In 2010, I was officially diagnosed with PCOS, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Doctors say that 1 in 10 women have it and more than 50% of women don't even know they have it.
The average woman sees at least 5 different practitioners before they even get a diagnosis. I myself dealt with at least 10 physicians before a doctor suggested I may have PCOS.
When I heard the news I thought to myself: Okay great. Now what? I didn't even know what PCOS meant, what it could do to the body, or that it would eventually get worse.
I asked the doctor what it was and the only thing she had told me was: well, do you have a boyfriend?
I told her no. She then told me that it wasn't really a big issue until I would be ready to have kids and until then she would just give me the pill so that my periods would come regularly.
That was the end of that. I took the pill and I fainted the first month. I decided to never take the pill again and ignored my symptoms. However, I find that the pill works differently on every one. For some women, it may regulate their periods, for some it won't make them stop.
For me, my periods came but made me extremely dizzy to the point where I fainted. At this time, I can't recommend the use of the pill because it doesn't fix the underlying problem, it just hides them.
At the time, ignoring my problems probably wasn't the best idea, but I had no idea what PCOS was and so didn't think too much of it.
After some time, my symptoms started getting worse and worse and I had no idea that they were all connected. The most common PCOS symptoms are as followed:
- Hirsutism (facial hair)
- Irregular periods, no periods whatsoever, or periods that will last literally months, non-stop
- Easy weight gain, obesity (especially in the abdominal area)
- Insulin resistance (dark patches on skin like the back of you neck, underarms, between the breasts, groin area, on heels, etc)
- High cholesterol
- Thinning hair on scalp
- Many miscarriages
- Gluten Intolerance
- Ovarian cysts
and the list goes on...
I have been personally struggling with irregular periods, hirsutism, obesity, insulin resistance, ovarian cysts, high cholesterol, pre-diabetes, and gluten intolerance. I first got my periods when I was 11 years old, and they have been irregular since.
Doctors believed that they were irregular because I did a lot of exercise (gymnastics and cheerleading). My periods were irregular in the sense that they would come on and off, or 6-10 times a year. However, when I turned 18 years old and moved out of my mom's house, different symptoms started to appear.
First was the weight gain. I had stopped doing sports because I couldn't afford to go to a gymnastics gym and I was essentially on a student's budget. I bought the cheapest, easiest, most unhealthy food you could imagine and I started gaining weight. My friends used to tell me don't worry, it's normal.
It's called Frosh 15, where you gain 15 pounds the first year you move out. It'll be fine once you get used to living alone. Except that wasn't the case. That 15 pounds turned into 50 pounds, and I gained more weight every year.
My weight never went down and kept steadily going up. In 2010, I started getting hair on my face. I didn't know why this was happening to me. I'm a woman, I'm not supposed to have hair there. That's when I went to the doctor and she did an ultrasound of my ovaries.
After the diagnosis, I found out that I had multiple cysts on my ovaries and that I was insulin resistant. But that wasn't even the bad news. The bad news is that there is no known cure.
What does insulin resistance mean exactly? Well, insulin is a hormone that you make in your pancreas to control your blood sugar levels.
It acts mainly on fat and muscle cells, causing them to take in sugar when your blood sugar level rises; it also acts on the ovaries causing them to produce the male hormone testosterone.
Most women with PCOS have what is called insulin resistance, meaning that the cells in the body are resistant to the effect of normal level of insulin. More insulin is then produced to keep the blood sugar normal. T
his causes the ovaries to make too much testosterone, thus the facial hair, the thinning hair on scalps, and the irregular periods. I
ncreased insulin also causes weight gain in the abdominal area because the overproduction of insulin turns into fat. Doctors believe that the underlying reason of PCOS is insulin resistance.
How I Cured My Hirsutism
The constant weight gain wasn't good for me. It isn't good for anybody. Because of it, my hirsutism became worse expanding everywhere on my face creating this "man beard".
It's embarrassing. No, it's humiliating. Having facial hair really hurt my self-confidence and self-esteem. I didn't have a boyfriend and I was too scared to approach guys that I had a crush on.
I had a male friend in university who asked me if I was a lesbian because I never had one-night stands or had a boyfriend...When people say stuff like that, it's really hard for someone to overcome it.
My self-confidence was as low as it could be. I decided to never approach guys again until I would regain my self-confidence and find a way to deal with my facial hair. You can read more about my facial hair here.
While in university, most of my friends probably noticed that I had facial hair. I mean it was obvious. This facial hair is called hirsutism and is one of the most common symptoms of PCOS.
Because women with PCOS have insulin resistance, it causes the insulin to act on the ovaries and this causes them to produce male hormones, creating more testosterone.
This means that shaving, plucking, trimming, waxing, or bleaching will not, cannot, fix the problem. It only makes it worse.
