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

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Old 10-29-2008, 12:13 PM   #1  
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Default Just "diagnosed" with PCOS

So, I went to the doctor on Monday and, after 3 long years and a 50 pound weight gain, I was finally "diagnosed" with PCOS. The reason I write diagnosed in parenthesis is because of the way the doctor told me I had it. She basically said that my symptoms match those corresponding to PCOS and since I don't seem to have anything else wrong with me, it must be PCOS. I asked if there was an actual test that would confirm the diagnosis and she said no. Somehow this doesn't give me much confidence in an accurate diagnosis. Has anyone else been "diagnosed" with PCOS this way? Is this normal?

The doctor also prescribed be Metformin...does anyone else use this? What are your experiences with it?

Thanks!
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Old 10-29-2008, 12:47 PM   #2  
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I'm terribly sorry to hear you were just diagnosed with PCOS! In my opinion, it's a difficult "disorder/syndrome" to deal with, or at least from my experience. I was not diagnosed in that manner and I'm sorry you were. There are several signs but I don't think there is any 1 specific test to prove PCOS or to not. It depends on how far your Dr. may also want to take it with you.

I took Metformin (2,000mg/day) for 7 months. I was in the bathroom for 7 months. I could have lived in there. LOL! ****, I practically did. But, then again, I didn't follow a specific plan as the Dr. told me to either. I'm sure if you are eating right & following your Dr's guidelines you won't have the same issues. But, even when I was eating healthier/better, it never seemed to fix right in my stomach. I should have bought stock in Immodium!

Good luck hon and it varies from person to person! I hope everything works out for you!
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Old 10-29-2008, 12:50 PM   #3  
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PCOS is, in many ways, a diagnosis of exclusion...you have X symptoms, you don't have Y disorders/diseases, so PCOS is the most likely. There are some tests that can add additional credence onto the diagnosis - internal ultrasound to view the cysts, blood tests for insulin resistance, LH and FSH ratios, DHEA and Testosterone levels - you might want to request some of these, as well as blood glucose, free insulin, and cholesterol tests, if your insurance will cover them. But there is no direct "test" for PCOS that, by itself, will trigger a diagnosis.

Some doctors do prescribe Metformin almost automatically for PCOS patients. My OB/GYN gave me a prescription, and I was uncomfortable, so i got a second opinion. After getting a bunch of bloodwork (I have a very healthy, active lifestyle, a well-rounded diet, etc) and determining that my blood sugar is, for now, normal, the second doctor said that, as long as I keep close watch on the blood sugar, there was no reason to medicate right away. So if you're uncomfortable, get a second opinion.
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Old 10-29-2008, 12:50 PM   #4  
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Yes, I had the same problem. I had my period for almost a month when I was 17, and my doctor (without running any tests) said I had PCOS and gave me birth control and glucophage to deal with it.
I had the same doubts you do, so I went back about a year later and basically demanded they actually do tests. After an ultrasound, they showed me the cysts on my ovaries and I was satisfied.

But it wasn't until I moved away and went to a new doctor that I realized I never needed the glucophage. Not everyone with PCOS has insulin resistance, and the fact that they just assumed I did was downright dangerous. Plus, the medicine gave me stomach aches.

I think since it's such a common thing (especially with girls with weight probs) doctors think they can just diagnose it as easily as a cold. What a frustrating experience.

So my recommendation to anyone else is...always ask them to perform the tests, no matter what it is they diagnose you with!
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Old 10-29-2008, 12:52 PM   #5  
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oh, and metformin is glucophage. If they don't perform a blood draw in which you drink a sugary syrup, chances are they have no idea if you're insulin resistant or not (and I would never take metformin on a hunch)
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Old 10-29-2008, 02:24 PM   #6  
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thanks for your advice everyone! when i was at the doctor's, she drew a ton of blood so i'm assuming she's going to run all the tests to rule everything else out...at least i hope! she didn't specify what tests she was ordering, but said that she'd call me with the results within a week.

as for the metformin, i'm pretty sure i don't have insulin resistance, but i think she prescribed it to me for my weight problem. about 3 years ago, i went to my ob/gyn thinking i had pcos. She ran some test, said i didn't have it, and put me on birth control to regulate my cycle. that's when i started gaining weight for no apparent reason. no matter how many calories i cut or how much exercise i added, i still gained weight. i went to like 6 different doctors and no one could find anything wrong with me. they all said just to give it some time. so, 3 years later and 50 pounds heavier, i finally found a doctor who diagnosed with pcos. i lead a pretty healthy and active lifestyle, but despite my best efforts...i'm still gaining weight. is the metformin something that can help me lose weight even though i have normal blood sugar levels?
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Old 10-29-2008, 02:32 PM   #7  
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Research is mixed on that question - some studies have indicated that Metformin/Glucophage reduces hunger somewhat in non-diabetic/insulin resistant patients, which might lead to a weight loss.

That being said, I made the personal decision to not try the metformin, for now, due to the lack of long-term safety studies, particularly in non-diabetic populations. If I was insulin-resistant, I'd absolutely take it, and I'll probably take it if I get pregnant as well, as it has been shown in several studies to reduce the high rate of miscarriage in PCOS patients. I haven't seen any research to indicate that non-insulin-resistant, non-pre-diabetic, healthy, active PCOS patients get a benefit from metformin.

The blood tests will probably check hormone levels, insulin, cholesterol, glucose levels, etc. Having those will give you a much better picture of where you are and give you additional information about whether you want to pursue to Metformin at this time.
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Old 10-29-2008, 10:44 PM   #8  
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metformin will probably help you lose a little weight, but it doesn't for everyone. A ton of people get stomach problems, and that might be why they're losing weight...either because they don't eat much or because they aren't keeping it in long enough to digest it.
Not everyone has this problem, but I would suggest metformin only as a last resource. It's not going to be a major player in getting you down to your goal weight, it may just help with a few pounds, and if you can do it in a healthy way without the metformin, it's really a good idea.
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Old 10-30-2008, 07:10 AM   #9  
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nuts! i was hoping that metformin would be the "key" to my losing weight. i already workout 2hrs/day, 5 days a week and I follow a pretty healthy 1500 calorie diet. i've been doing this a while and have only seemed to gain weight! when i was diagnosed with PCOS, i figured that was the reason for it. now, i have no idea how to lose the weight because clearly a healthy diet and excercise are not enough.
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Old 10-30-2008, 11:53 AM   #10  
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Have you tried taking a glycemic approach to what you're eating?

Though this wasn't the case for me, many people with PCOS, particularly insulin-resistant PCOS, have found that eating a low-glycemic diet (for example, the type of diet described by South Beach, or Weight Watchers Core) helps them to lose weight where normal calorie counting cannot. Basically, a low-glycemic plan is going to aim to keep your blood sugar as steady as possible. Such a plan would consist of lean proteins, lots of veggies, limited amounts of fruits and whole grain carbs, and an elimination of refined carbs (white sugar, white flour, etc).
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Old 10-31-2008, 12:00 PM   #11  
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When I was diagnosed with PCOS, the doctor did blood tests and also a 24-hour urine test. I'm telling you though... there is nothing more disgusting than having a jug of urine in your fridge for 24 hours....
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Old 10-31-2008, 12:43 PM   #12  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elyndria View Post
When I was diagnosed with PCOS, the doctor did blood tests and also a 24-hour urine test. I'm telling you though... there is nothing more disgusting than having a jug of urine in your fridge for 24 hours....
Even more fun when you're not allowed out of bed before your first pee .
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