entire life.My WLJ started when I was in middle school/high school.I lost over 100 pounds.Unfortunately,I put the weight back on during college.For the past few years, I have been diligently trying to take the weight off again(First weight watchers and then MyFitnessPal). I have been unable to make the scale move more than 5-8 pounds.At times I have even GAINED weight while being active and eating healthy. Last week I stumbled upon some info regarding IR. I have been following the suggested meal plan(low carbs) and walking for one hour every other day and FINALLY the scale is budging and the inches are coming off.

My aunt who has PCOS(along with several other relatives-also have family history of diabetes) suggested I go to my doctor to have labs run.I went and my dr reported my labs were "perfect".She suggested I try p90x and herbalife shakes.Well,I tried those and my body fought me to lose less than 5 pounds.I also got the feeling that she didn't believe that I workout regularly and eat a healthy diet,which honestly broke my heart and I left in tears. I know everyone says "calories in,calories out" but that just isn't the case for my body for some reason.I really would hate to go back to her to have her do any more labs for this reason.I'm wondering if my ob gyn would be able to do these same labs or refer me to some type of specialist who is willing to listen?

My dr. when I was in middle school told my mother I was prediabetic if that makes any difference. I am also a classic apple shape.

Thanks for listening
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Old 04-10-2014, 10:01 PM   #2
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Were thyroid tests run? Other than that I suspect you could have IR if you saw results when lowering carbs. I have been prediabetic for many years. I have had difficulty losing weight until finally a few weeks ago I bit the bullet and started cutting out grains and sugar. Now the scale is finally moving. My recommendation would be to see another doctor if you don't feel you are being heard.
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Old 04-11-2014, 01:23 PM   #3
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Hi Shannon-yes she ran thyroid tests.She said everything was fine with those also.Just curious of how many grams of fat you consume?I'm fine on carbs and protein but I'm always over on my fat.
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Old 04-11-2014, 03:46 PM   #4
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In regards to fat intake- it really depends on the type of fat. I go over all the time on overall fat and I'm doing alright to lose just fine now that I've gotten my PCOS under control. (I eat a lot of avocado and nuts and lean meats which is where my high fat intake is coming from). I also do herbal life shakes.

My questions would be- how often are you weighing yourself and getting stuck at 5-8 pounds? Is this over months of time, or just a few weeks? Are you measuring yourself or just staring at the scale? What exercises are you doing and how often?

As for as IR- if he didn't run a glucose test (you'd know it by the nasty drink and then lab tests following)...ask for one. My doctor didn't listen to me either and I totally went to my gynecologist and said, HELP...she was the run to finally run all the tests and find my hormones were a mess (now seeing an endocrinologist) and my IR was insanely bad (now on metformin).
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Old 04-11-2014, 05:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elledoll2 View Post
Hi Shannon-yes she ran thyroid tests.She said everything was fine with those also.Just curious of how many grams of fat you consume?I'm fine on carbs and protein but I'm always over on my fat.
I am not tracking anything right now, it's a binge trigger for me. But, I imagine I am way over on fat too. Not worried about it though. The carbs are what keep weight on me and frankly, they are what raise lipoprotein levels too. I spent 8 years of my career working in that field so yeah, not worried.
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladypeacek View Post
In regards to fat intake- it really depends on the type of fat. I go over all the time on overall fat and I'm doing alright to lose just fine now that I've gotten my PCOS under control. (I eat a lot of avocado and nuts and lean meats which is where my high fat intake is coming from). I also do herbal life shakes.

My questions would be- how often are you weighing yourself and getting stuck at 5-8 pounds? Is this over months of time, or just a few weeks? Are you measuring yourself or just staring at the scale? What exercises are you doing and how often?

As for as IR- if he didn't run a glucose test (you'd know it by the nasty drink and then lab tests following)...ask for one. My doctor didn't listen to me either and I totally went to my gynecologist and said, HELP...she was the run to finally run all the tests and find my hormones were a mess (now seeing an endocrinologist) and my IR was insanely bad (now on metformin).
I've been weighing myself no more than once a week lately.The scale is moving in right direction since being more aware of carbs so hopefully it continues to.I do need to make sure I take measurements more often because when I lost weight before,it helped keep me encouraged.As far as workouts it was zumba,bellydance, or TurboFire. For the past week or so,I've been doing Walk Away the Pounds 5 mile walk or walking outside.What type of exercise do you do?