I've seen hundreds of girls on PCOS forums posting that they didn't know what to do anymore because they have to shave twice a day and still see a five o'clock shadow 2 hours later. Some wives even joke that they have bigger beards than their husbands. At least they have a sense of humor.
My friends always told me to shave or wax my face. I did. Trust me. It only made it worse. The hair came out thicker, longer, and blacker than ever before. Imagine having hair that is high on testosterone and hair that you've never had before suddenly appear in places you didn't know hair could exist! I plucked every day for hours and by the end of the day you could feel my prickly cheeks and chin.
In 2012, I decided to take all of my money and get laser hair removal. I had 8 painful treatments in 1 year and they all came back...triple the amount.
Not only did they all come back, but more of them started growing in spots I didn't use to have hair in.
The laser technologist then told me that electrolysis would probably be better a better option since electrolysis is the only real permanent option, whereas laser hair removal isn't.
Apparently, laser hair removal puts too much electric current and stress in your pores that it can cause an even bigger hormonal imbalance, stimulating the hair roots will cause those hormones to sort of fight back and make more hair, at least that's what an electrologist told me.
As a student, electrolysis was simply out of the question as it was far too expensive. I had wasted all of my money and my face had gotten worse. You can imagine how I felt. You can read more about electrolysis here.
Fixing PCOS the Natural Way
I think the hardest part of having PCOS are the people around you. They don't fully understand what is happening and try to give you advice that doesn't work like it would on a normal person.
I've had guy friends telling me to just lose weight, just don't eat for 2 days, just puke, just cut half my calories, and so on. These friends didn't understand that us ladies with PCOS fight these cravings every day.
We want to eat carbs and sugar, and to diet is extremely hard and takes a lot of self-control. We fight this urge every day. When someone has an illness, they can't just cure it like that.
It's like telling someone with Coeliac Disease to just take a pill and all of their symptoms will be gone, or that it's okay if you eat these gluten-free toast because they're made with gluten-free ingredients, except these toasts were toasted in a toaster that toasts normal bread and cross-contamination can make a person with CD so much sicker.
PCOS is a visible and invisible disorder that sometimes makes it hard for people to understand. It's not going to disappear in one day.
No, we have to work hard, much harder than a normal person, to make the symptoms lessen, but unfortunately, they will never fully disappear.
I gave up dealing with my facial hair while in university, at least until I could find a job where I could afford electrolysis treatments every week. Starting in late 2014, I started researching more and more about PCOS and how it affects our bodies.
I finally understood that the more carbs I ate, the more my symptoms got worse. I basically had to start eating like a diabetic. A normal person's daily carb intake should be about 250g-350g, but eating that many carbs while dealing with PCOS makes everything worse.
I have found that the correct amount to eat and not have any symptoms is between 0-75g of carbs. The insulin levels in the blood go up after eating carbs meaning that your weight can increase, your hirsutism can go out of control, your cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure all go up and it essentially can make your diabetic symptoms worsen.
It turns out that women with PCOS generally crave carbs. A lot of them. I can attest to that. It is so true.
I think the number one goal for women with PCOS should be to regulate their insulin levels. This can be fixed by medication that diabetic people use like Metformin, but I personally think that medication isn't always the best choice because it doesn't actually heal you, it just lessens some of your symptoms.
Metformin and other drugs have so many side effects, it's ridiculous. I think that eliminating as many carbs as you can will help regulate insulin, help you lose weight, and help balance those hormones.
I've never been good at doing diets, hell, I hate the word diet. That's why I started experimenting on various food and found that my body felt much better when I ate gluten-free and sugar-free. I've created two meal plans (7-day plan & 21-day plan) and have a long list of PCOS recipes on this site to help others get started.
In July 2014, my mother and I decided to eat all organic to see if there would be any noticeable changes.
Well, surprise surprise. I got my periods that month. Ever since I started gaining weight, my periods came maybe 2-5 times a year if I were lucky. I never, I mean never, got them twice in a row. Sometimes they would only come once a year. Now, the first month we ate organic was in July 2014 and I got my periods.
It could've been a coincidence so I waited until the next month. I got my periods AGAIN. I ate organic in September too, and my periods came again.
That was 3 months in a row where my periods came naturally and all I had to do was eat organic.
Unfortunately, I had just graduated from university and didn't have a job just yet and my mom didn't have lots of money so we had to quit the organic diet. Organic food can really add up.
I stopped eating organic at the end of September and my periods also stopped coming. I randomly got them back in December 2014.
In January 2015, I got a job in Japan and moved there. In Japan, the food is made with much less pesticides and no growth hormones than the ones in North America or Europe.
To give you an example, eggs in N. America lasts a good 1-1.5 months. Here in Japan, they last about 10 days.
The vegetables you buy here rot much faster than the food back home. The meat I buy at the grocery is good for about 2 days and then it's rotten.
Back in Canada, I would always buy 2 weeks worth of groceries knowing the food will still be good, but during my first week in Japan, I bought 2 weeks worth of groceries and everything rotted 4-5 days later.
