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?
I am really inspired by your story and I've been looking for someone that is going through what I am going through. I was diagnosed back in 2009 with PCOS and never took it serious until now, since I am trying to get pregnant. I have no clue where to start or what to do.l I need a plan and I need help. I am on Metformin which causes me to be sick from time to time and They have me on meds to MAKE my cycled come on. Please help me!!!
I would start by cutting sugar and carbs and doing light exercises. That will set you in the right track. You can look at some of the free meal plans I have on the blog to get an idea of what low carb eating is. https://www.mypcoskitchen.com/21-day-keto-paleo-pcos-meal-plan/
I don’t know if I overlooked it, but what do you drink while on this diet? Just water?
Water, tea, coffee, homemade hot chocolate, homemade sugar free lemonade, almond milk or any other nut milk, and sparkling water. Sometimes sugar free cranberry juice. For alcohol, whiskey and vodka.
Wow what a great story, and so informative! I’m so glad you’ve improved your health naturally. Glad I found this site!
Wow Mira! What a story! As a former BC girl, I can relate to our poor produce options. I live in Italy now, and it's just as bad! Haha. I'm going to travel to Egypt and Ecuador this year, hopefully somewhere will be better : ) keep posting & giving us your creative energy, you're a beautiful woman!
I’m surprised that italy is just as bad? The EU has strict laws about pesticides and much of the produce is non-GMO.
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October 12, 2018 at 2:34 pm
I have suffered with endometriosis and POS since I was a teen. I am now in my late 40s. I have gone through decades of surgeries and fertility treatments and have suffered painful menstruation for as long as I can remember. I also suffer from arthritis and in my early 40s managed my arthritis pain with the Dr. McDougal diet. The diet also alleviated much, but not all of my menstrual pain. I went off the diet when I was pregnant with my daughter who is now one and a half years old.
I didn’t get back on the diet until recently. We recently had a cold front come into the state and my arthritis pain went off the scales. I realized it was time to get back on my diet which starts with a 7-10 day fast. Coincidentally this coincided with my menstrual cycle and, for the first time EVER, I have NO cramps, bloating or pain.
I wish I had known this from the beginning. For however many months-years longer that I menstruate, I will be FASTING when it happens.
@holly hey I was just wondering what you meant by fasting for the 7-10 days
Thank you for your story, courage, inspiration, and recipes.
I had regular periods from age 12, but they all of a sudden stopped. With and exam and blood work, I was diagnosed with PCOS at age 20. I was told having kids would be hard and that I'd probably need fertility meds.
Twenty years later, at age 40, I was blessed with a little girl. And 2 years later, at 42, another girl joined our family. I consider them miracles. At 40 and 42, WOW!
I was on and off Metforin for many years. It was prescribed to keep my weight under control and to help with PCOS symptoms. Each time I got pregnant, I was only on Metformin again for about 2 months. No fertility meds.
If you desire children, don't give up. There are ways when your ready or not.
Good luck to every woman with PCOS, there is hope.
This made me so happy<3
I’m 20 and I have this gut in my stomach that I might have PCOS and endometriosis, but I’m just too scared to see a gyno. I know I shouldn’t be scared because it’s better to find out sooner, but I just keep avoiding it.
Hi Mira, thanks for your blog - I look forward to following it and seeing your recipes. Also thanks for talking about your PCOS struggles so openly.
I was diagnosed at 16 and put on BCP for 15 years until I decided to quit on my own and try alternative ways to treat the symptoms. I had been always told by doctors how lucky I was for being thin (5'9" and 140's in my 20s, 150s in my 30s) with no extra hair - but lacked the periods and had terrible acne. As I turned 30 I feared for my fertility and did that 'experiment'. The only things I did was acupuncture and a very low carb diet. I got pregnant, accidentally, right after my first 'natural' period after stopping the pill. I'm telling my little story here so you and other cysters who fear for your fertility have hope. A low-carb gluten free diet is the way to go!
Two kids later now at 38 I'm back on the pill but struglling to lose the 80 pounds I gained with both pregnancies. I made low-carb gluten free eating a lifestyle, and am slowly getting back to my think cyster body. Whew!
Best luck to all cysters out there reading this, and don't worry - take care of yourself and you will get those babies!
Love Love Loved this article. I was recently diagnosed with PCOS after dealing with going from doctor to doctor to figure out what was wrong with me for over a year trying to figure out why I had such bad irregular periods and wanting to start trying to have kids and just reading your story helps me with the fact that I'm not alone. I'm doing a little more research and I'm defiantly taking your tips into consideration to help with changing my lifestyle. As far as dealing with depression how do you cope with it? I suffer from sever anxiety and depression and I very good at hiding it because I'm a hairstylist and constantly have to be chirppy and happy but once I'm home it is uncontrollable.
I'm really glad to have found your website. I was diagnosed with PCOS last week here in Japan after avoiding going to a doctor (bc I can't speak the language very good, i was ashamed and it's expensive in Japan) for months. But as I have visible bald spots by now the pressure to do sth was incredibly high. I will try out all your recipes and will try my hardest to avoid my most beloved onigiri and tamago kake gohan. As the only options I got from the doctor are the pill (no thanks) and a Chinese herb......
I was diagnosed with PCOS several years ago and my cycles have always been irregular. I started taking Fertilemd pills and now my cycle is becoming regulated. Praying that I will conceive soon. I will continue to take these.