No-she didn't run a glucose test.I will make an appt. with my gynecologist and hopefully she can help me get this figured out.Do you have side effects from the medication?
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:58 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Shannonsnail View Post
I am not tracking anything right now, it's a binge trigger for me. But, I imagine I am way over on fat too. Not worried about it though. The carbs are what keep weight on me and frankly, they are what raise lipoprotein levels too. I spent 8 years of my career working in that field so yeah, not worried.
Most of my fat is from healthy sources(macadamia nuts,almonds,coconut oil) so I guess that's okay.I'll keep an eye on it and see if it stalls my progress at all.Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 04-12-2014, 02:59 AM   #8
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I do a mixture of strength training and cardio. I have a home body gym for strengthening every part of my body. I also have a treadmill, stepper and kettlebells to use. I love the kettlebells, they are my favorite, always feel it in the right places.

If you are building any muscle doing this, your weight may not change very much at first, since it weighs more than fat does, which is why I suggested measuring too. I don't do any weighing or measuring myself at home. I check in with my nutritionist every three weeks and she does it. I would probably do it every two-three weeks instead- weight fluctuates a lot- and not seeing results will only discourage you. Instead, really focus on how you feel, health-wise.
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Old 04-16-2014, 10:09 PM   #9
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My recommendation is to go to a reproductive endocrinologist -- they deal with PCOS patients all the time. A regular endocrinologist may or may not be useful, but they usually deal with diabetes patients.

A gyno can probably be a better help too, than a regular doctor. I have found that normal doctors don't really know how to treat PCOS -- my own doctor basically recommended a 900 calorie diet and more exercise. My repro-endo actually ran better lab tests than my GP (more precise than the regular LabCorp tests) and did the glucose tolerance test AND recommendation medication even though my bloodwork came back borderline. My gyno gave me the pelvic ultrasound to verify the cysts and also recommended a healthy weight loss diet (he said Weight Watchers was the one that actually worked because it didn't require weird foods!).

I've been dealing with my PCOS I have discovered that right now, my lab tests come back "normal" because I am taking care of myself, but I still have IR and PCOS.

Eating a low-carb diet and exercising is the best way to manage it. But I can't over-exercise... it will increase your glucose levels (did you know THAT?!) so it's a mixture of pilates and spinning/cycling (heavier on the pilates side).

The other thing that you have to take into consideration is that you're in this for the rest of your life. So, you lose only 5 lbs this month. That's okay. Even if you don't lose any pounds next month. You're eating well, you're treating your IR and your PCOS. THAT is more important.

That is probably the hardest thing to wrap your head around.

Good luck!
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Old 05-01-2014, 01:16 PM   #10
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Thanks Rana. I made an appt. with my gyno but I can't get in until June. My gyno is very sweet so hopefully she can help me figure out whats going on. I just brought the glycemic load diet book.I hope it doesn't affect my results.I would have never guesses that about too much exercise increasing glucose levels.Wow!!
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Old 05-01-2014, 02:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
My dr. when I was in middle school told my mother I was prediabetic if that makes any difference. I am also a classic apple shape.
We present in at least 5 ways.

You sound like you are one of the insulin-resistant ones. Do you also have dark brown patches on neck, elbow, knees, ankles, etc? That could be acanthosis nigricans -- another sign of IR.

Think about changing doctors and think about asking for specific labs for PCOS because you think you might have it and you have a near relative with it.

http://www.inciid.org/faq.php?cat=infertility101&id=2

I've had more success since changing endocs. My new one also checked Vitamin D and B12 levels (which stunk!)

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Old 05-02-2014, 05:35 PM   #12
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Change doctors. Keep asking. And let us know what you hear!

My experience is that you've REALLY GOT TO FIGHT FOR YOURSELF in this. This morning I got brave, myself, and booked an appointment with a new endo.

My experience thus far:
I first saw a doctor (just a GP), looking for weight loss help, about 7 years ago. I gave him a quick rundown of my nutrition and lifestyle. He told me to "put down the cookies and pick up the carrots." I repeated the part about 4 days a week at the gym. He put me on phentermine. Turns out, phentermine makes me crazy. I don't sleep and spend my days panicky and paranoid. I lost 20 lbs, but stayed on it less than a year.

My life went on, and my weight loss struggle continued. A couple years ago I decided to go directly to an endocrinologist because my research was making PCOS/IR look like a possibility, and I was working out and eating right without weight loss.