I always see pictures on Facebook of people meal prepping for the week where they prepare food and leave it in Tupperwares for 5 days.
I can't do that because 3 days in, the food starts to taste funny and you know it won't last 5. I’ve been living here since January 2015 and guess what? I have gotten my periods every single month since.
I now definitely know that the poison they put in our food back home is making us sick. If I ever go back to Canada, I will ONLY eat organic.
I decided to only eat food grown in Japan, nothing from abroad, and only eat organic. I started a period tracker and I've been registering my basal body temperature every morning.
My period cycle alternate between 28 days to 34 days. I also ovulate every month . That is absolutely amazing, right? Just by changing what I ate, my periods came back naturally without taking any medication.
(Period tracker: January 2014, July 2014, August 2014, September 2014, December 2014, February 2015-Present)
As for my hirsutism, with the new job that I have, I can finally afford to go get treatments.
I started my first treatments in March 2015 and went once a week for 45 minutes. In October 2015, I started going once a week but only for 30 minute sessions. In February 2016,
I started going 3 times a month instead of 4-5 and did 30 minute sessions. My hair has slowly been disappearing and my face is now normal. In June 2016, I started going once every 3 weeks, and in September 2016 I started alternating between once a month or once every 3 weeks.
In January 2018, I've been going once every 5 weeks. When I go, it's only to get the little persistent ones that keep on coming out. You cannot see any facial hair on my face right now as it is all clear.
The hairs that do grow back are short, light-coloured, and not thick. Their roots are also slowly disappearing. For your information, 5 hours costs about $650 CAD so it's not exactly cheap.
Electrolysis zaps one hair at a time with an electric current for 5-10 seconds, whereas laser hair removal can do your whole face in less than 5 minutes.
I was reading this website for trans-gendered people that went through electrolysis to get rid of their beards and it said that it usually takes 2-4 years of treatments to get rid of all the facial hair.
You first start with treatments every week (once or twice) and it eventually decreases to 1 treatment a month or every couple of months, to no more treatments at all. As long as I have a job, I will be continuing my electrolysis.
This has given me so much more confidence as a woman and I feel much better about myself.
As for my weight loss, I started to watch what I eat. I started to buy organic food from local farmers in February 2015.
I also started to watch my daily intake of carbs and try to limit myself to 75g of carbs a day or less. I don’t really look at calories, just carbs. I stopped eating sugar and replaced it with stevia powder, erythritol and monk fruit powder.
I stopped eating gluten and have been trying different recipes using nuts and seeds flours. Living in Japan has been quite hard in finding different gluten-free versions of food because Japanese people are not accustomed to people with these kinds of dietary needs. Japan has a very carb-heavy diet.
They love bread, rice, deep-fried things, and put flour and sugar in literally everything. I allow myself one cheat day per week because if I didn’t, I would quit right away and go back to eating unhealthy foods.
But on this cheat day, I don’t necessarily eat gluten, more like I eat something that I’ve been craving like sushi. When I say sushi, I don't mean the sushi we serve back home, no, I mean Japanese style sushi.
Nigiri or sashimi to be exact.
The fish is much larger than the rice and there is nothing else like breadcrumbs and spicy mayo or random stuff you'll find back home.
I don't eat gluten or sugar at all. Not even on my cheat days. If I do eat something with gluten, I now get diarrhea and tummy aches which leads me to believe that I was actually gluten intolerant all this time.
A lot of sites suggest that women with PCOS should avoid eating dairy products. This is because dairy products contain the A1 casein which causes inflammation, which is not good for PCOS. But, having said that, not all cows produce this casein. Only Holstein cows do.
Jersey cows, goats and sheep produce the A2 casein which is fine for most people. (You can read more about dairy here). I originally stopped eating dairy for about 4 months and didn't notice any difference.
I then ate dairy only from Jersey cows for about 6 months and again didn't notice any difference. That is why my recipes on my site still contain dairy. I'm always told that if you have PCOS, you're supposed to quit dairy, but I've never actually noticed or felt any different without dairy so I have not quit it.
I now eat regular dairy from any animals from time to time and I'm still losing weight and my health is still normal. So far, I haven't seen any reason to quit it. If it affects you negatively, then of couse, quit it. But for me, I was fine with it. I only use cream, yogurt and cheese.
I’m currently working on a “diet” plan that will be totally organic, gluten-free, sugar-free, processed food-free, low-carb, low-calorie, sometimes paleo and that WILL involve meat, vegetables, fruits and dairy in moderation.
I would really love to eat lots of fruits, but unfortunately they are high in carbs AND they aren’t really available in Japan. I mean they are, just ridiculously expensive. (For example, 1 small watermelon costs 10-50$). This is what this site is for.
I will upload all recipes that I know are extremely healthy for people with PCOS specifically, but also for people who follow a gluten-free lifestyle, paleo, ketogenic, or just want to lose weight, etc.
