Myths and truths about PCOS
Dear Peggy, Thanks for your thoughts. My husband and I have been TTC for over 2 years. Thanks for all you do, Stephanie. I spend my whole day while sitting.. Can I conceive one day? I sleep better, have rare cortisol and adrenalin rushes, acne totally gone. The way in which Real Plans was designed is to give you complete control over the types of foods that will come up on your meal planner.
Signs, Symptoms and Health Risks
We also began eating primary Organic which I believe helped. I had a cycle two months prior to conception. We have an amazing now 3year old daughter and would love to give her a sibling. I never went back on birth control. I stopped breast feeding completely 5 months ago. I have had a few menstration cycles and I believe two ovulation based on feeling but my cycles are still not regular. When I read that stress plays a big factor in HA I felt like I had an ah ha moment and it all made sense in hind sight.
Briden, My cycles have always been irregular ranging at about every 60 days. Now on the second cycle, havent ovulated yet and it looks like another 60 day cycle…. Why would Vitex work one month and not the next? Should I take more? Anyone in the same position as me? I conceived my 2 kids super quickly at age 30 and In I went on a very low calorie diet and lost 45lbs in 10 weeks. I was still a good lbs but looked and felt a million dollars.
I kept most of it off for about 4 years by very low fat and low calorie eating, cycling and walking. In I started to gain wait very dramatically for no reason and then by my previously always perfect cholesterol had gone up dramatically and I was diagnosed with fatty liver, raised inflammation levels and high blood pressure. Of course the doctors just blamed it on me eating too much.
In order to try and lose the weight I intermittently did the very low calories dieting and low carb way of eating but the weight would just pile on and nothing would budge it.
In or so at 45 I started to miss periods. I thought it was just my age. By they were disappearing for 6 -7 months and then coming back regular for months.
This has been going on now for the past 4 years. The doctors told me it was my age. I am now heavier than I have ever been and my whole body aches all over.
I recently demanded hormone tests from the doctor which have showed I am not menopausal and my testosterone levels are higher than they should be. My doc says the results are indicative of PCOS. I am hoping that after all these years I may have a diagnosis so I can try and do something about it.
Perhaps I also have insulin resistance and maybe I have caused this to myself from my disordered eating and starving myself all those years ago. Feeling very confused and depressed about it all.
Just hoping he listens to me as i am really fed up talking to a brick wall. I had irregular periods on my teens about every months from approx 15years. I have been on a low carb diet for the last 10 years and have also intensely exercised doing about 8hrs a week.
Progesterone, testosterone and oestrogen are all low on my bloods. I would love to hear what Lara has to say about this. This is almost me to a T. I went on the pill younger, but came off at Only had a few natural periods far apart.
Diagnosed with PCOS, but all low hormone levels. I teach group ex and eat very healthy as i used to be heavy. Took 3 rounds of IVF to get pregnant. If you were my patient, I would probably ask you to eat potatoes or rice every night for four months, and then you may finally ovulate. Really low estrogen, normal but close to low LH, FSH and progesterone, normal testosterone, normal blood sugar and insulin resistance, normal prolactin….. Have been having a stressful life always, I have eating disorder too.
They tell me the possible way to get pregnant in your case is Gonadotropin, but the thought of it scares me…. What are your thoughts Lara? What can I do? Should I keep on BCP? Can I conceive one day? Could this possibly change to POF? Briden, my name is Riham; 42 years old from the Middle East.
I have lost my period and have seen four doctors since October and my results were as follows: Naturally conceived my baby 3 years ago after a failed IVF.
I had two uterine polyps removed in Jan followed by an HSG in Feb to discover that my right tube is blocked. Still no period and I wish I could know what is happening; is it menopause, then fine, i will just live with it and forget about trying for another baby.
I really wish you could see my message and I wish you well. I have recently been diagnosed with Pcos. I am normal weight, 64 kg and 5,6ft. I am 27 and have always had regular periods no issues and ovulate regularly when I was a teenager pre birth control. I went on yaz for 7 years for contraception and came off it for three months- periods came back straight away perfect 28 day cycles I then I had an mirena place in for three months and absolutely hated it -acne,hair loss but a lot of weight loss 5kg.
