Finding My Smile Again After PCOS
This post is a little bit different from something I would normally write about. Like I stated in my last post, there is a reason I stopped blogging. Today I decided to share that with y’all.
Some of you have seen me talk about this on other social media platforms, but I thought I would go into depth on here. Hopefully I can help other women experiencing the same thing.
My journey starts at about 23. I started to gain weight. 10 pounds, fine, I’m getting older and I hear that’s just what happens. A year goes by and I’ve gained about 20 more pounds and not diet or exercise helped. At this point I started to question it, because I never had weight issues in the past. I saw my gyno at the time and she told me “you’re just getting older”. I felt like that wasn’t right, but I just thought “oh well, she’s the doctor”. 🤷
With all of the weight gain came other bad things, like anxiety and depression. I couldn’t do anything. I didn’t want to go anywhere or be around anyone. All I could think about was how fat I was. Hints why I stopped posting on here and stopped posting full body photos on instagram. I had dreams, but couldn’t do what I needed to get to what I wanted. It was completely frustrating. I fell into a deep depression. I hated myself so much. I was broken and missing the girl I was just a few years before. I had no idea what was wrong with me and every doctor I saw made me feel crazy. They never actually tested me for anything, just chalked it up to “getting older”. My new gyno changed up my birth control, but that’s all.
I was 25 at this point and I decided to take matters into my own hands. I thought that my hormones were out of wack because of the birth control I was taking, so I decided to stop taking it all together. Well, that’s when all hell broke loose. I started getting acne EVERYWHERE. I hadn’t had acne at all since I was like 16. The hair above my upper lip also started to look darker. I have very light blonde hair on my face, so I usually don’t notice it. BUT I HAD A MUSTACHE Y’ALL. I started texting with one of my friends about what was going on and she immediately said, “It sounds like you may have PCOS”. What the heck is that?! I had literally never heard of it before. So I googled it and I had almost every. single. symptom. Anxiety, depression, weight gain, unwanted hair growth, acne. I scheuled an appointment with my gyno right away to get tested for it.
Here’s the thing, PCOS is kind of hard to diagnose. They have to check several things, because woman don’t always have cysts on their ovaries when they have PCOS. And even if you do get cysts, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have it. Sometimes you can only be diagnosed by blood work and physical symptoms. My doctor tested my blood and found I was insulin resistant, which means my body makes insulin just fine, it just doesn’t respond to it correclty. This is another symptom of PCOS and left unchecked can cause type 2 diabetes.
My doctor told me this specific symptom of PCOS was what caused me to gain all of the weight in such a short amount of time. That’s also why no diet or exercise was working. She placed me on medication (Metformin) to regulate my insulin, and put me back on birth control to control the acne and hair growth. You see, I had been taking birth control since I was about 19 years old because I had painful periods, so I was basically masking the syptoms all of those years.
Since being on the medicine I have lost about 20 pounds and counting. It made me really sick at first, and I mean REALLY sick. I was constantly nauseaus or my stomach was hurting. After about 3 months of being on the medication I could finally take it without getting sick.
I do want to add something here, because before I was diagnosed I was told by multiple people what I needed to be doing so I could lose weight. These people had no idea that I was actually dealing with a medical conditon and all they did was make how I felt about myself worse. So please, If someone you know gains weight, don’t ever comment on it. You never know if it’s because they are “lazy” or if it is an actual medical problem causing it. Especially if you are not around them every day and don’t know their daily habits. Be kind. People that are overweight often feel bad enough about themselves without people telling them what they think they should be doing.
It has been a long road, and I will still have to fight PCOS every day for the rest of my life, but I’m feeling better now. There’s always the worry about infertility and being at a higher risk for certain cancers and diabetes, but with this knowledge comes power. Now I can take my life into my own hands and work to try to reverse the insulin resistance to lose the weight and feel better. The weight loss can also help combat some of the other issues that may arise.
So that’s where I’m at right now. Just trying to take it day by day. I’m learning to love myself and I’m finding my smile again. I still have very bad days, but atleast I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now. It’s been hard for me to grasp the fact that this condition has robbed me of most of my 20s, but I refuse to let it rob me of any more time.
If you are dealing with any of the symptoms I have talked about here, speak to your gyno or an endocrinologist. Ask to be tested for it if you have to. Never let a doctor make you think you are wrong for what you are feeling. They don’t always get it right.