I have found that exercise also helps improve PCOS symptoms. I have to admit that before coming to Japan, I was in the worst shape of my life.
I remember in high school, I was in the gymnastics and cheerleading team, I could run for 5K and do unlimited amounts of conditioning. 1 year ago, I could barely run 100 meters.
I still have muscles and can manage about 50 sit-ups or 20 push-ups, but I would like to get my stamina back up.
Ever since I moved to Japan, I have been biking everywhere I go. I barely use the train, unless I go into Tokyo.
I bike to work, home, to the grocery, to my friend’s house, etc. Back in Canada, I tried to bike for 10 minutes and I thought I was going to puke and pass out. I can proudly say that I can now bike 20km without taking a break.
I think that if I continue to bike everywhere and add a bit of conditioning here and there, that I will be able to lose weight in a healthy and safe way. I recommend to anyone with PCOS to do at least 20-30 minutes of exercise every day.
It honestly really does make a difference. I actually joined a gym and take their cardio kickboxing class every week! It doesn't really feel like exercise which is why I love it and I burn so much fat or calories with it!
So far, I have lost 95 pounds since March 2015 and I think that that is a healthy steady rate. My blood pressure is now normal 109/69, whereas it was 145/90 in December 2014.
My dark patches on my skin from the insulin resistance have completely disappeared. I am no longer pre-diabetic. My ultimate goal would be to lose 7 pounds a month, but we will see how that goes.
I would like to weigh 145 pounds as I think this is a healthy weight for a 5.4" female and want to try to reach that weight in the next 2 years.
My goal with this blog is to create recipes that are mouth-watering, but that are also healthy and good for you.
Just because I crave a burger, doesn’t mean that I should quit my diet. No, it only means that I have to create a healthy version that I will be able to enjoy 100% more.
Ever since I changed my lifestyle and my diet, I have felt more energized, less grumpy/cranky, felt more healthy, and I've been able to do more things that I couldn't do before.
I will continue living like this and will update this site whenever my body has changed. Thank you for reading this. PCOS isn't something I publicly talk about, but I feel that with my recipes that I have developed, I can help other cysters out there get healthy.
I'm not done losing weight and I still have a long way to go, but I know that I can do it, and if I can, so can you.
If you would like to read about my latest health update, you can check out my post here! I wrote a post about my progress after going for a check-up at the doctors! Hint: I was asked, are you sure you have PCOS?
Mira, thanks for sharing these posts about PCOS! I’d like to share a very positive experience with Metformin, hope this helps. I was diagnosed with PCOS after very irregular periods and anovulatory cycles. I already worked out regularly and was a healthy weight. My husband and I tried for a very long time to conceive and were starting to lose hope. I started taking Metformin 1000mg per day. Great😊 I googled ‘Met4pregn’ ❤️, and got Metformin. I experienced mild stomach discomfort and no other side effects. The first month, my cycle length was cut in half and the second month, I got pregnant! I never thought the day would come that I would see a positive pregnancy test. Keep your head up and give it a try…I am so thankful that I did!
Hi Rachel! Thanks for posting your experience!
I have actually never used any medication for pcos and just focused on the keto diet to heal my PCOS. I have a 1 year old and currently pregnant with my second right now.
Hopefully diet can also help you in some way!~
Hi beautiful Mira,
I just read that you have a 1 year old and are pregnant again! Congratulations 💕🌹🍒 and I look forward to hearing about your 2nd Bub xx
THANK YOU! And yes that's right! I have a beautiful one year old and pregnant again! Hopefully everything goes well this time around too!
This literally makes my heart happy! I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 20 and I'm now 32. It has been a daily struggle to lose weight, keep on track with eating healthier and so on and so forth. I'm so glad I happened upon your story and website; I'm so excited that there is someone out here trying to help the other cysters!
I tried laser hair removal and you're completely right, it did not work. But electrolysis, that has worked so well and my confidence is boosted; I actually feel like a woman again! Thank you for sharing your story and taking the time to help the rest of us feel better too!
Such an inspirational blog you have posted here. I just loved it. I really appreciate you and your efforts. Thank you for sharing your story and being a resource!
Thank you for sharing your story and well done!
So are you now totally hair-free post your electrolysis treatment?
Hi Sukriti, it took 5 years, and I finally was able to be hair free. But unfortunately, since I became pregnant all the hairs are coming back from the pregnancy hormones, so that sucks. I was told they should fall off after the baby comes, but who knows?
Hope you are doing well 🙂 Thanks for the post!! Did the hair actually fall off after the baby's arrival?
Thank you Mira for sharing your story. My 16 yr old daughter just got diagnosed with PCOS. No other symptoms thankfully, except irregular periods and ovarian cysts. Tbh, she could lose 20-25 lbs at 5'7 I suppose. But dr recommended losing weight and better eating habits. She's been a vegetarian for 3 yrs. I've been on a low carb diet since last May, but I don't think this diet is appropriate for teens. I have visited your website for my own cooking, and I never thought I'd be here because of my daughter. We're just going to proceed with typical diet habits and see how that goes. Thanks for your inspiration!