Only to now have no periods for 3 months and multiple Cysts on my ovaries on ultrasound but no elevated testosterone, androgen but a raised sbgh? Hbac1 is normal too. No facial hair and no weight gain. In a few words, I am 28 and maybe about 10 years ago I was on a diet where I lost a lot of kilos and had become very skinny and then I lost my period. It took me a years to get it back, my period was regular but then I became overweight.
My period was still regular. I lost a several kilos, but I still was overweight about 80 kg. Last year I wanted to quit taking the Glucophage and try to reverse Insulin Resistance naturally and lose some weight. So I took a blood test again before I started with it — I still had insulin resistance glucose tolerance was good. I quit using Glucophage from November. Then I skipped period for one month, but after that I had it again.
My cycle is about days. In March, this year, I started a diet based on carbs cycling — I got a meal plan from nutritionist. I thought this diet is balanced, but maybe I miss something. For 2 months I lost about 8 kilos — and that is almost my ideal weight as my nutritionist said that for me 70 kg is ideal weight, I have 72 kg now.
My height is cm. I have a meals per day, in every meal I have proteins and salad and carbs are varying from day to day. Every day I eat some fruit low GI fruits like apples, oranges, kiwi, strawberries, etc. I am also taking magnesium, zinc and Vitamin C supplements. What should I do to recover my period but still take care of insulin resistance? Maybe my doctor missed something, so I want to check every possibility.
You might not be eating enough carbohydrate to get a period. Most women need a minimum of grams of carbohydrate to be able to ovulate. Sorry for the lengthy comment ive watched your website for almost a year and really would be ecstatic to hear from you on ANY of this.
I have taken notes on everything however I cant find any information on my one big question. My first birth control method ever was the mirena 4 years which caused many symptoms for me my acne being the most identifiable. I got a copper iud.
My acne did not subside. I had that removed as well its been 5 months since that and I do have periods. Are you ovulating regularly? Because that can give some insights into why your acne persists.
How old were you when you first had it put in? My husband and I have been trying to conceive our first child for a year. I am 26 and he is The original recommendation for birth control pills was due to heavy, irregular cycles. After coming off the BC pills, I have been taking a prenatal vitamin and fish oil supplement religiously.
My first 3 periods were between day cycles. I have now undergone 3 cycles of Letrozole for cycle day with trigger shot for ovulation and progesterone supplements following ovulation, but no luck. I try to eat as clean as possible, and have considerably increased my water consumption. Is there anything else that I can do to try and naturally encourage my body to regain some normality?
My RE is not overly open to discussing evening primrose, maca root, or anything more holistic, so any suggestions you might have regarding how I can address the potential root cause of my problem would be more than appreciated!
Lara, I am so happy to have come across this wealth of information. Since stopping birth control pills three years ago, I have had cycles ranging from days. But I still wondered—why the irregular cycles? My TSH was recently 4. My cycles are more regular, but still 60 days apart. I have always been an under-eater, which I NOW suspect is the cause of my underactive thyroid.
Especially since I was negative for TPO antibodies. I have a 2 year old, and when I had her the nurses kept commenting on my low heart rate—40 bpm at rest. They said it was very healthy, but I was always skeptical. Then a day after her birth my blood pressure skyrocketed, although the nurses had no idea why. I took medication for 6 weeks until it came back down. I started Vitex a couple days ago. Should I first fix my diet before trying Vitex or do both? My period came back for two months and I started taking Vitex a month ago and now my period has stopped again?
Could Vitex be messing up my cycle? Yes, vitex can disrupt cycles. Should I stop the Vitex? I am 30years old and have been on the pill Yasmin for 5 years, which i stopped in September , since then i have had a withdrawal bleed in December and light spotting in January and 2 days light spotting in February , since then nothing at all.
