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 02-10-2009, 02:08 PM   #1  
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Default Chicken/Egg Question: Which came first, the weight or the PCOS?

based on some of the informal research i've done on the internet, it seems that most people developed pcos as a result of significant weight gain, and when they lost weight, many of the symptoms disappeared or otherwise resolved themselves.
and as we all know, pcos makes it really difficult to lose weight.
i have had the no period thing since i was about 13 or 14 and only about 110-115 lbs, at this same height. it just kinda never happened for me. at 16 i went on the pill to regulate this situation. and at 27, after no change in a decade, i finally got tested and received the pcos dx, which led me to believe that i had a lifetime of significant weight gain as a result of the pcos, not the other way around.

which came first? or is it cause for some and effect for others? yes i know the exact causes of pcos aren't clear and genetics plays a roll, but i feel like the weight thing is something that people commonly attribute as a cause.
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Old 02-10-2009, 02:19 PM   #2  
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I think irregular periods during adolescence is fairly common, with or without pcos.

I have never had regular periods and I have always been overweight by at least 50 pounds. I've often thought about what came first, the pcos or obesity and with me it was the obesity. I tend to think that was the cause. It's an unfortunate cycle though, because once you're overweight/obese with pcos you're kind of screwed in the weightloss department. It only exacerbates both problems.
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Old 02-10-2009, 02:23 PM   #3  
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I have always been overweight but it wasn't until I hit puberty that the weight shot up at an incredible rate. From what I've read, its common for PCOS to kind of be dormant but it has become active once someone becomes overweight.
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Old 02-10-2009, 02:51 PM   #4  
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For me, PCOS is definately a result of weight gain. I used to have normal (albeit heavy) periods until I went over 300 lbs.

I'm pretty upset that I did this to myself, now that we want to have kids. All those good years of fertility wasted.

But it is my main motiviation for losing weight, my doctor said once I get below 300 lbs, we can start fertility treatments. Thinking about that keeps me on plan every day.
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Old 02-10-2009, 03:34 PM   #5  
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yeah i'm kind of angry actually because i have always had this premonition that i would have fertility problems due to my basically NEVER ovulating. but when you're a 16 year old kid, most doctors don't really take your fertility concerns too seriously and just dismissed it as "oh you're young, don't worry about it." i just wonder if it was a the-pcos-came-first-and-the-weight-came-from-the-pcos situation what things would have been like had someone listened to me and actually done a hormone panel and diagnosed me back when i was in hs. maybe i could've saved myself the next 55 lbs or something. that would have made the last 15 years completely different for me in terms of emotional stability, happiness, and self esteem.
i guess i'll never know.
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Old 02-10-2009, 03:43 PM   #6  
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That's a really good point. A really good point.

I know a LOT of girls that were hospitalized with ruptured ovarian cysts (myself included) and I can tell you that hormone panels were probably NOT part of the standard of care in those situations.

Should I ever have a daughter and she shows any signs of pcos I will push for at least that basic test.
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Old 02-10-2009, 04:08 PM   #7  
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We may never know. But personally, I feel that the PCOS causes the weight issue, due to the hormonal problems. I know for me..I find it weird that I am one of FIVE girls..and I am the only one who has weight issues, and BOTH of my parents are on the thinner side?? So I think the weight came first in my case.

Interesting enough..I just had a visit with a NEW RE, where we discussed how I can't seem to lose anymore weight..and he said that low-carb would probably be the only way I would get below 200. Oy.
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Old 02-11-2009, 12:42 AM   #8  
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Yea I had a similar thought process myself. It wasn't until I was hitting puberty, broke my foot at 10 (and was in a cast so fairly immobile) and learned about comfort foods did I even start to gain weight really. I was always a small child (5lbs 9oz and 18inches long at birth! and then up through about 9 I was either always underweight or right where I should have been for my height though I was always short!) and then when puberty hit BAM! 30lbs thanks to the hormonal changes and being stuck in a cast. And then from there I just continually went up and up in weight (with the occasional weight loss that was short lived) and my periods were never normal, I had the hirustism, and high cholesterol for my age. My weight finally stabilized in my late teens and it wasn't until I was almost 20 when I gained 30lbs out of nowhere due to my thyroid and then 2 years later another 20+lbs due to going off b.c. And then I didn't have a period for 6 MONTHS! So I don't know what the case was for me. I personally think I had the PCOS from the beginning and it became even more exacerbated due to the weight gain from the thyroid. But that's my personal pet theory.
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Old 02-11-2009, 02:45 PM   #9  
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H'm.. good question!

For me.. I think I had the PCOS first... or well.. I'm not sure actually

I've always been an over weight person.. I was always the chubby friend in middle school through high school. And I never had my period. It wasnt until after highschool when I finally went to the doc to get it checked out. She diagnosed me with PCOS and it wasnt until I was on bc that I was finally able to have one. It was after this dx where I gained 30+pounds and really started to see the side affects of the condition, the hirustism and high cholesterol for my age.


-Katherynn
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Old 02-11-2009, 11:30 PM   #10  
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I would have to say for me the PCOS probably came first. I was never overweight through my teens and I always had regular cycles. At about 22 I started to have late and/or missing periods. After that I started to put on weight like crazy.
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Old 02-12-2009, 01:25 AM   #11  
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My understanding is that PCOS is inherited, and many of the symptoms appear regardless of the weight of the person who has inherited PCOS, but weight gain may worsen some sumptoms (for example insulin resistance, whether part of PCOS or not, seems to both cause weight gain, and be worsened by weight gain - so a snowballing endlessly worsening cycle can ensue).

I can see that gaining weight could worsen symptoms, but you've either inhereted the trait(s) for PCOS or you haven't. Even if some of the symptoms of PCOS appear after weight gain doesn't mean the PCOS was caused by the weight gain, rather the weight gain may just be the first symptom that appears in PCOS. It's sort of like chicken pox - if the fever occurs before the rash appears, that doesn't mean that the fever caused the rash, it's just the order in which the disease tends to progress.
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Old 02-12-2009, 01:55 AM   #12  
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i totally agree!
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Old 02-12-2009, 10:57 PM   #13  
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You know, this thread got me wondering if I even have PCOS. When I had a ultrasound done a few months ago the woman who did it said that I had a beautiful uterus & ovaries looked great. I wonder if my "PCOS" is actually just PCOS like symptoms caused by a hormone imbalance b/c I am so overweight.

I was fine when I was thinner.
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Old 02-13-2009, 01:37 AM   #14  
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I have been diagnosed with Insulin Resistance, but not PCOS. I have some symptoms that overlap with PCOS, but not many that can't be attributed to Insulin Resistance alone. I do not know if insulin resistance was a precurser or a cause (or more likely a little bit of both). I do know that I had hormonal issues most of my life. I started to develop very early and had my period at 9 or 10, and my weight went absolutely crazy at puberty.

I don't know which was the chicken and which was the egg, and I suspect that it didn't matter nearly as much as the "snowball" effect did.
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Old 02-13-2009, 06:34 PM   #15  
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[QUOTE=kaplods;2610444]I started to develop very early and had my period at 9 or 10, and my weight went absolutely crazy at puberty.[QUOTE]

Me too! I started my period shortly after my 11th birthday and it was only about 9 or 10 months before that was when I broke my foot and was immobilized due to a cast (to a certain extent) and learned about comfort foods was when I really started to gain weight. Other than that I was always either normal or underweight. This is such a confusing thing.

Last edited by gymlee; 02-13-2009 at 06:35 PM.
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