I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was about 20 years old. After many attempts at trying to have a baby. Well since then I really struggled with my weight and trying to lose my belly. If possible could you email so I can talk to you more please. Thank you
I was diagnosed with PCOS and started taking Metformin 👍. At first I was taking 500mg daily, then 1000, then 1500. I was so happy I've found "Met850rx" in Google and got treatment so soon. I lost 30 lbs in 4 months. We had been trying to get pregnant, so I was elated when I took at pregnancy test and it was positive! I'm now 37 wks + and having a baby boy ❤️! I have gained 20 lbs. during my pregnancy and feel wonderful.
Hi, @Eliza, I'm so much happy for you!! They say most women find out they have pcos in their 20-30s. Actually when they face a problem of not getting pregnant and decide to see the doc. What bothers though is that pcos can happen at any age after puberty!! I'm not new to it myself. I've never had obesity but my sis did. Moreover we've got several family members with PCOS, so probably this effected my health condition too. Anyway we've turned to IVF & mitochondrial donation overseas. I'm currently heavily prego with my baby#1 – DS.
Sending all my positive thoughts your way.
When you first started taking metformin were you really sick? I started taking it and was physically sick for 2 weeks, plus I would feel dizzy and faint whenever I tried to work out or even just take my dog for a walk.
I was diagnosed when I was 11 and was immediately put on Birth Control. When I turned 24 last year and bought a house with my fiancé, I went off birth control (wanted to get pregnant) and that set off all the symptoms. No one told me how PCOS worked until I switched to my current primary care physician. I’m having such a difficult time adjusting.
I was diagnosed with PCOS a few years ago. I feel like I was reading my own book right now. My doctors didn’t touch ok what it actually was or what I should be doing. Just suggested birth control or metformin. I cried as I read, as will as this sounds because I’ve experience the same symptoms. The facial hair and inability to lose weight is what hurts me the most. I’m 25 and now trying my best to eat healthier. I thank you so much for your honestly and know that you helped one more person.
I can totally relate too. I am 28 and married and sometimes feel ashamed of my beard.
I believe we will be fine and conquer
I'm glad to hear this. The exact cause of PCOS is not known. Most experts think that several factors, including genetics, play a role. Still we have to struggle it somehow. Too much hair on the face, chin, or parts of the body where men usually have hair..Acne on the face, chest, and upper back..I have pcos too. I may miss periods or have fewer periods (fewer than 8 in a year!!). Or, periods may come every 21 days or more often. Still I know women with PCOS who stop having menstrual periods at all..
Dh and I turned to IVF & mtiochondrial donation to conceive our baby#1. Made sure it would be much cheaper passing overseas, so moved down this very route.
Exactly totally agree with u even I've felt the same way as if I'm reading my own story here and cried while reading. The pain of not being able to lose weight is completely feels like hell and the list of other problems is jzt goes on... But I've felt so much inspired by her.
Thank you so much for your blog and food plan!! You are such an inspiration! I would love to hear an update from you about how things are now. Hoping to hear from you soon!
Thank you for sharing us your great informative blog! I feel so motivated and inspired to continue my weight lost journey after reading your articles ♥ 🙂
Thank you for your blog post about your own experiences with pcos! I found the blog post very helpful as you explained everything very well! I'm going to start on a dairy free keto diet for my own pcos!
My daughter has been recently diagnosed and is terrified. I am her biggest cheerleader. I’m out here searching for support and educating myself to support her. Thank you for your story and all the other ladies as well! The hair lose and weight gain has really been Devastating!🥺
You are really brave to tell your story of pcos struggle and how you overcame it. Really appreciate your efforts and thanks for such an helpful blog.
OMG!! This has been the most helpful thing I have read in a LONG LONG TIME. I have PCOS, and I have had it since as long as I can remember. I suffer from the weight gain, im lucky in terms of not having any facial hair. But the weight is a nightmare. Ive been on a low carb diet for the past year and ive lost about 10KGs. Its a slow process and I know that im losing the weight the right way as it has been staying off and I havent been gaining it back. Ive decided to go sugar free and from reading this, maybe cutting out these cheat meals. I have also read that eating dark chocolate with some kind of protein (EG nuts) will make the small amount of sugar in the chocolate release slower into the blood stream meaning that there is no blood sugar spike and your body wont be creating all this insulin. I eat 90% dark chocolate and I find it helps with my cravings for chocolate.
All the girls out there - ITS POSSIBLE TO GO LOW CARB. It will take time but will be worth it. Your body will thank ou for it 🙂
I have too been on the path to healing with a change in diet.