My periods were normal before starting the pill and i have always suffered from occassional acne which has now become worse since i have stopped the pill. I have had blood tests to check my hormone levels which came back normal and also had an ultrasound which found cysts and i was diagnosed with polycistic ovaries however the GP was unsure herself as my bloods are normal and never had any exessive hairgrowth im really worried as me and my husband wanted to start a family and now im all over the place and not even sure if im ovulating at all!
Really need some advice in what to do, would you recommend starting a dose of vitex? I hope this helps any advise would be very much appreciated. I have tried several Probiotics orally, but they always increase my symptoms: Why might the Probiotics be causing the bleeding and symptom increase?
Would this be a symptoms of Histamine Intolerance? Thank you so much, I look forward to your opinion. I went off the pill in November I then had a withdrawal bleed as when on the pill. I then got a couple of days of light spotting early Jan Then nothing until march same two days light spotting.
Then nothing until December again two days light spotting. In this time I started a new job which was stressful. I also walked to Everest base camp. I am a fit person and was advised to slow down by my GP which I did from April to November , I disregarded this in December and have started training again as I enjoy it and dont feel stopping training helped.
On day 15 I started light bleeding for 4 days. I was hoping I would ovulate but not sure whats happening now. I have a retroverted uterus. Living in a remote area means we have a gynocologist clinic visit every 3 months, each time I go its someone new. The first doctor I saw said to get the hysterosalpingogram and my partners semen tested and then we would try letrozol as she was confident I have PCOS. Recently finished your book and wanting so badly to get a consult in Australia but I live in the other side of the world.
Im trying to figure this out. Both ovaries full of cysts in my last ultrasound done today. The only lab levels that seem to be a little out of control are done November After reading the book I put myself into the hidden category. Any idea on this? Thank you for existing! How old are you?
Please also refer again to the thyroid section in Chapter Wow, thank you so much for the answer. Yes, polycystic in at least one in almost every ultrasound Ive had in my gyn appointments. They gave me pills but I stopped them about a year ago. Now Im looking for a baby and they prescribed me Provera which I didnt like , went to another doctor who prescribed natural progesterone, and then went to another doctor who prescribed Metmorfin.
I just want to know WHY Im not ovulating and having long cycles ranging from days. Also my Glucose was in 94, which I believe is high? I have all these altered random values like TSH, glucose, androstenedione, prolactin, but none of them highly above the normal.
I went to the gynecologist because of problems with bad acne and excessive hair growth. So the gynecologist took a bloodtest which showed an elevated level of male hormones and an ultrasound which showed black spots on my ovaries. Sadly I started with birth control again to balance out the male hormones and to stop the acne. Do you have any advice for post-pill PCOS? I prioritize whole foods in my diet and eat lots of veggies. Have you noticed any HA patients struggling with sudden acne?
The last period I got was about 3 weeks late. These past few months at the times that I should have gotten my period I am getting very little brown spotting but very very little, no blood. Before this my period was fairly regular but I did sometimes have certain cycles that were 40 days and some cycles that would I eat fairly well although about a year ago I was vegan for 4 months.
I also lost my period a year after I first got it when I was 12 because of undereating. My LH is I enjoyed your book a lot! I also wanted to add that I got my testosterone levels checked and they were on the low side of normal.
My Dr never did any insulin testing, but I did have cysts and high testosterone. After going low carb while being vegetarian besides fish I saw no improvement in my periods. In fact, they seemed to get further and further apart the more restricted I became and the thinner I got. I had fasting insulin and an A1C test done more than a year after eating low carb and they both looked low.
Not high at all! So very long cycles up to 75 days and no sign of insulin resistance. Doctor still insists PCOS is always about insulin. So frustrating and not sure what to try next! Wow thank you for responding! Thank you thank you thank you!
I am still struggling to figure out which type of PCOS I have, but this gives me something to think about diet wise. I just finished your book, which I found incredibly informative. I wish I had read it sooner! My husband and I have been TTC for over 2 years.
My period before going on the pill was regular from what I can remember — it was so long ago. I had one period after the pill and then never again until I started fertility treatments. I had polycystic ovaries on an ultrasound and was not ovulating.
