Written by Aisha
“You have PCOS”
“I have what?”
Usually most women’s reaction to being told they have PCOS is “what the hell is PCOS??”. PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome which is a condition that effects how the ovaries work. Cysts can form on the ovaries ending in discomfort and disruption in ovulation. It’s known to be the most common disorder within the endocrine system that occurs amongst women during their reproductive ages. Many women go years without knowing that they have PCOS until they start to notice heavier and irregular cycles or are met with difficulty when attempting to reproduce.
The most common symptoms of PCOS are:
– Irregular cycles
– Excess hair
– Weight gain
When I was diagnosed with PCOS, I went into over drive trying to find out what it was, how I got it and what treatments were available. I quickly found that it is heavily based around hormones – an imbalance of them to be specific. You see, we’re built up of male and female hormones, our bodies naturally produce and require them. If someone has PCOS, it means that the male hormone is more dominant which causes the ovaries to not function effectively. I noticed whilst talking to medical professions and doing my own research two things popped up continuously. Diet and exercise. Diet is key when it comes to PCOS as there are quite a few foods that trigger PCOS.
Foods to avoid are:
– Fried food
– White bread
– Refined carbohydrates
– Processed meats
– Red Meat
Foods that are good for PCOS are high fibre foods:
– Leafy vegetables
– Healthy fats E.g avocado, nuts and olive oil
After all of my research, I made the decision to adopt a plant based diet with the aim of trying to balance my hormones out which has actually worked great for me, but I’m well aware that it’s not for everyone. When I changed my diet, I went from having large cysts on my ovaries to having zero cysts and regular cycles. I was able to achieve all of this within a year. I was able to do this by working with my gynaecologist to get a better understanding of my hormone levels and what it was that was out of sync.
You can request a full gynaecology MOT from you GP or privately which allows you to understand exactly what is going on with your hormones and reproductive system. I also booked an appointment with a herbalist and took a holistic approach for healing. I want to say this; in no way am I saying traditional medicine will not work. It does, and so do herbs.
Before running to your local health store and purchasing all of the above please consult with a medical professional. As with all medicines, holistic or traditional, there can be side effects and may not be suitable for you. My herbalist recommended the following, which I took daily and still do:
– Maca root
– Red Raspberry leaf
– Chaste Berry
– ZincGolden sea
Exercise is also very important for someone who has PCOS. PCOS can interrupt your metabolism so it may be hard to shift excess weight but so much easier to put it on. You don’t need to be in the gym working out like you’re training for the Olympics! A 30 minute brisk walk with a friend 3 times a week, taking the stairs instead of getting the lift or putting on your favourite playlist and dancing around for 30 mins all work fine. Just get your body moving more than you usual do. The more you do it the easier it gets!
If you have PCOS or worried you may do, it’s not the end of the world. Google will have your mind in overdrive thinking you won’t have children, you’ll struggle to get pregnant etc but that isn’t true. There are thousands of women, who just like you and I, were diagnosed with PCOS and have had multiple children. The first step is making the decision to not be defined by it and taking charge of your health. We only have one body and one life, do your very best to take good care of it.
No matter your current situation you have the power to start a change.
For more info on PCOS please see links below