My path began a bit differently. I had always been confused with my PCOS- diagnosis at 16- very sporty so a plus was the extra testosterone! Strong! Yay. The. The cyst rupture began. But they never worried me. I was a lucky one- never over weight, no acne, no mood swings ever! Four years ago I changed my job- self employed. So went cold turkey on exercise, healthy eating and looking after myself - enter more symptoms !! Rough. Pancreatitis, irritability, anxiety, always tired.
Last year, was diagnosed with IBS and my pain disappeared within two weeks from my hip that always thought had come from my sad ovary. This was a turning point. I undertook the FODMAP diet and after 3 months began noticing a regularity to my cycles. I also began taking anti anxiety medication at the same time- I was at the very lowest I had been.
I lost weight (admittedly far too much due to my overwhelming nausea, physically demanding job and new eating habits- I had developed an anxiety triggered eating disorder). Summer came and my goal was to gain control back in my life- relaxing, eating, exercising,meditation to ease my, what felt like, everything coming my way. I gained weight but slow and healthy, gained self assertiveness- I treat myself equal not less than others. I found a calm I hadn’t experienced in a while- it takes weekly practise. And I gain two new vegan housemates. This is where all the pieces feel into place. My people pleasing personality aided me in eating 85% vegan meals and less insulin spiking food. Wholefood, unprocessed and my body loves it! All of my life skills will aid me through my path to becoming a mother. Fuelling a healthy body and mind so I can take on all of my challenges.
Your story has been so informative and relatable. At the beginning of 2018 I moved out of home to Melbourne, Australia, to study at uni. I was studying dietetics. Prior to this I had always grown up easily able to put on weight, my whole family were obese. In my last year of high school I went to the gym 5 days a week and went on a low card eating and cut out dairy milk (shifting to soy milk or other alternatives) and bread (making salads and alternative meals that involved a lot of veggies and meat). I still ate fruit everyday. I reached a healthy weight of 69-70kg - I am 5 foot 10.
I'm now, after 18 months living our of home, 100kg. I felt different in my dietetics class and out of place, how can I be studying to be a dietician and yet putting on so much weight??! Early this year I found out my younger sister had been diagnosed, so I got checked too and also was diagnosed with PCOS. It answered some questions as to why I so easily put on weight. I'm on the rod (contraceptive) and still have monthly periods. But I have struggled with anxiety and depression for years and always had irregular periods and extremely painful and heavy ones if not on be rod. I've newly joined the gym and wanting to change up my diet again, so I've found this page extremely helpful to find motivation when your body just doesn't want to do it. I crave carbs all the time, even when full. So I know I've got a long and difficult road ahead to shed these 30kg. Thank you for promoting awareness though and giving some suggestions on what diet options help. I really needed someone to reach out to and not feel alone through this. Before I was diagnosed I couldn't tell you what PCOS was.
The condition is really tricky, just like you've told you haven't suspected it until official dx. I'm sorry for you're facing this too. My symptoms though haven't been bothering much. I've never gained extra lbs. But had extremelly irregular periods, acne, and extensive hair growth. The most bothering in the whole situation was inability to conceive a baby. That is why together with dh we applied for IVF & MD shots some time ago resulting in an adorable little one) I'm wishing you the best x
First of all congratulations for fighting PCOS successfully...it’s never easy to find a way out of your problems unless you have full commitment and will.I have also had issues with many small cysts around my ovaries.i have been following ketogenic diet for the last 4months..It has helped me get to my normal weight which I gained in the last 4yrs (about 12kgs)...I haven’t exercised much.Your story now inspired me to take up exercising seriously.Also,I was thinking all this while if following low carb Keto lifestyle is healthy for lifelong-after listening to all sorts of advices around you....your story only makes me believe stronger that I am in the right path....thanks again for helping people like me who are novice in cooking n baking through your blog...Thanks again-God bless you!!!
I can relate to your PCOS problem. I am 71 yrs old and still fighting with facial hair. I just lost my husband to brain cancer. Had to move to a different state, and have found your website. thanks for the great information. I did do Laser and it made it worse, wouldn't recommend it. Am going to start low carb diet, and see if this plus electroysis will help. Again thanks!
This is such a good a food read. I don't have the classic signs of PCOS but I have no periods, have no energy and have cravings for carbs. This is the probably the only article where I've felt that I can relate to. I thought the symptoms I had was just part of being a woman but it really is down to my PCOS. I want to make a change, and make myself feel better.
My daughter has PCOS and she is 21. She always had beautiful long thick hair until she became a teenager at around the age of 16 she started noticing all these signs. She lost all of her hair, gained tons of weight and now cannot her her hair back. She paid for extensions to look beautiful again she told me. She is always Beautiful. She has a horrible diet and snacks all day and pounds the carbs. After reading all of this and seeing how it can affect her in the future years, I begged and pleaded to her to please start exercising and cut down the carbs. She just committed to optavia and I pray she will see a difference. All she wants is her hair to come back. Thanks for your inspiring story- it truly meant a lot.