Hi Mira, thanks for sharing your story. I was researching for keto+Paleo diet and came across your site. You seem to touch point on all the questions I had regarding PCOS - again I went to several GYN and none of them gave me the proper diagnosis in regards to my irregular periods. Unfortunately , I remain on the pill in order to regulate having a monthly period. If I am off - I had one 6 months later , which led to changes in my endometrium lining - almost to show stage 1 followed by stage 2 cell change. The Dr encouraged me to have surgery, but I was relentless. Fortunately, some miracle happened I am back to normal there, while PCOS , still remains. I do want to stop taking the pill, but I fear of potential side effects - no periods and cervical cancer symptoms. I started to see other symptoms of PCOS, thinning hair and some dark patches over the last year.in any case, I have the biggest issue - my belly. It's just something I can't seem to understand why I have this stubborn fat when I generally don't eat unhealthy. I am getting married in 2 months and need a quick fix for the belly - hence research keto diet - but know it's better to have a combination of keto + Paleo from the research done. I have only read your story so far, but look forward to following you and the kitchen! I hope yo see body transform (belly) for the long run and to stop worrying every time I visit the GYN. I'm fine to have PCOS, not trying to have kids, however would be good to get rid of the unwanted symptoms that mask our feminine side. Thank you for creating the site.
itss really hard
I just wanted to say that your story was really encouraging for me. I have endometriosis and I definitely struggle with weight gain, pain and eating right. I absolutely love carbs! I’m trying to change my lifestyle but it’s hard. I really feel like I’m going through this by myself. Nobody understands my struggle and that loosing the weight isn’t easy. I am hoping that I can stick with my lifestyle change. Thank you for your encouraging story!
Hi Mira, I was looking for some KETOgenic food recipes and stumbled upon your website. Thank you for sharing your experiences and putting together all the information and all the recipes. I cannot wait to try them as I find them to be so unique from what I have found online so far. I have been on a ketogenic lifestyle for about 8 months now and absolutely love the energy and have never enjoyed food as i do now. You did so well with yourself, your journey is amazing. Thank you again for sharing your wealth of knowledge with us.
Dear Mira, thank you for sharing your experience with the world and making these fantastic resources available with the world. I have downloaded all the recipies and will be trying them out! I am currently on Wildfit, which is like Keto/Paleo and I cann tell it benefits my health and wellbeing immensely. We are in 2018 now and I would be curious to hear how your progress has been, as your "about me" stops in 2017. I see you are posting recipies on a regular basis though
My progress is the same as last September. I only go to the doctor for a ladies check up once a year, but nothing has changed since. Still have my periods every 30 days, I ovulate, facial hair is almost gone, etc. I'll post another about me post in September for my next check up.
I am in despair becuase i might have PCOS - still waiting for my diagnosis. But it's posts like yours that give hope and shine light ona path that seems dark, scary and has no exit.
Thanks and hope to continue hearing about your progress
Thank you! I hope you can find out what's happening with you! Nutrition and exercise was the key for me so I hope it helps!!
Can't wait to hear more about your progress, but periods without the pill ( right?) Is still a good result!
Your page is too good to be true!
I already shared it with friends, family and people who suffer from PCOS.
You gave me so much hope.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Greetings from Greece,
So I am not sure if it is possible to be pre PCOS but I'll pretty sure I either have it or am developing it. I've had two ruptured ovarian cysts, ovulation is often painful, I have hair starting to increase under my chin. Right now it is fine long peach fuzz but it has definitely been in increasing with an occasional thick strand. I also have battled horrible cystic acne since I was a teen. At 32 it is still a problem. Two years ago I went Keto and started heavily working out because I was about 50 lbs heavier than in college. I didn't pay attention to calories but just kept my carbs under 25g. The first week I lost 5 lbs with no exercise and the same with the second week. I then started adding in exercise and lost 30lbs in six months. I started my own business and no longer had time to work out and had to start eating on the fly. We'll I've gained it all back. Breaks my heart. Now that I've gotten my business off the ground and growing I'll be switching back to healthier habits. But it really seems like my body just can't handle carbs and sugar. To me all these symptoms seem like PCOS but my cycles are regular and I have 3 kids so fertillity not an issue either. Any thoughts?
Hi Sarah, what you're describing definitely sounds like PCOS, but you'd only know for sure through tests. Get your male and female hormones checked, ovaries to see if any cysts, and insulin. Gaining weight easily with carbs is usually because of insulin resistance. The hair on your face is usually from either extra insulin in your body or wacked up male and female hormones. A lot of women with PCOS and still have children and never realize that they have PCOS. It's very common as PCOS affects us all differently. Some are extremely thin, but don't get periods. Some are obese but get periods, no ovulation. Some are thin with periods but can't ovulate or can't stop bleeding. There are different types of PCOS. I suggest you get some hormone tests done to know for sure what is causing all of that!
I was recently diagnosed with PCOS. I got off birth control about 7 months ago and that's when I started noticing huge changes in my body that weren't good changes but BAD; hair loss, weight gain, painful periods if I had one. My husband and I were trying to have a baby and every month the tests were negative. I decided to go to a OBGYN, he looked at my ovaries and said "Yup, you have PCOS." Nothing else, not a description on what PCOS is or what I can to do help with it other than he put me on Clomid so I would start ovulating correctly.
I can't tell you how happy I am and thankful that I came across your website. You have no idea how helpful it is to see some good recipes and know that I am not alone in this journey.
One question I have for you is, how do you handle your cravings? I just started eating clean a week ago and stopped eating processed, and sugary food.... but to be honest I feel like I'm dying, the cravings are horrendous, and it's mainly cravings for sweets, and bad carbs. Any pointers you could throw out for this? Again, thank you for sharing your journey and your recipes. YOU ARE AWESOME!!!!!!
Cravings are totally normal when you wean off sugar/carbs. It usually takes 1-2 weeks to get used to it. It helps if you fill yourself with healthy fats and protein because it makes you full a lot longer so you eat less.
