Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a health problem that affects one in 10 women of childbearing age (between 15 and 44).
Women with this condition face metabolism problems and hormonal imbalance that affect their appearance and overall health.
PCOS symptoms include irregular menstrual cycle, hirsutism or excessive hair growth on body parts where men usually have hair, acne, thinning hair, weight gain or difficulty in losing weight, darkening of the skin and skin tags.
I know the constant struggles and helplessness that come with this condition because I’m a PCOS sufferer myself. Through this blog, I hope to educate and motivate those of you who could be going through the same things as I am.
Finding out that I have PCOS
I initially approached a dermatologist for my persistent acne condition and was referred to a gynecologist as she guessed that it was a hormonal condition.
I was 18 years old when I was diagnosed with PCOS and 13 when I was diagnosed with an overactive thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism). Hyperthyroidism symptoms include nervousness, irritability, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, thinning of the skin and muscle weakness.
Women with PCOS most likely suffer from a thyroid disorder too with the significant overlap of symptoms despite the fact that they are two very different conditions.
I had severe cystic acne, excess body hair and would always writhe in pain on all days of my period from the horrible cramps. The thyroid condition would further leave me feeling sluggish throughout the day.
Over the years I have been through most of it all - birth control pills, diabetes medication due to insulin resistance, strict diet etc. I gain weight quite easily, suffer from constant mood swings and even struggled with depression in the past when I used to have a sedentary lifestyle.
Sometimes I can barely think clearly and getting through a day is a huge achievement considering the exhaustion that I feel from a physically active job.
So, no, PCOS doesn’t affect just my ovaries. It affects me as a whole!
The magic bullets
Years later, although my thyroid levels are regulated whilst being on medication, I am still scarred from the numerous acne lesions, still battling with PCOS and the dreadful knife-stabbing pain every month as we all know the fact that it never really goes away, and there is no cure for this condition.
However, I have found two absolutely fantastic ways to keep the symptoms under control which is exercise and nutrition. These two have been my life changer in a way that my life now totally depends on it!
The day I set foot in the gym I could see how exercising had a positive impact on my health both physically and mentally. Most importantly knowing what endorphins aka the happy hormones were making me feel was something which eventually turned into an addiction.
When you gradually see your mind and body evolve for the better, you know you have found your best bet and it’s only a matter of time when working out and eating healthy becomes second nature!
Don’t let PCOS dictate your life.
I know that with the right kind of approach, you can take control over PCOS instead of letting it take control over you.