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Old 05-15-2010, 09:55 AM   #31
sweetsunshine72
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Hi "nobody", and welcome to the boards!

To be honest, PCOS is really a metabolic issue that just happens to have gyno symptoms, so it's really outside of the scope of practice of an ob/gyno to properly diagnose & treat. There are a few who've done extra training, or who've gotten the experience, but really, all a gyno's been trained to do is treat symptoms - which means BCP's. What you really need is an endocrinologist. They have the training and expertise required to properly diagnose you and to actually treat what is causing everything to go haywire in the first place (almost always some form of Insulin Resistance and/or a thyroid issue)!

The good news is that PCOS is TOTALLY manageable! Granted, some people do find it harder than others, and it's not easy, but it CAN be done! And, once you get a handle on the underlying metabolic issue, then most people find their symptoms getting a lot better, too!

The biggest things you can do for yourself: 1) switch to a low-GI-type diet, 2) get rid of as much processed and pre-cooked food as you can and eat home-cooked, wholesome meals, 3) start being more active (walking, riding a bicycle, taking dance lessons, swimming... whatever). These are some pretty simple changes you can make that can do a world of good!!!

Another great option is to find a Naturopathic Doctor in your area. ND's are actually trained to: sit down with you and discuss all of your problems and see what you can do for all of them, treating the underlying cause. The ND's approach works suprisingly well on whole-body issues like IR and PCOS. If you have trouble finding an ND in your area, or just want to do some research, a fantastic site is: www.womentowomen.com They use a holistic combination of regular medicine and natural medicine, and they are experts in achieving hormonal health naturally. They have some great information on their site, too!

Regular doctors are more trained on either dealing with symptoms, or doing tests to find major diseases. They tend to tackle things one symptom group at a time, not looking at your whole body. Some are better than others, and there ARE some really great docs out there who have a holistic approach - but it's hard to find them.

Anyways, take care, and I hope you find someone who can help you soon! Hang in there!!! (((HUGS)))
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Cannot tolerate BCP
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Now, Metformin 1,500 mg/day, Fish Oil, D3, good multi
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:43 PM   #32
chobit99
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So I recently was diagnosed with PCOS and severe anxiety, and based on my knowledge I've had it for six years. It's definitely been a struggle because my old doctor would always do standard tests and find my bloodwork to be normal, minus the low iron due to blood loss from always having my period, saying there was nothing physically wrong with me, that I was just imagining it all basically. Until recently, with my new doctor, I discovered PCOS. Now I am trying to go about finding out ways to treat it. Her suggestion was to put me on birth control and anti-depressants. I was wondering, if first of all it would be better to start off with birth control, and what kind of brands are good for helping the PCOS symptoms? I'm having trouble figuring it out because I'm so overwhelmed and I always hear about bad side effects birth control pills can cause.
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Old 06-22-2010, 10:38 AM   #33
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Well, first of all, PCOS is not a gyno condition, but a metabolic issue that just happens to have gyno symptoms. That means that all a BCP will do is cover up some of the symptoms. Unfortunately, long-term use of BCP's has also been strongly linked to worsening of metabolic issues, so you can actually be feeling better while things are getting worse "behind the scenes". Considering you're low on iron, though, from a constant period (it sounds), it might be helpful to do a 3- to 6-month run just to give you a break from the bleeding. I would say "6 of one, half-dozen of another". The BCP's most commonly given to help with PCOS are Yaz and Yasmin.

Now, to tackle the underlying issue, Insulin Resistance (which can be VERY difficult to diagnose based on standard bloodwork as you can have it for 10 - 15 years before your blood sugar starts to go up). Metformin is the most common medication given to PCOS women because it helps your body use insulin more effectively. With IR, your body starts having trouble using insulin, and has to over-produce it in order to try and keep your blood sugar stable. All that extra insulin in your system is what triggers the hormone imbalances. With Metformin combined with a low-GI-type diet and exercise, your body starts to rebalance itself, including hormone levels. Both hormone levels and blood sugar levels affect mood. I had some major issues with depression and anxiety, and I found they almost disappeared once I got a handle on my blood sugar (I'm prone to low blood sugar - hypoglycemia)!