Thank you!! I would suggest you get more tests done to see what exactly what the problems you have are. Check out my latest health update here, there's a list of all of the tests I did. https://www.mypcoskitchen.com/pcos-september-2017-health-update/
So sorry your doctor wasn’t super helpful on the education about PCOS. I also have PCOS and when my husband and I were trying to have children we did IVF which failed and was expensive after some other crazy suggestions from my doctor we started looking elsewhere. Not to push medication, but I found a new doctor and he put me on Femara (crazy as it sounds it is a cancer drug) which has better results than Clomod at getting PCOS gals to ovulate and I got pregnant with 1-2 months for both of my girls (and I only have 1 fallopian tube). Just wanted to pass this on because I was desperate until I found my new doctor. Best wishes!
Im so happy i stumbled across this blog, it has been saved into my favourites now in my computer to refer back to.
I was diagnosed with PCOS when i was about 20, (3 years ago,) when i was undergoing a medical examination for a upcoming job. I had no idea what it was, and to be honest, didn't really do anything about it, all i took from it was that was the reason my periods were very irregular.
I had irregular periods for years previous to being diagnosed, but didn't really show any other symptoms at that point. when i brought it up with doctors before my diagnosis they just said females who exercise regularly, (which i did, i went to the gym everyday, did martial arts, boxing and ran every morning) can miss periods because of the high amount of exercise they put their bodies through.
I think at the time I was exercising so much to keep the weight off, little did i know it was because of PCOS i had to keep that high level of activity to keep my weight level.
It hasn't been until recently (probably the last 6-8 months) that i have recognised the symptoms of PCOS with my body. I crave carbs and all those sugar filled delicious foods that we all do! i can gain weight like crazy if i don't keep active, and have problems with sleep. i don't have excessive facial or body hair, but i have noticed hair thinning on my head getting worse and worse, which is probably the biggest downside of PCOS for me. I can handle weight gain, i have a highly active job and have access to gym and swimming facilities to help keep me active, fit and help with the weight gain.
I was wondering however, if you know other ladies that have had hair loss happen to them, and if they have any treatments that have worked for them.
I have tried hair loss shampoos ( at least 3 different types) and minoxidil treatments but have had very little success.
I have a pretty good diet (when i don't give in to the carb and sugar cravings!!) but I'm definitely going to keep referring back to this blog to get recipie ideas and such.
That's what the doctors told me exactly! I used to do gymnastics so they always said because I do lots of sports, it's normal for me to miss my periods.
Losing hair, like male balding, for PCOS is very common. Not all women get it, I didn't, instead I got the facial hair, but it's one unfortunate side effect. It usually happens because our male and female hormones are out of whack. I haven't heard of any remedies for it, except get those hormones in check. The easiest for me to do that was by eating low carb and quitting gluten and sugar. I know ladies who take either biotin, selenium, zinc, fish oil, biosil, hair skin and nails, castor oil, apple cider vinegar, multivitamin, prenatal vitamins or folic acid to help with the hair loss.
Is the top of your head balding, or is the amount simply decreasing?
I have a closed PCOS group you can join and ask if anyone else is experiencing balding and what remedies they use. http://www.facebook.com/groups/mypcoskitchen
Do you think the best way to get hormones in check is to go back on the pill?
I've been on and off it for years, i feel better not being on it, but one doctor told me once that if i went back on the pill it would help balance some of my hormones.
At the moment, i can just see it thinning out all over, and a little bit more on the top of my head. It sucks because i have quite curly hair, so brushing knots out is such a hassle and i just find all my hair in the shower, on the floor or on my brush.
I have asked to join the page!
Thanks so much! 🙂
No, to be honest going on the pill is the worst thing you can do. The pill just hides the PCOS problems, it doesn't fix them. It's not a solution. Get a blood test and see your levels for all of your hormones.
Also a lot of women with PCOS who were on the pill and go off it, have trouble ovulating because they were on it for so long. I wouldn't recommend it.
Sounds good, thank you for your help 🙂
Oh, I didn't see a request from you on fb. Is your name Louise there?
Hi there! I am working on an article about dietary management of PCOS (with or without medication) and I would like to interview you, if that's ok. This is for MedShadow. Let me know if you're interested!
Hi Madeline! Sure, please e-mail me at email@example.com
Would love to read your article when you are done. My 14 yr old was diagnosed with PCOS earlier this year and we have completely changed our way of eating but I'm always looking for more information. Would love to read anything you have.
B from (AZ)
Thank you for sharing your stories and recioes. I was also diagnosed with PCOS this summer and was shocked to know I had it. I don’t believe women know there area various kinds of PCOS. I don’t have cyst, but I do have acne, fertility issues, and insulin resistance. I read 8 Steps To PCOS book and it confirms everything you are saying about food as medicine. I’ve started a Keto lifestyle with very Minsk dairy product and within 3 months my period cycles are fixed, acne is disappearing, energy levels are up, and I’m finally losing weight.
Hearing your story makes me feel comforted that other women are choosing lifestyle versus medication to treat this. Thank you for sharing you recipes with us!
I can also relate to a lot of this, being diagnosed at 14. I went to college for Holistic Nutrition and at changed my life; we learned about all the tings you speak of - carbs, sugar, insulin/digestion. After doing my own research, I stopped relying on birth control and medicated acne creams. I wanted to share with you two things that really helped me, and I hope will help you too:
1) A supplement called EstroSmart Plus. It does not contain any medication or synthetic ingredients. It has become my natural version of the pill, I've been taking it for 5 years now with successful regular periods. Please look it up and see what you think!