I then proceeded to do a fresh transfer where I got pregnant, but lost the baby around 7 weeks. I went through 3 more transfers and got pregnant 2 more times and lost those as well. I was on progesterone among other drugs and everything always looked fine. Now I am at the point where I just want my body to heal naturally. I just started taking Ovasitol and was looking into taking peony and licorice. I am also following gluten-free lifestyle and have cut down on sugar and have just decided to cut out dairy as well.
I had an ultrasound recently and I no longer have polycystic ovaries. I do, however still have a bit of excess hair on my chin and have noticed some acne, but nothing too bad.
Hi Lara I just wanted to ask if the Berberine herb is beneficial for pill induced pcos acne? This is exactly what happened with me. I did a whole30 5 years ago and discovered paleo and unintentionally went very low carb. My weight, body fat and carb intake all dropped significantly. My periods became irregular and then stopped for about 6 months. I went to my GP who did some blood tests and sent me for an ultrasound. I just thought it was what it was.
I got periods back almost immediately albeit with a longer cycle but now have had day cycles for 6 months. FSH ratio and elevated total testosterone everything else, including Free T and fasting insulin was normal.
Any suggestions for transitioning off BC? I was planning on limiting sugar to a couple servings of fruit or dark chocolate but still keeping starches such as potatoes and rich. I am going on vacation in a couple months and was wondering if a beer or two for a few days would set me back. I really want to get myself ovulating again to hopefully restore my hair to what it was before BC. I took control over my health last April, after completing the Boston Marathon. I drastically cut back on exercise, put on some weight and have been working on stress reduction.
She took one look at my blood work and referred me to a REI. Thanks for this interesting article. I struggled to get a proper diagnosis and doctors just told me to go on the pill. Last year I was actually diagnosed with HA and around 6 months ago I started eating a lot more particularly more carbs and exercising less. When I had HA, all my hormone levels were low, particularly oestrogen, but my recent tests showed that my oestrogen has improved a lot but my LH is very high now 14 , and I know that a high LH is usually indicative of PCOS.
My TSH has also jumped from 1. Also, my hair has started falling out. Have you seen anything like this before? I am not sure where to begin. I had an on and off eating disorder starting at age 20 until about My eating has improved immensely and am at a healthy weight but still have yet to get my period back.
I also had a bit of a workout obsession but that has also ceased and I am now keeping my workouts to yoga and walking which has been very hard for me. I am now 34 and struggle with not only missed periods and ovulation but, obviously, infertility. I was blessed with twin girls in and another girl in thanks to the power of clomid and IUI. My husband and I are ready and really feel strongly about having one more but I really just wish I could get to the point where I can get my period back and do it on my own.
I was secretly hoping that maybe it was my hormones kicking in and that I might have a period but I know better. I have tried everything topical then decided to do a little research. Everything I read pointed me to PCOS for which I have never been diagnosed with but wonder if that could be an underlying issue to what is going on.
I have very low estrogen and progesterone as well as no FSH. My fertility doctor always tells me that my brain is asleep. I am so tired of being a mystery to my doctors as well as myself. I have tried so many things… increased fats, zero exercise, no sugar, eat everything and anything, etc. It is just a band-aid and I want to be healthy again. I want to play with my kids and grow old with my husband. Ok, I am done. That is my story and I sobbing just writing it down.
Even if nothing comes from it, it was good for me to get it out. So, thanks for that. If there is anything you can suggest or do please, please let me know. I have wasted so much money and time trying to figure it out and I am just tired.
I recently went to dr to find out that what I was hopeful were cramps were actually just cysts on my ovaries. I just wanted to say that I admire your drive to keep trying, to keep going. Hi Lara, thank you so much for your informative book! I thoroughly enjoyed it and have started to implement the dietary changes and supplements. I wonder what are your thoughts on organic blackstrap molasses for period pain?
I am still having incredible cramping and pain on day one despite light and regular cycles. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Hi Lara, just listened to your podcast on the Melissa Ambrosini show and all of the topics you covered are so relivent to me at the moment. I was on the pill from age with only one 7months break in between. I am not over weight, I am not insulin resistant , I was exercising 5 days a week with weights and HIIT training but have been told to only walk and do yoga.
