5 reasons why you might be struggling with your PCOS
Oooo baby I’m SO excited to jam out about this topic because I was someone who struggled with PCOS for YEARS! Mainly because I had no idea I even had PCOS because my doctor said my blood work was normal, it was normal to have 3-4 periods a year & I didn’t have enough cysts on my ovaries… all. of. that. is. BULLSH*T!
So with that being said, I 10000% understand what it’s like to feel out of control when it comes to your PCOS. But I’m also here to let you know that you CAN THRIVE with PCOS (without birth control, spironolactone, metformin or clomid- of course always consult your doctor & never just stop taking a medication), that it doesn’t have to be that difficult & nutrition & lifestyle support is what’s MOST important when it comes to PCOS.
What is PCOS & how do you get diagnosed with it?
In case you’re like I was years ago, & you really didn’t even know what PCOS is… here’s an overview. It’s a lifelong metabolic disorder. Which is why knowing how to create a supportive lifestyle that addresses the root cause of your PCOS is SO important because it’s not something that goes away.
There are different criteria when it comes to being diagnosed with PCOS but the one that’s most respected and I personally subscribe to (at the time I’m writing this- this can change since there’s more & more people researching PCOS now) is the Rotterdam Criteria.
The Rotterdam Criteria states that in order to be diagnosed with PCOS you must have TWO out of the three criteria:
1. Hyperandrogenism: This means an excess amount of Androgens which are male hormones. So this could be high amounts of testosterone or DHEA on a blood test (ATTN! Just because it falls in the “normal” range doesn’t mean it’s the optimal range!) That’s where a lot of pit falls happen- like it did to me.
Symptomatically this can present itself as cystic acne, excess hair growth on your face, body, around your nipples, down your stomach, hair loss on your head and thinning eyebrows.
2. Anovulatory Cycles: This means that you have irregular periods (they don’t come every 21-35 days, they’re very inconsistent) and that you’re not ovulating. A period is NOT a sign of ovulation. So the only way to know if you’re actually ovulating is by tracking your biomarkers: Cervical Mucus, Basal Body Temperature &/or the position of your cervix. See a previous blog post I did on this topic.
3. Polycystic ovaries on an ultrasound. Sometimes this will be referred to as a string of pearls.
You do not have to have ALL 3 of these, just 2 out of the three. So polycystic ovaries aren’t even required for you to have PCOS which is why experts are hoping to get the name changed to one that more mimics what PCOS really is.
Okay now that we got that out of the way… let’s talk about why you might be struggling with it:
5 reasons you’re struggling with your PCOS
Now this might feel like I’m calling you out but it’s all from LOVE! I WISH someone told me these things when I was doing the majority of them, was so frustrated and had NO CLUE what was really going on. So know that I’ve been there and now I’m paving the path for you!
1. You’re trying to get rid of your symptoms of cystic acne, facial hair growth, irregular periods, constipation/bloating &/or possibly weight gain with topical treatments, laser hair removal, probiotics, cleanses etc instead of addressing & targeting the ROOT CAUSE.
Oooof this one hits home! I can’t even count how many laser hair removal treatments I did that didn’t do SHIT!
Why? Because the root cause of insulin resistance and inflammation still weren’t healed and were still causing my ovaries to produce more testosterone that was causing the facial hair growth. It didn’t matter how many laser treatments I did, that shit was still growing back. It wasn’t until I healed the root of it by changing my nutrition & lifestyle that it slowed wayyyy down. Once a hair follicle is there, it’s there. Which really sucks. BUT the speed at which the hair grows in drastically changes so that’s a big win!
(Ps. I teach you how to heal the root cause of your PCOS & create a hormone supportive lifestyle in my course The Mind Your Hormones Method)
2. You’re following “health” trends like 16+ hour fasts, skipping meals, cutting calories, doing a lot of cardio & trying diets like keto or paleo. (some of which your Gyno may have recommended)
UGHHH. Another one that makes my blood boil. This is just exacerbating a major root cause of PCOS: insulin resistance. Which is why if you’ve tried these things before, you haven’t seen consistent, sustainable results.
3. You’re going on birth control, spironolactone &/or metformin because that’s what your Gyno told you to do which is masking the problem & causing more issues to arise.
NONE of those medications heal or treat PCOS. Period. They put a Band-Aid on it and have side effects that now get added into the mix.
The MOST supportive thing when it comes to thriving with PCOS is learning how to eat, move & live in a way that targets the root cause, keeps it at bay & allows you to live your freaking life without being bogged down by the annoying symptoms.
Medication simply isn’t doing that for you. Like I ALWAYS say: there’s a time and place for medication, never just stop taking medication & always consult with your doctor.
4. You’re trying random herbs & supplements like white peony, licorice & Vitex/Chasteberry because you’ve heard that they help with PCOS.
Okay first things first, those herbs can & are AMAZING! BUT they won’t do shit unless you first address the root cause of your PCOS and shift the things you’re currently doing day in and day out that are unintentionally sabotaging you and keeping that root cause active.
5. You’re hyper focused on your diet instead of also taking a look at your lifestyle which plays a major role in PCOS.
I did this for a longgg time too. Once I realized how powerful food really was and how I could use it as medicine to support my hormones, PCOS and vitality in general, it became something I HYPER focused on. Until the point where it wasn’t even healthy anymore because I was honestly scared to eat certain things, was really strict with myself and didn’t allow myself to fully enjoy certain events/celebrations because of the food aspect.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m still super conscious of what I put into my body and how it makes me feel. But I’ve loosened my grip on it because I now realize that food is just part of the puzzle. There are so many other things that support our health & PCOS that have nothing to do with food.
Sleep, movement, setting boundaries, how much sunlight we are or aren’t getting, targeted supplementation, stress levels etc. ALL of it matters and with PCOS specifically, lifestyle changes are crucial!
A path forward...
If you’re still reading this and you’re in the place right now where you feel super frustrated because you’ve tried 100 different things but your PCOS is still running your life, I want you to know that it doesn’t have to be that way.
YOU are the one that’s in control. It’s just that you don’t currently have the tools you need in order to make real change in a positive direction.
This is literally why I left my 9 year teaching career in August of 2020 so I could help more and more women who wanted to learn about a more holistic way of living so they could start thriving and realize that they can heal themselves.
If you haven’t already listened to the Mind Your Hormones Podcast get started there! There’s tons of content & information that will support you!
And if you’re someone who’s ready to cut through all the BS, get a step by step roadmap of how to actually heal the root cause of your PCOS using food, lifestyle and supplementation so you can be the one in the driver’s seat, I’d highly recommend The Mind Your Hormones Method. It’s DESIGNED for you!
Sending you the BIGGEST hug and healing vibes always!
Remember to always trust the process and Mind Your Hormones <3
Mind Your Hormones
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