2) A book called Woman Code by Alisa Vitti. She too was diagnosed with PCOS and has done an amazing amount of research on the topic since. This book has wonderful information about the condition, hormones, digestion, the phases of your cycle, and even meal plan ideas (which have been crazy helpful for me).
Sorry for the long post! I know the most frustrating part of PCOS for me has been the lack of Doctors taking it seriously and not considering anything other than medicating me. So like most women, I took my health into my own hands. These really helped me and I wanted to share with all the other women here who may be struggling.
Dear Mira, Thank you for sharing your story. It's so familiar to me and I really respect your bravery, determination, and kind heart to help others out there who are also struggling with the same condition. It's really difficult for me to talk about it with other people and even in this message, I am being minimal. But trust me, I am so excited that I accidentally stumbled upon your blog today and I look forward to following your diet and recipes starting tonight 🙂 -XO, Julie
The scorpion girl
Your story is so relatable.I was diagnosed with pcos about three years back.I never took English medicine because the medicine they give is metformin which is simply a contraceptive pill,and they can be so bad for you.I haven't gotten my period in 1.5 years now.I have now turned to acupuncture treatment and I have noticed the dark patches on my joints getting lighter already after 11 days.However it is not the same acupuncture that you guys have back there,which is the westernised version and mainly deals with pain relief.The doctor I'm visiting has cured anything from cancer to diabetes,totally.I hope I get my period back soon.I listen to all these girls complain about how bothersome their periods is and I sit there praying that I get mine back.I am also tired of the hair on my face.My doc diagnosed me with thyroid and metabolic syndrome as well.Hence needless to say,currently I'm a mess.
Just a note that Metformin is not a contraceptive. It’s a diabetes drug that makes your cells more receptive to your insulin. It’s often prescribed off-label for women with PCOS to stop the progression of PCOS effects and hopefully stave off diabetes, coronary heart disease, endometrial cancer, and the other fun things we are susceptible to. And in most PCOS women, it has the effect of increasing, not decreasing fertility. Many doctors put women wanting to conceive on a course of Metformin to help with conception.
Thank you mira
for all Tips
My menstrual cycle comes when im 15 years old
At first it came every four months until that its was dont come for two full years
The symptoms began to appear gradually at the age of 17
My facial hair began to appear and my weight was growing abnormally .. Acne filled my face .. My hair was falling
I even went to the doctor and prescribed my glucophage medicine
She said I must to loss my weight
But my weight doesnt loss..
I have laziness in the thyroid gland
Until I gave up and went back to my bad old dietary habits full of fat and carbohydrates
but from today I will start a new health system with your recipes
Thanks Mira for encouraging me not to give up
I will tell you the result after a month
Thank you for sharing your life experiences and recipes. I am 46, and had irregular periods after puberty at 14. At 17 my period lasted for 3 weeks with the last 3 days where I was hemorraging and had to go to the hospital for a couple days and receive a blood transfusion because they couldn't feel my pulse standing up. They put me on the pill which helped and told me I had a hormone imbalance, that was in 1989. In my twenties a doctor put me on a natural hormone which helped, but I didn't stay on it long. In my ealy 30's I wanted to ovulate like a normal woman, so my husband okayed me seeing a fertility specialist who took an initial altrasound and I saw the many cysts on both ovearies. He put me on Femara. This caused both ovearies to develop a viable egg. He gave me a shot in the butt and then I ovulated. For the first time knowing how that felt was wonderful. The next month I felt the same thing, and ended up getting pregnant! I developed preeclampsia in my last trymester and had high nlood pressure isses during delivery. After about a year or so later I developed really bad rosasia and other symptoms. I went to a naturopath who put me on progesterone troches because my test came back that I was estrogen dominant and I had hypothyroidism. So he put me on medicine for that too. He put me on metformin too because of the insulin resistancy and I started loosing weight from that. I also developed mild asthma and have to take Montelukast everyday to keep my lungs from devloping the pressure I feel and coughing. I have been on these pills and troche since about 2009 or so. I live in Arizona and have to drive everywhere I go. I work at a TV station 40 hours a week and am exhausted after work. I would love to make many of your receipes but finances make buying organic very difficult and I am unable to cook fish in my home because the smell affects my husband. I just recently put together that all my problems are because of PCOS. I try different recipe programs but I don't feel that they are helping my condition. Thank you for your recipes, I will try to eat more like you have. Your tesimony really helps me see how I should be eating and that there is hope for remission. Thank you Cyster.
Patricia Terrell, Tucson, AZ.
Mira, i was just diagnosed with PCOS 3 months ago and have a very vague idea of what to do now. Thank you so mich for sharing your story. I'm going to subscribe!
Hi Mira, can you please tell me what kind of test did you undergo to find out that you were inuslin resistant? Was it ogtt (oral glucose tolerance test) or something else? Thank you.
You can do that test, but you also need the insulin test. It's just called insulin. Also you can check your hbA1c and cholesterole while you're at it. If you're insulin is high, you may also have dark patches of skin on the back of your neck, between your legs, underarms, etc.
So interesting to read... I had developed epilepsy while reaching puberty about 30 yrs ago now. I also had symptoms of PCOS, then it was something I never asked about, and my grandmother had also similar problems, so I presumed it was genetic. But I had dreadful cravings for bread during that time.