I have cut wheat and dairy and taken all the herbal supplements under the sun. My skin and facial hair has improved. We are now at the start of fertility treatments for ovulation to try to conceive but I am interested what you might think of my situation?
When should I seek professional help? I never had regular periods. I had a very stressful childhood and adulthood although more recently I have been dealing and am MUCH calmer.
I have gone from having no periods to staining every 2 weeks after my last baby , to regular cycles for 3 months and now again I lost my periods. I am breastfeeding an 18 month old and have a relatively clean diet although I do snack in the evenings. My sugar levels are fine. My androgens are normal. I tested my thyroid a couple of years ago and it came back with a low T4 but regular TSH at that time I was on a low carb diet.
I added more carbs and last time I tested both levels were fine. I sleep at least 7 hours a night and still need 2 coffees not to feel tired, but with 2 coffees I feel good. I also have joint pain , particularly in my knees. I read your book , but could not figure out where to start, any suggestions for a starting point?
How is that possible? Because weight loss by any means can drop our cholesterol. A good cocaine habit could do it. And since that meta-analysis was published, a new study found the same thing: But peripheral circulation is not as important as the circulation in the coronary arteries that feed our heart.
There has only been one study ever done measuring actual blood flow to the heart muscles of people eating low-carb diets.
Richard Fleming, an accomplished nuclear cardiologist, enrolled 26 people into a comprehensive study of the effects of diet on cardiac function using the latest in nuclear imaging technology—so-called SPECT scans, enabling him to actually directly measure the blood flow within the coronary arteries.
He then put them all on a healthy vegetarian diet, and a year later the scans were repeated. By that time, however, ten of the patients had jumped ship onto the low carb bandwagon. In I was no changes to anything I was doing , by I was ; stayed there no matter what, towards the end of I was Understand that through the years nothing changed except as I got bigger I tried even harder. Most people go on a healthy diet and change. It doesn't much matter how much or little I eat; I stay the same or gain.
I exercise days per week, eat clean, watch my carb intake, pay attention to only eat foods that have a low glycemic load I got metformin from my weight loss clinic but it doesn't work lost 5 then gained 7! I meticulously enter everything that goes in my body, and I religiously work out. I had a registered dietitian say everything I'm doing looks great and maybe I'm just meant to be fat!!! Sadly, pcos is a women's issue and the medical field is predominantly male.
As such, not enough research is done on it. Because face it, if we were telling the truth we'd be losing". Anyway, just wanted to tell you, keep fighting and trying. Don't let the letdown of dr. Hi guys, I'm in the same boat as all of you. I was eating calories a day and going to the gym for about 2 months and still not losing weight.
Sarahsday is a youtube channel run by a very healthy and fit 24 year old named Sarah and she does not eat gluten or dairy, and eats a paleo based diet so there may be something in that. Hang in there, you're not alone! I spent a couple years on keto, eating almost exactly calories a day. I started at lbs and within 6 months I was down to lbs. My body rebelled against me.
I started getting my period every second week. They came on hard and fast with plenty of bleeding and pain. I ended up in the ER and to my GP a bunch of times because the pain was so bad. I just got told the same thing every time: I measured and weighed everything I ate and used My Fitness Pal to track it. I started getting constantly sick. Like easily catching colds and other bugs.
I'd be so sick, I would sometimes not eat for days. It defied everything I had ever read or had been told. Calories in, calories out. How the hell is that even possible? I was told to go below calories a day. That was the point in which I gave up. I got no help for anything. So fine if they didn't believe me that I was properly tracking my every movement. But I had visible symptoms of something being wrong and I was just told to lose more weight. Nothing for pain, no advice on what I should do different, or god forbid, help for the depression I was suffering from all of this.
So now I'm back to eating 1, to 1, calories and back up to lbs. I'm not sick so often, my period has regulated, but I hate myself more than ever. I feel both like a failure and that there is no help.