He put me on 1000(g? mg?) of metformin and 1200 cals for 3 months. I lost a pound. He took me to 1500 met/1000 cals for another 3 months. I lost 2 more pounds.

About two weeks before my followup appointment, I hurt my feet in a race and was placed on no-impact. I immediately gained 7 lbs (while maintaining my diet).

Went to the followup with six months worth of dietary and fitness logs. He didn't even open the binder. Instead, he patted his stomach, told me that calories in equaled calories out, and suggested surgery. I didn't go back.

Now it's two years, a constant succession of foot/ankle injuries, and 50lbs later. I FINALLY got my clearance to work out again in February and have been working with a trainer ever since. I feel great, and love being able to move again, but have only lost 5lbs.

I have been trying to be smart but gentle with my food tracking (I get a little obsessive once I start measuring), but started logging again today so I have something to show the new endo on 5/28.

Apologies for the Wall of Text, OP, but I really appreciate the tips I'm seeing here, and would love to hear any suggestions on how to have the conversation with the endo without sounding like a lazy liar.
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Old 05-03-2014, 12:13 AM   #13
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I think there are two thoughts to this.

On one hand, the first and most important thing should be treating PCOS -- in other words, it should be about getting your labs to come as close to normal as possible.

So, KTG, what did your labs show? Do you have IR? How is your thyroid? How are your hormones? Did you have glucose tolerance test done?

My first endo was not any help -- he was a normal endo and wanted to put me on drugs. My next endo was a reproductive endocrinologist and that made a difference.

First, I would focus on getting your labs to normalize -- whether that includes weight less or not. Get your bloodwork fixed, through diet, exercise, drugs.

Secondly, I would then focus on diet. And even for PCOS women, diet is critical. If IR is present, then you have to manage your blood sugar. I tested myself for months to get an understanding how food was affecting my blood sugar; how I woke up in the moring, how I was doing when I went to bed. That information, IMO, is important to understand what's going on in your body.

Then, I changed my diet. I had to. I wasn't losing enough and I had to make peace with food that I never thought I could give up. I won't say it's easy. It isn't.

And calories matter, but also the quality. I can eat 1000 calories worth of cookies and I will stall and gain weight (and be stark raving Bxxxx to everyone around me). I have found that I need to manage my carb. The best diet for me right now is a paleo style diet -- with no nuts (those, I discovered, make me gain weight or stall).

So, I would start focusing on health and then focus on weight loss last. PCOS is much more than just a weight problem. It's a true health issue. You may find that as you balance your labs, your weight does comes off (although both will probably at the same time).
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Old 05-04-2014, 06:23 PM   #14
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Thanks for the very thoughtful response, Rana!

The endo never diagnosed me with *anything.* He ordered a CBC and (I think maybe) a thyroid test, and told me that everything was normal. Then he put me on the metformin and advised me to avoid caffeine and sugar (which I did), and come back in three months. Three months later is when he upped the met and lowered the cals, then the checkup after that was when he recommended surgery and I NOPED it out of there.

As far as the diet--when I was working with him before, I would do a slice of toast and sunflower seed butter for breakfast, lunch was carrots, almonds, 1/2 an avocado, and hummus, and dinner was generally a chicken/hummus wrap. I'd supplement with two snacks of yogurt or whole fruit, and carrot sticks if I needed some sort of in-between.

I tend to eat fairly healthy anyway--I avoid carbs and refined sugar--but since refocusing in February I've been very, very focused on protein, protein, protein (I'm just craving it constantly), eating a variety of veggies, and maxxing water consumption.

I'm looking forward to seeing the new endo. Like OP, I know *something's* not right on a biochemical level, I just don't know what.

I hope I don't have the same reaction to nuts that you did, though . . . not sure I can live without my almonds!
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Old 05-08-2014, 08:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astrophe View Post
We present in at least 5 ways.

You sound like you are one of the insulin-resistant ones. Do you also have dark brown patches on neck, elbow, knees, ankles, etc? That could be acanthosis nigricans -- another sign of IR.

Think about changing doctors and think about asking for specific labs for PCOS because you think you might have it and you have a near relative with it.


I've had more success since changing endocs. My new one also checked Vitamin D and B12 levels (which stunk!)

A.
Yes,my neck is darker than the rest of my body.When i was younger my doctor made note of this in reference to being pre-diabetic but thats as far as it went.After a diagnosis is made is Metformin(or any other meds) typically prescribed?

Last edited by elledoll2 : 05-08-2014 at 08:41 PM.
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