Hi, I was diagnosed with PCOs and Im so devastated I cry a lot between wanting children one day and losing my hair, I lost about 70% of my hair. I went to see dermatolgoists three different ones over the years and no one diagnosed me correctly. I cant sleep now, I was able to sleep much better in past but the last month I have bad insomnia!!! I stopped eating dairy the last 4 weeks and gluten is longer. I do get my menstruals but theyre very light and now Im getting more pain..I never ate organic to be honest, it costs so much and I was always told whats organic isnt really organic. I live in the USA. I need help, anyone please!!
I totally understand. I read that zinc and saw palmetto will help stop hair loss and hair on the face. I'm buying some this week and will report back. When I went to Russia they were all eating bread. I truly believe it's the chemicals in our food. I miss my hair everyday. People used to tell me how beautiful my hair was. I wish my boyfriend could have met before this got so bad.
you are so amazing and brave to tell your story, like most of us women who suffer from pcos is not something we broadcast. But hearing your story gives me hope. I've had pco as long as I can remember and I've been trying to convince for 2yrs with no luck. Your experiences has inspired me to move forward with trying to live healthier and try again for a family.
I cried finding this blog!! I am so grateful to you that you have put these amazing resources together. I’ve only just been diagnosed with PCOS, and I immediately knew that I needed to change my lifestyle. I’ve had 4 kids, but couldn’t understand why I struggled so hard to have them, but many of my other symptoms didn’t start until I had my last child.
Sending so much love to you & ever other PCOS sister xo
I typically never comment but your post was so uplifting and inspiring, I am near to crying!
I have suffered with so many PCOS relates symptoms since I was a kid. My story is long and so I will spare you the details but, I am looking forward to anything you have to write from your journey with PCOS in the hopes that you can help so many people like you and me.
Lots of Love
So happy that you are feeling stronger and healthier. Your story is an inspiration. Thanks for all the recipes.
I got so overwhelmed by emotions reading your story, Mira. As anyone with PCOS knows, it's such a long and difficult journey... filled with hopes that keep getting dashed whenever a new symptom or setback appears. Literally every part of life is affected. When I was younger, I used to wish so badly that I could feel free like other girls, even for a day. 15+ years later, I still have to keep my chin down all the time for fear of the hair growth catching the light. I have to play coy and turn away when my husband tries to touch my chin like they do in romantic movies. I have to shave in a hurry when he's not around, and have cut myself once or twice by accident. I don't know how many hours I've lost on the Internet looking for ways to deal with acne, stretch marks, hyperpigmentation, hair loss, overactive sebaceous glands. This diagnosis makes it so hard to feel beautiful.
I went keto 2 years ago on a whim, and lost 60 pounds even without adding in the gym. I stayed under 100 grams of carbs like a fanatic. This is the first time in my life that I've managed to keep the pounds off. I got my hair loss under control with ketoconazole shampoo (lol..keto diet with keto shampoo), and now I'm working on the skin issues. It's a struggle indeed to reign in this beast of a disorder, but I'm so glad there is a community of support out there to help with the fight. Stay strong, sisters, and much love.
Your story sounds so close to mine I started to cry. Everyday the hair on my chin and neck are getting worse and worse. I keep my head down as much as possible and god forbid my husband tries to touch my prickly face. It is absolutely humiliating! I always wish I could just be normal. Not only do I have to worry about constantly getting rid of the hairs but when I do I have awful red bumps all over the area so you can really tell. I too did keto and felt so much better then but haven't been back on it since before the holidays. I'm thinking that's what has made my symptoms so much worse lately is not sticking with it anymore. Well its nice to know so many other women are dealing with this. The depression and anxiety are such a struggle.
Hi my name's Joanne I've been struggling with PCOS since my diagnosed at 19 I'm now 34 I don't know where to start I myself struggle everyday wishing for one day to feel pretty again I stay away from female friends and family cause I feel ashamed of how I look I get jealous of girls cause of how I look and wish I was like them to tell the truth I didn't know that using shavers over a long period of time I damaged my skin I look horrible I really do I really look like a man now I just want all Yous girls out there to not go thru what I did I'm ashamed of how I look I know I'm the ugliest girl out there just want you all to seek help research up on hair removal and all about PCOS thanks for reading my story
I definitely relate to the self esteem issue. I’m 33 and was diagnosed at 15 with PCOS, it’s ruined my life. I am so obese and I haven’t found anything that has worked. I’ve tried numerous diets, along with cardio 1.5hrs a day Monday thru Friday for 10 months...I lost 15lbs. It’s so discouraging. I am thankful that laser treatments worked for my face I had such a thigh black beard and size burns. I use to pluck and bleach for hours. I just do maintenance now. I unfortunately am thinking of gastric surgery but I don’t even think that would work. 2 years ago I got really sick and we found out that I have Graves’ disease (hyperthyroidism) apparently you’re not suppose to keep weight on with that. I never lost a pound. I’m afraid I’ll be stuck like this forever. Not married, no relationships, no kids in sight. I’m glad it worked for you though best of luck!