Funnily enough I taught in Japan, and ate a traditional Japanese diet which must have done me the world of good. I certainly lost the extra weight
Anyway, forward wind to the present and I after realising I had a gluten allergy, and that my seizures were getting more frequent I also went on the ketogenic diet. Beats pills, that's for sure
I am a 61 year old post menopausal women who has had all the symptoms of PCOS since my 20's. I was not diagnosed until 2 years ago when after years of no periods i started bleeding again. But i was given little to no info exvept here take these protester pills for 10 days a month for 3 months. I also have fibromyalgia, diabetes and high blood pressure. So thank you. I learned more reading your story than i did from my doctor. In the last 3 years we moved to a small farm. We raise our own meat, poultry, eggs and vegetables. All grass feed and organic. I have lost 85 lbs. I just recently decided to stop eating carbs and sugar and your story gives me hope that it may be the key. (I recently cit dairy out because the lactose was botheringme) thank you for your bravery and your recipes
Rose Crislip, LaBelle, Florida, USA
Mira, I just found your site and I think it's fantastic. My husband and I switched to a wheat belly lifestyle and we are so much happier and healthier. I'm down 29 pounds in 6 weeks. Your eating plan sounds almost exactly like ours. If you haven't read the book, I would highly recommend it. "The Wheat Belly" by Dr. William Davis. His newest book also seems as though it would be very beneficial to you. It's titled, "Undoctored". Thanks again for the recipes.
Hi Becky! I have heard of wheat belly, but I haven't read it yet. Going gluten-free (and sugar-free for me) did me wonders. I've never felt better than I do now. You can also see positive effects in your blood work in the future, which is awesome. It's proof that eating better works.
Hi Mira. I absolutely love your blog. I was on low carb for a year and lost a lot weight but couldn't give up dairy (cheese is my weakness) and most low carb recipes had cheese in them. But your dairy free recipes are a great find and I love how I can choose recipes according to the carb content. I just want to let you know what an awesome job you have done, taking control of PCOS and helping others through this blog. Wishing you the very best in life!!
Thank you so much! I know how hard it is to quit dairy! It's soo good lol. I personally haven't noticed any changes with or without it which is why I continue to upload recipes with it. But I'm glad my dairy-free recipes can help you! Let me know if you have any recipe requests 🙂
A good friend of mine has PCOS and it's unbelievable all she went through. It's been such a long journey for her.
I used to live in Japan but left after a bad injury. I loooove the Japanese diet. Going keto meant getting off my beloved sticky rice, but it also means a quicker recovery. Once I'm fully recovered, I'm moving back to Japan, probably late 2018-2019. If you're still in Japan then, I'd love to connect with you. 🙂
Glad to hear you have found something that works for you and are sharing your journey. I too have PCOS and was diagnosed over 16 years ago when people hadn't really heard of it and didn't know what it was. Now there is so much more info out, but unfortunately doctors are still telling women the same things they did back then. I tried everything over the years to change my body and how I felt and not much worked. Finally this time last year after a lot of my own research and time I decided to try something new as my health as I was getting older was going downhill. My way is stricter and was exactly what I needed. Everything quickly started reversing itself. Started losing weight and for the first time in my life at 40 years old and being married 21 years I became pregnant. Figured out it happened about 5 weeks after I made my changes. Everyone was amazed at not only my pregnancy and my health, but had a great pregnancy. Except for the unexpected c-section because of a previous tailbone injury we now have a wonderful happy healthy little girl. Food is definitely a huge issue and doctors don't talk about it, it's all about giving out medication. My little girl could end up with PCOS as they say it is now hereditary, but she has a chance of not getting it if I teach her now how to eat. Good luck to you and everyone else in this fighting a growing disease.
Hello, can you tell what changes have you done as you say they are more strict? I tried low-carb, organic paleo diet with yoga and just a circuit of 10min training but nothing seems to work for me. 🙁
Mira, can you tell me where you get your ovulation test strips from?
I get a pack of 50-100 on amazon!
So glad I found your blog! I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2015 after struggling with infertility for 2 years. They of course put me on Metformin, and since I thought it was my only option, I took it for almost 9 months before taking myself off of it. Those 9 months were awful and I will never take that medication again if I can help it. In April my husband and I both started the Ketogenic diet, after reading about the benefits for those with PCOS. So far I have lost 25lbs and have seen a lot of my symptoms lessen. It's amazing how changing your diet really can heal you.
I was diagnosed with PCOS in 1985. I obtained this diagnosis from an endocrinologist after having blood tests and CAT scans. The first medication I was put on after diagnosis was spironolactone (brand name Aldactone). I still take it today. Spironolactone is a diuretic but more importantly it is an anti androgen. Meaning it prevents your body (most likely your ovaries) from creating excess male hormones. The hormones that prevent you from having normal periods and cause you to have cystic ovaries, hirsutism, hair thinning and a multitude of other issues. Before I was diagnosed I had facial hair, belly button hair and butt crack hair. Life was embarrassing. After I started taking spironolactone all of the extra hair disappeared. All of it - without electrolysis. And my periods started occurring regularly. It doesn't fix everything, but it's a start. I also took birth control pills for a year after diagnosis. They prevent your ovaries from creating eggs. The cysts are caused by eggs that don't get released because of the hormone imbalance. Not creating more eggs for a while helps your body to reabsorb the eggs that have turned cystic. I don't claim to know everything about PCOS but I do know spironolactone helped me and since no one has mentioned it I thought I'd bring it up. Find yourself a good endocrinologist and a good gynecologist - one that has heard of PCOS before.