I'm in the same exact boat. What the heck is wrong with us? Now I switched to a low carb version of weight watchers. Lost 2 lbs first week and am up 2 lbs this week following strictly and exercised 5 days this week for 45 mjniytws to an hour each time. What more can we do?? Try intermittent fasting 8 hours window eating and 16 hours fast and do the ketogenic diet meaning you carb intake is from vegetables less than 30 g of carbs a day but you can eat healthy fats.
It helped me a lot. Do you recommend any apps that would help with calculations or food choices? I've noticed that there are a few pcos apps. Hi my names is Emily I'm 20 years old was diagnosed with endometreois 2 years ago and have just been diagnosed with pcos.
I have tried every diet in the book and even the low carb diet that my doctor told me to go on I can not lose the weight and I exercise all the time. I walk every morning and every night and always go to the gym for 2 hours a day but nothing sheds the weight off.
I was diagnosed with PCOS in I have been told I am insulin resistance. I have no children. I have been trying to diet but can't. I can buy the healthy food and it it for a couple of days but then if I eat any of it, it makes me sick and I want to throw up.
I gave asked doctors what to do but receive no answers, except to keep eating it, doesn't matter if it is making me sick. What could be causing me to do that? I used to exercise but I get sick when I exercise. I'm 37 now, and I've been taking Provera since I was 21 which was supposed to stimulate my cycle and hasn't. I've never had a menstrual cycle, but when I stop taking Provera I have severe pain. I am now diabetic and I have chronic kidney disease.
Because of the Kidney disease I can't take Metformin, and I also can't eat anything with animal protein so I'm on a vegetarian diet.
I sneak fish once a week though, but my main source of protein comes from beans and nuts. I'm allergic to milk and I have celiac disease, so not gluten or sugar diabetic for me. I have a really hard time finding diet plans that fit those requirements. I exercise all the time and I'm an avid hiker. In the last 5 years I've managed to drop from to about which is where I'm at now. I guess I can take comfort that I've haven't gained weight in 5 years, but I would really like to lose a little more.
Is everything listed above safe for me while nursing or should I follow a different plan? I'm 15 and I'm diagnosed with pcos,I'm from South America, I've done many diets but nothing seems to work, I try to do excercise everyday but I'm school and I have a busy day, my number one goal is to loose 20 kilo's right now it sound so impossible because I'm a healthy child, I don't much carbs but the weight just doesn't seem to come down please help me.
Im 33 years old, diagnosed with pcos about years ago. I have two children but my problem is insulin resistance. It all started about 4 years ago when my blood sugar dropped after eating. I gained around 40 lbs during all these years because there are food I just dont seem to tolerate. Like I will be hungry no matter what I eat.
Lately my problem is at night. I feel that blood sugar low, but its not really low when I meassure it, i have an accucheck to measure my sugar levels. I used to be doing good last year but in december of this year , till now it seems to be uncontrollable. I dont eat sweets i dont eat flour, or barely do, but still have these weird symptoms.
Went to the doctor and he put me on metformin , to start with and a diet. I still feel somewhat odd, does this take long to work? When will I start feeling better and loosing weight? I miss my skinny body, im at now and I hate it. I know how you feel!!!! I am also 33, 5'3" was always petite and athletic around llbs, now up to lbs and couldnt shake it despite exercising x's a week and a relatively healthy, normal diet.
I've noticed side effects of the Rx immediately. I plan to journal my meals more carefully. I'm hopeful this will help me lose the lbs to help the insulin resistance.
Hey guys I've also been diagnosed with PCOS and irregular periods is my concern; the past year have tried everything in my will power to lose weight naturally.. I haven't started yet did, I did get a gym membership at Planet Fitness b4 I found this site lol. Unfortunately, I was also diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis last year Oct 6th.
It is like a triple whammy lol. I can do pretty much what anyone else can just wondering what would be a good diet n exercise for me? Great work Adryant, i'm really motivated to see those tremendous transformations. I'm 85 kgs n my height is 5 ft. I need to lose 30 kgs, what exercises would you recommend for me to shed extra 30 kgs faster?