What PCOS means for Women’s Health
What PCOS means for women is often complex and a long-term struggle in many areas of life-but there IS hope!
It started in my late 20’s…
I had been endurance training two times a day and putting in a profound amount of mental and physical anguish to hold on to my paralympic emerging team standards and in hopes to compete again in the future.
Triathlon training was my life…until it wasn’t.
My endurance trainer and Registered Dietitian at the time, started noticing that while nothing in my training nor my nutrition changed, I was starting to lose muscle definition and what seemed to be gaining weight.
After over 6 years of 40-50 medical appointments, various medical and non-medical interventions (trial and errors that only made things worse), and a diverse range of medical specialists…
I felt I had more questions than answers.
I felt extremely alone.
I felt extremely drained.
I felt that if conventional medicine doctors could not come to an agreement on what was wrong with me, then I would never find a solution to all the pain and anguish.
Finally in 2019, I was provided with the correct diagnosis and I was able to begin a path of healing!!
I condensed A LOT of my story; but I know I’m not alone.
There are women who have suffered with hormone or endocrine diagnosis for decades if not longer!
The abundance of symptoms that can present DAILY is often health with in silence since outsiders often do not see what a woman is dealing with.
This is our second installment of PCOS articles, and we had received such a positive response, we wanted to provide more encouragement and resources for those who may be diagnosed with PCOS and to better understand what PCOS means for women!
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What PCOS Means for: Hormone Health
Did you know that imbalanced hormones is a main culprit for weight gain in women with PCOS?
The term hormone balancing has really gained traction in the past few years.
Hormones are in charge of A LOT of physiological processes within the body.
They are extremely powerful as well.
Meaning, it only takes a very small amount of hormones do alter a cell or cause a large impact on the body’s efficiency in controlling things such as: blood sugar levels, metabolism, water levels, etc.
If you suspect you may have a hormone imbalance, or just simply want to learn more about how hormones can impact your health, check out a great list of books and other free or low cost resources!
What PCOS means for hormone health in women is that a hormone imbalance can cause many issues, including the most common, difficulty losing weight and excessive or chronic fatigue.
If you find yourself struggling with those symptoms, make sure to advocate and voice your concerns with your PCP or OBGYN to get your hormone levels tested.
What PCOS Means for: Fertility & Pregnancy
For many women who are trying-to-conceive (TTC), they may be coming from years and years of taking a birth control method: the pill, ring,
As we are now finding out, hormonal birth control can reek havoc on a woman’s body and of course, hormones!
Hormones often fluctuate tremendously depending on a women’s age as well as her fertility. Whether a woman is in perimenopause or already in menopause, it directly impacts fertility and can increase PCOS symptoms as well.
One of the most common issues that plague women with PCOS is infertility and difficult getting pregnant. Some women are able to after months or years of TTC. Others, find themselves needing to see fertility specialists and undergoing costly hormone procedures.
Another common issue is many with PCOS may also have endometriosis.
Advocacy Take-Away Tip: What PCOS means for fertility and pregnancy: speak with you OBGYN if you struggle with fertility and conceiving.
What PCOS Means for: Nutrition & Lifestyle
As discussed in the first article on PCOS, there is a wide range of symptoms that many women experience: missed or abnormal periods, weight gain (specifically around mid-sections), painful cramps, blood clots, severe acne, infertility, etc.
Nutrition and a woman’s lifestyle can be fantastic ways to help reverse PCOS and its symptoms!!
There are many tips we have provided in the first article with our amazing Guest Nurse Practitioner Jenna Blake!
In this edition, I have pulled together a great list for you to use whenever you find yourself in need for nutritional ideas, substitutions, reminders, or just healthy options to support you in your PCOS journey!
*Advocacy Take-Away Tip* What PCOS means for Nutrition and Lifestyle- nutrition is a very, VERY IMPORTANT for reducing inflammation and managing (even REVERSING) PCOS symptoms, so be sure to receive support and consultations from a specialized hormone specialist, nutritionist, or clinical herbalist, to help you reach the goals you want!
*BONUS TIP* you could even take this list into a doctors appointment with you to help you advocate for your health if you felt the doctor was not listening to your concerns, or providing you with alternative medicine options!
Night Time Routine to Boosting Metabolism
Eco-Friendly Options for PCOS!
Lifestyle recommendations for those with Endometriosis
Hormone Balancing Super Food Powders
Reasons to STOP birth control: see if it’s right for you!
Hormone Testing: What insurances cover/don’t cover
Tips on Reducing Stressors for 2022
I thoroughly believe in education and empowerment: the more we learn about our bodies and our conditions, the better we can be an advocate for what our needs are!
There are amazing podcasts for PCOS, hormone specialists, and free resources out there for you and to help support you on your journey!
As with anything published on this site, please consult you medical doctor before attempting or starting any new fitness, nutritional, or medical regiment. None of the suggestions listed here are right for every single person, and continued research with your medical team is the best course of action.