I cannot figure out why more endocrinologist do not put PCOS patients on Spira lactone for her ritsu ISM issues. It works so wonderfully and is a fairly benign medication it is a very low dose diuretic that they typically only use with stronger diuretics that waste potassium because Spira lactone is a potassium sparing diuretic. It is also incredibly inexpensive at just $4 for 30 day supply. I was told that PCOS patients get a buildup of testosterone at the hair follicle level causing the dark and coarse hair to grow and Spira lactone actually flushes the testosterone out. The only caveat is that it is slow to take effect. I was told it would be at full effectiveness at 9 months, but the good news is I started seeing some improvement in only a few weeks. Where in the beginning I could not keep up with plucking and had hair growing everywhere! Between and around breasts back and shoulders happy trail, lower back, upper lip, and chin. I've been taking it for 13 years now with only having to pluck a few hairs every 4 or 5 days on upper lip (everywhere else on body the is thin, & has returned to soft blond hair). I will never stop taking it! Once when I didn't have money for a doctor's visit to get my prescription renewed, I ran out of the medicine and noticed hair starting to pick up speed in growth and darkening within only 5 days! I take 100 mg per day. It was prescribed as taking one 50 mg pill morning and evening, but I found that for some reason it worked out to be much cheaper to ask Dr. to write the prescription for 25 mg tablets instead. So, I take two 25 mg tablets in the morning and two in the evening for a total of four pills (100 mg per day).
I hope this helps all those suffering with hurituism.
I am so happy I stumbled upon your blog!!! I just moved to Tamura Japan (a bit rural) and I have been struggling with my diet here. I have severe PCOS and feel a bit out of control and at a loss of what to eat here. (i have been on carb overload and sugar and feel out of control 🙁 while also trying to explain to people why I cant eat lots of stuff...its just been tough) What did you typically buy at the grocery stores...and wondering if most of your recipes on here, do you think I am able to find the ingredients here? I would love to hear your advice!
So usually at the supermarket, I only buy fresh veggies, dairy, and meat/seafood. I do not usually go in the aisles to get prepackaged foods, canned goods, or processed food. My diet consists entirely of veggies/fat/meat and no bread/pasta/rice whatsoever. I don't eat grains, gluten or sugar. I make all my sweets, breads, treats gluten-free and sugar-free using a combination of low carb flours that I either get on amazon Japan, rakuten or iherb.com. I also live in Japan so I'm sure you can find all the ingredients I use. I buy most of it online anyway apart from the fresh stuff.
Getting off the carbs will be the hardest, but once you're off you'll feel so much better. Riding your bike to the station or where ever will improve your pcos dramastically, as long as you keep a healthy diet. Exercising and healthy eating (gluten-free/sugar-free/low carb) has put my pcos in remission and haven't had any symptoms in 2.5 years. I now get my periods ever 31 days, no more cysts on my ovaries, no more facial hair (granted I did electrolysis), I've lost 80ish pounds so far, no more diabetes and not even pre-diabetic anymore, cholesterol is normal and everything else is just amazing. Check out my recipes to check what I make, I also have a couple of meal plans on my blog where you can start. If you don't know where to get something, just comment and I'll send you a link to where I get it.
Snehal Bansode- Sheludkar, India
Dear Mira, Kudos to your struggle & efforts. Thank you for write it down in detailed way. Myself is going through with same phase and I have started LCD. Your post gave me confidence that I too can fight well with this PCOD. Will try your recipes too, But as I am a vegetarian, I have a small choice 🙂
Thank you so much for this information. I was just diagnosed with PCOS today (4/25/17). Growing up I played sports and was busy all the time that my periods didn't come like they should and I thought that was normal. I shaved my arms because they were so hairy and I didn't want to get made fun of. Then when I graduated and the weight started to pile on and periods were still not all there. When I started the pill to get my periods to regulate they were regular but I still was eating horrible, craving sweets and crab filled foods and didn't have the energy to keep the weight off. I stopped taking the pill because I always hear it being so hard for people getting off of it to try and have a baby and that's when my periods went away for over 3 months. Now that I am getting married in October and want to soon have kids after I went back to the gyno. I cried when I found this out because knowing this is going to make it harder. Reading this makes me happy knowing I can do the diet and hopefully make this work!
Hello! I notice that you actually live in the same city as me and are also from Canada! I just have a question concerning what you do in terms of your doctor. I got a diagnosis in Japan through a single blood test and an ultrasound that showed no cystic ovaries (I went in because my body hair was growing like crazy and my hair was also falling out). I also don't have a weight problem. My doctor put me on birth control right away but since after a year I am having a lot of breast pain and might actually have a lump so...we stopped that.
My biggest concern is that I have been given a phony diagnosis. I never really wanted to start taking birth control and from my research it could also be a thyroid condition in my case. I'm not saying I don't have PCOS but I'd like to be able to go to a doctor that kind of knows what they are doing instead of one that ignores my intense breast pain and other symptoms for 9 months. Any recommendations would be appreciated!
Dealing with PCOS in Japan can be a pretty big hassle as they're totally not familiar with it and the only treatment they usually offer is the pill. Unfortunately and this is something that pisses me off the most, the doctors here won't test a lot of things on you if you're not married and ready to have a kid. I've been to a bunch of different ladies clinics and every time I ask them to test something about my ovaries or whatever, they always say well, once you're married and ready to have kids we can talk more about that...which is completely useless...ugh. Anyways, Japanese people don't usually get pcos, only a few, and their symptoms are completely different than ours. I would suggest finding a foreign doctor as they tend to be more familiar with foreign diseases. An endocrinologist would be the best as pcos is an endocrine disorder so a gynaecologist won't be able to help you, apart from the standard ultrasound and pills. I myself haven't found a doctor here as they all don't know what they're talking about honestly... and just go by the book. PCOS is so much more than the symptoms they describe in their stupid doctor dictionary. I just go for a yearly check-up and ask them to test a bunch of things so I know my pcos is alright and is in remission.