If all your doctor is doing is offering BCP's and anti-depressants, but not tackling the underlying issues, I would strongly suggest that you get a referral to an endocrinologist! They are the specialists in metabolism, and are the ones most likely to be able to help you. Family docs and gyno's just don't get the training necessary to diagnose or deal with metabolic disorders, although there are a few out there who've either taken extra training or have a lot of experience and have taught themselves to be quite good at it.

Take care, and HTH!!!! (((HUGS)))
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www.massageforlifenb.com

Also:
DS (1992)
Diagnosed PCOS 1994
Cannot tolerate BCP
No treatment for 12 years
Now, Metformin 1,500 mg/day, Fish Oil, D3, good multi
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:28 PM   #34
Heckman71
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I am almost 17 years old and i am beginning to think i have this syndrome. The main thing that stands out is the irregular periods. I've been on my period for 4 or 5 years, and my periods seemed more regular when i first started than they do now. My mother has told her gyn about this, but says it comes with my young age. It's been this long and it still hasn't kicked into cycle, and i am becoming worried. I know many friends who are on birth control for period issues, but i'm not sure why i haven't been recommended anything or even a checkup. I have gone at least 3 months in a row without a period, and i honestly am not sure when i last had my period because i was told it was normal.

I also gained about 25 pounds over the summer, although i've always been overweight. It doesn't make sense why i would gain weight over the summer than the winter. The summer before i had lost about 20 pounds. So i have gained back that and plus 30 more in 2 years.

I have also seemed to have dark stomach hair, and i thought it was normal. But the hair symptom is now standing out because i have recently noticed random hairs on my breasts. I'm pretty sure this isn't normal, but i'm not sure.
I hope someone has awnsers for my uncertainties.
Also, do these hormones affect breast size? My one boob is almost twice as large as the other.
I'm pretty lost and would love feedback. Thanks.
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:13 AM   #35
sweetsunshine72
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Hi Heckman, and welcome!!!

First of all, I would speak with your mother about all of this. Show her the stomach hair, and go over your weight loss/gain. Also go over any change in activity/eating patterns you might have had at that time. Tell her that you really feel that something is wrong. It might even be a good idea to keep a "food & exercise journal" for a while. You are old enough to see a doctor on your own, but you need an ally to help you through this!

It is true that many women are irregular in their cycles for the first year or two. It is true that many teens go through a temporary state of hormone imbalance when they first hit puberty because their body is changing and "learning" its new "job" of reproduction. It is *NOT* usual to have this last for 4 or 5 years, and it is *NOT* a good thing to go without a period for more than 3 months.

You are also showing signs of a possible metabolic issue, which is the key problem when it comes to PCOS. In fact, it's more like PCOS is a group of symptoms that can happen when you have this kind of metabolic issue. This is why this is not really a job for an ob/gyn, but an endocrinologist (metabolic specialist). Your family doctor can refer you to one.

To be honest, so many girls are thrown onto birth control pills for "cycle irregularities" without a second thought, it's unbelievable! All BCP's do is hide symptoms. They won't "make you better", and can, in fact, make things worse with long-term use. Many of the women here on the boards were given BCP's for "period issues" when they were teens, and were only diagnosed as married women when they were trying to have a baby.

Taking BCP's (or any medication for that matter) is completely your decision. They *are* good for birth control (if that's an issue), and they *will* make you have a good "cleaning out" - which *is* important if you haven't had a period for a long time, so a 3-month course of BCP's might be a good idea in your case. Just make sure you get all of your hormonal blood testing done before you start. There are other options, too, like taking Provera to "kick-start" a period when necessary.

As for the boob thing, sometimes that just happens. If it was from PCOS, it would affect both of them, not just the one. Most women have one that's larger than the other (my right one is a half a cup size larger), just like one foot will be a bit larger. I had a friend in high school who actually had surgery (reduction on one side, and implant on the other) because it was extreme enough that it really affected her. You are the only person who can decide how much it bothers you. Medically, I would mention it to all of your doctors, but I don't think there's much to worry about.

I know this is scary and a bit overwhelming, but you CAN do this!!! PCOS *CAN* be managed, and in the end, you can actually be a healthier person because of it! Hang in there!!! (((HUGS)))
__________________
Registered Massage Therapist
2200-hour program in Canada
Focus on women's health and managing chronic health issues
www.massageforlifenb.com

Also:
DS (1992)
Diagnosed PCOS 1994
Cannot tolerate BCP
No treatment for 12 years
Now, Metformin 1,500 mg/day, Fish Oil, D3, good multi
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