This is going to be a ranting post so hold on tight.
I have been having a hell of a time with my PCOS symptoms lately. I am gaining weight, craving sugar and crying at commercials. I haven’t had a real period in months. In fact, I have gained so much weight that I am unable to work out like I have been because my body hurts. I have never been the one that couldn’t take my dog for a walk down the block or not be able to walk up 2 flights of stairs, but now my body is completely betraying me. It is taking all my effort to walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes at a slow pace. WHAT IS HAPPENING?
I started going back into the depression mode and people at work started to notice. I can’t stand it because no one understands- except for if you have it. If you have it you can spot the symptoms a mile away. A girl that I work with straight up asked me if I had PCOS and I felt an overwhelming sense of relief when we started to talk about it. Someone else finally understood how hard it is to live this life everyday.
One of the most common struggles I hear when researching or talking to others that have PCOS is that we feel so alone. No one understands just how deep and complex the issue is, not even the doctors who we are trusting to treat it.
PCOS symptoms are complex.
Let’s break it down.
The biggest issue with the physical symptoms, especially as a child, is the shaming that comes with it. The self shaming for letting it get that way, the feeling of shame when you step on the scale at the doctor and their response is “if you lose the weight the symptoms will go away.. you need to lose X amount of pounds. If you can’t do it on your own we will need to explore surgery. “
Thats all fine and dandy, but the internal symptoms of PCOS make that virtually impossible.
The Insulin resistance is the biggest culprit. The best way to describe this is that when you have insulin resistance your body is not processing food like the rest of the “normal” population. It holds on to every calorie and stores it as fat because it thinks that its starving. The food is not being used as energy in the proper way which causes extreme fatigue and sugar cravings. Not only are we always hungry but we literally cannot be satiated because our hormones say nahh. There is no magic pill to fix these hormones so they throw birth-control and diabetes meds at us that can kinda help but were not actually made to help PCOS?
Let’s review.. so were starving and our bodies are processing all foods as sugar (from celery to cupcakes) and storing as fat and the only way to help this is to lose weight. THE FUK. Not possible. Which then brings us to the mental symptoms.
You can guess that this causes depression and anxiety and a hell of a lot of stress. Not only from the frustration of it and society judging us, but the fact that the hormones are all out of wack. This causes mood fluctuation and effects the serotonin, dopamine and cortisol levels in the body. So we take anti depressants and anti anxiety meds so that we can make it though the day without breaking down. We feed the body sugar and carbs to give us enough energy to meet the expectations of our bosses and friends. We talk with our doctors to get answers and there does not seem to be any.. so we wait it out. Wait for the next fluctuation of hormones and hope that these ones treat us just a little better.
What happens next?
Great question. I wish I had the answer for you. PCOS is a guessing game, it’s a maze and a never ending puzzle that is consistently missing pieces. What works for one women may not work for the other. 1 in 10 women have PCOS, yet no one can come up with proper treatment for it. Most women get diagnosed with the condition when they try to get pregnant, then there are the women like me who was diagnosed at 8 years old and have been fighting this never ending battle for 20 years.
Cysters, let’s talk.
While this is the opposite of uplifting I hope that if you are a cyster this helps you feel less alone. I understand your struggle, I understand the pressure and the shame. We are all in this together. Please share your story, or comment and let everyone know that you are fighting this same battle. Tips and tricks are welcome but my goal with this is awareness and connectivity.
have a great week, keep fighting.