So here are a couple of things you can check. You said you don't have any cysts and that's totally fine, but you can also have pcos with or without cysts. So first check your female hormones on the third day of your periods (oh do you get your periods?) at the doctor and they'll do a blood test to check your female and male hormones. Check, not just the testosterone, but the free testosterone, the estrogen, FSH, LH, and estradiol. If there's something wrong there, that would explain the extra body hair and hair falling out. Btw, male pattern baldness is another symptom of pcos and many ladies unfortunately lose a lot of their hair and have semi-bald spots on their heads.
Next, check your thyroid levels to see if everything is alright there.
Next, check your insulin levels and this is probably the most important as extra insulin causes pcos symptoms.
Check your cholesterol levels and if you're diabetic or not (or pre diabetic).
You may have to go to a naika clinic and a ladies clinic to do all of those tests.
After you've checked all of that, you should know whether you have pcos or not. You can message me again after you've heard the results. Btw, I heard St-Lukes International hospital is supposedly good so you could check that out?
Unfortunately as I am transitioning off the pill right now I don't think I am able to get my hormones tested until the end of next month I believe. I think most of the things you mentioned in terms of hormones were tested in my original blood tests. Who knows if my period will come. I should be able to get the other tests though!
For me, it was only a matter of finding and staying below MY personal daily carb threshold...(20 net grams per day) that forces my body to menstruate. Strict carb restriction has ALWAYS made mine return within 5-7 DAYS and continue regularly. (Even after no menses for 1-2 years at a time). Metformin only regulated my periods for about 1 year, then stopped working, so I quit taking it.
My 16 year old daughter (also from Montreal) was just diagnosed with PCOS. I don't think she quite understands what she's up against yet. I am heartsick for her. I am combing through the internet trying to educate myself so I can do my best to help her. I found your story inspiring and now have a better understanding of how to change her diet. She is a carb/sugar addict...it won't be easy. Best of luck to all the great women out there sharing their stories to help all the young girls headed down the same bumpy path!
I was diagnosed with PCOS in the late 90s and there was so little research at that time.... just fear. I discovered low carb/keto in 2010 and lost weight for the first time ever and felt better ever since. I have taken Metformin for the last 15 years - it is the only way I have a period. It does not really control much of anything else - only diet does, as proven by being at my worst blood sugar and levels before making the diet change in 2010. I would like to come off of it, but probably never going to happen!
Good luck with your journey!
Enjoyed reading this!! I have PCOS as well, I take the pill. Still my hair is super fine, have carb addiction and moody. I was participating in a running programme. Runners eat a lot of carbs due to hard training sessions but never gained weight and some of them lost even more of it. I had to eat a lot of carbs too, did not gain weight but certainly did not loose much of it unlike the other female runners. I felt depressed and took a break from this intensive training. I wonder whether running is good for me due to this reason. Keep it up Mira. Your blog inspiring!
I have a question, I don't have PCOS but I have Hypothyroidism, Chrohn''s disease and Fibromyalgia all of which give me terrible fatigue amongst many other symptoms, all of which make me crave sugar and carbs, I am trying to stick to the blood sugar diet but I have days where the cravings are so strong I give in. How do you stick to it and how big were you before you started to lose weight? I was 21stone 11lbs and lost 5 stone only to put it back on again. This time I have managed 12 pounds so far but I keep having those bad days.
Hi Karen! Thanks for commenting! I was around 295-300 lbs in May 2015, so the same as you now. I'm about 230ish right now. Carb cravings happen when you eat lots of carbs and suddenly start eating low carb. It can last 1-4 weeks for some people. Usually if you stick to the low carb diet, then you get rid of the cravings. It usually helps to eat good healthy fat because that makes you feel full and also drink lots of liquid like water, tea, or coffee. Also, for me, I usually start wanting to eat food when I'm bored or have nothing to do so I try to keep myself busy so that my mind doesn't think about food all day. Moreover, all of the food in my house is low carb. There isn't any gluten or sugar that could tempt me so even if I would cheat, it would be on something like fruit or slices of veggies or chia pudding. If I had bread/cake/ice cream in my house, then my temptations would be so much stronger and I don't think I could personally beat them. But by having nothing but healthy food in my house, it helps me control my cravings and hunger. Hope it helps 🙂
Ditto what Mira said about healthy fats. Eating fat doesn't cause weight gain, and can actually help you lose weight. And healthy fats will help keep you satisfied so your cravings will be reduced.
I eat half an avocado, twice a day. Often one of the halves is in a salad or sliced on my plate. Often I just fill the seed hole with homemade olive oil vinaigrette and eat it with a spoon, adding more vinaigrette as I run out.
I also slather on duck fat when I eat veggies like broccoli or cauliflower, or small amounts of winter squash or sweet potato.(butter is great too.)
Duck fat, coconut oil and red palm oil (Nutiva brand is mildest and in my view the only palatable palm oil) are excellent for cooking vegetables.
So don't hold back on the healthy fat!
I wish you the best!
I came across your blog on pinterest and I can so very well relate to your story. I've been suffering from PCOS for the past 15 years and still haven't found a permanent solution. I've been taking Ayurvedic medication (I'm basically from India residing in USA). I also got the ayurvedic detox done just for PCOS. After the detox, the first 3 months or so, my period would come and then become irregular again. I had lost about 16lbs after the detox and gained half of it in no time. I eat mostly organic food and stopped eating processed and deep fried food too. I also do yoga everyday but all I'm able to do is maintain my weight but not lose even a single pound. So I'm planning to try out your 7 day meal plan. I eat eggs, chicken and fish but not beef and pork. I guess I can substitute them with tofu. I'm looking forward to it! I'm so glad I came across your blog. Thank you so much for sharing!