I have a daughter age 5 yrs old, I am stop using contraceptives last years, I take oral contraceptives for almost 4yrs den suddenly aftr I stop, my menstrual cycle become irregular and I decided to go to OB gybe and done my tvs and the result is polycystic ovaries 😭😭I cannot image it can happen to me.. So stressful for me
Thank you so much for all the information!! I have yet to try your recipes, but look forward to trying them! I have had PCOS for 2 years diagnosed and probably have honestly had it a lot longer than that. My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for quite some time and I am going to take all of your information and put it towards my every day life! Your site and information, I'll forever be grateful for and use!
I have had PCOS All my life, irregular periods, hirsutism acanthosis ( darkening of skin in armpits, groin and neck) .
The maximum i have ever weighed was 120 pounds. It killed my self esteem as a teenager and a young adult. I am now 46 years old, a physician , and i now weigh only 92 pounds. I eat largely grain free ( i am terribly gluten intolerant) , vegetarian and low carb. I have never felt or looked prettier in my life.
It has been a long journey, but keep at it and you will get there.
Hi! I am 18 and I have the same issue! Can I email you ? I had it all my life and I was always slim but had insulin resistance all my life and dark patches that never go away......
Were you able to get in touch with her? I'd Love to know more about what she did!
How do you do a vegetarian AND gluten-free diet? I'd LOVE to know more please.
Lots of veggies and no bread? She eats largely grain free and low carb too so I’m guessing LOTS of greens
I cried while reading this. Thank you so so much for sharing! i have been visitting doctors sinc the age of 12 and been put on birth control pills on and off through out of my life, I tried traditional herbal medicine as well. , got my periods back once or thrice and it never worked again, I would have to switch from one type of medicine to another kind. Facial hair started to grow since 12, I hated myself and God for awarding me with so many flaws and sickness, which are all related to one - PCOS. Was constantly depressed, and yes had suicidal thoughts. Shaved and plugged every part of my body, face, hands, back, thighs, legs, belly, I have mild hair growing on my breast too, dark spots on skin (between my breast, elbows, neck, eyes, around mouth erea) I cant believe of how my weight got worsen with years and years, I'm now 108,300kg. I have a beautiful face and kind heart, yet I could never feel pretty because my body made me feel like I am not a woman. Never had sex or had a boyfriend for the same reason as you (I'm 27). People are so mean and insensitive, they would comment and say things without understanding the core of the problem. Thanks to you, now I know that it is possible to make this better, that it is possible to fight it. I have been trying to find out what is wrong with me for such a long time, been diagnosed wrongly by many proffesionals. Wish i could turn back time and save myself. But better late than never, right? I want kids so badly and want to be healthy, want to allow myself to love and love myself. Thank you for sharing, sharing is caring! Thank you for caring, Beautiful! .<3
I was diagnosed in the mid 90's. I was told having children would be a problem, but since I didn't want any, no problem, right? This seemed weirdly wrong to me. If your body can't produce children, isn't something--or many things--terribly wrong? My doctor put me on The Pill and acted flippant about my symptoms. There was no internet at the time (okay, we had green screens and creepy chat rooms), so the information I could find was extremely limited. I gained weight with ease and had developed Pre-Diabetes by age 35. I completely freaked out (as one should with this diagnosis), and researched like a med student. I know more than every Nutritionist I've ever seen. I am not Pre-Diabetic now, no thanks to my doctors or dieticians, but thanks only to my research. Medical studies are sparse, but stories like yours abound. In short, keep speaking up. Don't be quiet. People need to hear you. Thank you.
Hi Mira! I'm encouraged by your story! I was diagnosed with PCOS 10 years ago and have done all sorts of medication and treatments. Just recently, I decided to go low-carb and I feel great! My energy is more steady, I lost a couple of pounds just in the first weeks, and my cravings have almost disappeared. I did low-carb when I first was diagnosed and forgot how powerful and important it is. I'm excited to see how it will help with the other PCOS symptoms. Thank you for sharing your story and being a resource!
Wow! This is so awesome! Congratulations on changing your life for the better!
This is so inspirational because I was recently diagnosed with PCOS as well and there are so many things that go with it as you mentioned. I am very big on nutrition and it really makes me think of all the things in food nowadays that actually hurt you more than helping. I am currently on the Paleo Diet, and I shouldn't say "on the Diet", but instead I have changed my lifestyle to eating this way. It's true that you feel better and are naturally curing yourself which is amazing! I appreciate the recipes that you are creating and blogging about because it helps to make this diet lifestyle change more fun and appealing!
Dear Mira ,
I really appreciate you and your efforts . I want to say you thank you for your tasty recipes that i can trust the result before the making process.😘