Thank you for commenting! Eating low carb has really done wonders for me (and other women) and I think it could really help you! If you are insulin resistant and have a hard time losing weight, then eating low carb will definitely help you lose weight. Usually, when you start losing weight, periods tend to come back naturally for some reason so maybe that's why yours came back after the detox. However, if you continue eating like you used to (non-detox food), then your body probably didn't like what you were ingesting and maybe that's why your periods became irregular again? My number one advice to anyone who has PCOS is to quit gluten and sugar. It will do wonders for you, trust me. It may be hard at first, and it will take time for your body to adjust, but you will get there. Just keep going at it and you should feel better!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
I was diagnosed about 10 days ago, although I have likely had PCOS for a very long time.
My Doc sent me away with a script for Metformin and advised me to lose some weight. I came home so lost (but somewhat relieved to know why I had these annoying issues). I have felt quite overwhelmed at the information I could find online and within the Facebook groups.
My main concern, is adjusting my diet to lose weight and help with insulin resistance... but until today I couldn't find a website which concentrated on diet (without a paid subscription!)
I am so thankful that I stumbled upon the PCOS Friendly Recipes group last night, and subsequently your response to another new member.
Your website is exactly what I was looking for and I am so excited to print out the recipes and start to formulate meal plans that work for our family. The website is well laid out, and recipes are presented beautifully!! I finally have direction!!!
So thank you from the bottom of my heart (& my pancreas)!
Thank you so much for the lovely comment! I'm so happy that I could help you! If you ever have a recipe request, please let me know and I'll figure out a way to make it PCOS-friendly! If you're insulin resistant (like me), then following what I do would be best. My symptoms have practically disappeared and am healthy again! Watch out for high carbs as they make you gain weight instantly. Quitting gluten/sugar/grains will be hard at first, but it gets easier. I find that if you eat lots of healthy fats (avocado, olive/avocado/coconut oil, butter/ghee/lard/tallow, meat, nuts), it tends to keep you full for hours and you eat way less than before. Just remember that getting healthy again takes time and won't happen overnight! Keep working on it, figure out what works best for you and your family and keep at it!
This is an amazing story for me. I was recently (April 2016) diagnosed with 2 auto-immune diseases. Rheumatoid Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondilytis. So many things were wrong in my health. I was overweight, tired, sick, always in bed, sore, hurting, and felt like dying most days. When I got the diagnosis it was a huge wake up call to me. It was either start a bunch of strong medications or try and take back what was rightfully mine, my health! In May 2016 I started a gluten-free, sugar-free, night-shade free, and starch-free diet. After a few weeks I did a 23 day fast with water and a few freshly squeezed juices. By June I was actually feeling human again. My pain, inflammation, swelling, and general sickness were gone. When I went off the fast I continued the protocol. Today (September 2016) I am down 60 pounds, walking, exercising, and living life again. It is as if my life has returned. When I read stories like yours I am inspired and encouraged. You make me feel like my struggle is in part your struggle too, and I feel that we are somehow connected in our fight against disease and everything that is keeping us back from being who we really are! Thank you for sharing. It was an awesome testimony to read.
Thank you so much for reading this and writing such a lovely comment. I feel the same way. Eating healthy has made an enormous impact on my life and I'm so happy and grateful that I decided to do this. I would've gotten several more diseases for sure and be on pills if I hadn't changed my lifestyle. I can do so many things that I couldn't do before all thanks to delicious nutritious food. It's so great that you were able to lose all that weight in such a short amount of time! I feel like I'm a much slower fat burner, but I think part of the reason is that I don't really keep track of what I eat or the amount of carbs and calories that I consume. I just choose food that I know is low-carb and have a general idea of their grams and limit myself to that amount. I think if I actually did track and count everything I would lose weight faster. The past 6 months have been particularly long because I broke my knee and several ligaments so I haven't been able to exercise, but that'll change starting this month and the following months. I have a question though about the water fast. Did you feel hungry? I feel like whenever I do intermittent fasting, I always seem to get hungry after a 5-6 hours. How did you manage not feeling hungry?
I hope you enjoy making my recipes and if you have any recipe request or questions, feel free to comment or leave me a message! I always enjoy reading comments like yours! I'm really thankful to have other people understand my struggles and support me. So thank you!
Came across your page via Pinterest, and so happy I did. Can't wait to try your recipes out!
Thank you so much! Let me know how you like them or if you have any questions!
I bumped into your website by accident, but I am glad I did because I really enjoyed reading your story. Thanks for sharing... My husband and I went Paleo 3 months ago and are amazed by the wonders eating organic, cutting sugars, grains and dairy have done to our health in general.
You have done great so far. Keep up the good work and reach your goals! The sky is the limit...
Sending you all my love & Support
Writing From E.S , Central America
Thank you very much! It's amazing how eating healthy can affect you in such a positive way, isn't it?
I did so well with losing the first 43lbs but I let myself have some sugar and carbs and bam I want it all the time again!!! I have gained about 6lbs and want to lose about 25 more pounds!!! Grrrrrr! Having PCOS really sinks!?
I get it!! It's really hard to stop once you start again!! I found that eating lots of good fat at every meal, like avocado/coconut oil/butter/ghee and protein makes me feel full for a long period of time and I don't feel like eating all the time! If I have a sweet tooth, then I'll make something with stevia powder. It really helps because it's the same sweetness as sugar!
Great advice! We need to purge the old information that eating make you fat. It just isn't that simple, wish it were. But, many doctors have told me weight loss is much harder for people with PCOS. They will have to work much harder than most to lose as much weight. The good news is, it isn't impossible, just slower! And eating tons of healthy fat, moderate amounts of protein and less than 20 carbs/day, for me: everyone has different levels of carb sensitivity, works great to take the weight off naturally (1-2 lbs/week)