Blissful and Domestic - Creating a Beautiful Life on Less: My Battle with PCOS...

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

My Battle with PCOS...

As promised, I am taking some time to talk about my battle with PCOS. I recently shared a post on instagram and used the #PCOS. I had no clue that there would be such a response from it. You all truly are some of the most encouraging people around. Many of you also suffer from this syndrome and were asking me questions and wanting me to write about it, so here I am. I will share a little bit of how I came to find out I had it and what I am doing to get it under control.

Here we go...

A year ago I had a miscarriage. After the miscarriage, I just never felt like I truly got back to normal. My cycle never returned back to it's "normal" cycle and I had a bunch of other symptoms as well. I kept gaining weight, no matter what I ate. I couldn't lose the weight I was gaining (no matter how hard I worked out), I would break out all the time on my face, and a few other things. With all of this happening, I knew it was time to ask my OB/GYN. I had my yearly appointment and told her all that I was experiencing. She wanted to do blood work and an ultra sound. I was hopeful, feeling like finally we could get things back to normal and get us back on the baby train. We have been wanting more children for years, so any amount of delay was very saddening to me.

My Battle with PCOS...

I honestly thought it would be something with my thyroid or maybe I needed a hormone boost or something, I was not prepared when the doctor came in and told me I had PCOS. I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. It  is a hormonal disorder that causes enlarged ovaries with small cysts. You can read more about it here.

The doctor took time explaining what I had and how it was greatly affecting hubby and I growing our family. Women who have PCOS, usually show certain signs or symptoms. I had a huge amount of them. You don't have to be overweight to have it, but it is common as it causes hormone imbalances that cause your body to produce large amounts of insulin and basically throws your body out of whack.

My Battle with PCOS...


When you have PCOS, if you don't get it under control, you are at risk for diabetes, heart disease, and endocrine cancer. It also causes infertility.

I still remember when the doctor spoke those words. I broke down and started crying. It didn't seem fair. Yes I have two kiddos, but I really wanted more. I had prayed for more, so why was that being taken away from me? I felt that loss very deep. I was understandably bummed those first few days and cried a lot. Thankfully I have a great support in my Hubby, who was right there by my side. He's the best shoulder to cry on.

My Battle with PCOS...


I have a really good doctor, who also suffers from PCOS, so she was able to share some first hand knowledge of what has worked for her to get it under control. She gave me some websites to go home and study. She told me that "yes PCOS has all these symptoms and all these health problems can occur because of it, but there is hope". She has been able to control her PCOS through diet and exercise. She said that I had to basically change everything I was doing. The diets to lose weight in the past never worked for me because calorie counting is not how my body loses weight. Foods like dairy, gluten, sugar, and refined carbs (white flour carbs), are hard for my body to digest, causing it to send out a lot of insulin. The more that I study, the more I understand. I was only diagnosed a few weeks ago, so it is all new to me.

After those first few days of my BIG time pity party, I started researching more. If I could find a way to control my PCOS with diet and exercise, than I needed to do it.

This is NOT just a temporary thing to allow me to ovulate and ultimately get pregnant, but is a life style change because I'll always have PCOS and I need to get it under control, so I can prevent some of those other health problems that come with it.

When I first started researching diets and stuff for PCOS, I was really overwhelmed. I decided to just try a few things at first and then I would continue to work my way through eliminating those things that are not good for me.

My Battle with PCOS...

First off, I cut sugar out right away. In the past three weeks I have only had one churro at Costco and a bite of my daughter's cupcake. For this sugarholic, that is a big deal. I also started cutting out dairy and switching to a plant based, whole grain diet. Thankfully some of these changes we had been making over the past year, so I was not totally overwhelmed. The hardest thing for me has actually been the dairy. I still eat cheese with dinner sometimes, but I no longer snack on it. I also switched us over to soy milk. I am taking the dairy elimination at a slow pace, as it is the hardest one for me right now. Surprisingly sugar has not been a big deal. I am getting enough sweets from the fruits I eat that I feel quite satisfied in the sweet tooth area.

I have also been working out 6 days a week. Right now I am using Jillian Micheals Get Ripped in 30. I have lost 15 lbs so far and am feeling amazing. My energy is back and my face is even starting to clear up. Thank the heavens for that one. I was getting tired of feeling like a teenager.

It is still a struggle, but one I am willing to fight. I don't want the word "infertility" to define me. I know that with hard work I can do this. It may take a while, but I hope that God willing we will be able to get pregnant. I know it will take a while, but I am totally up for the challenge.

If you want to see how I am progressing, check me out on instagram. Posting has been a great encouragement to me, so I will keep that up. I hope it encourages you as well.

Thank you for listening and for always being amazing readers and friends.

If you want to learn more about controlling your PCOS with diet and exercise check out here and here. They have been some of my favorite sites to learn from.

Also most women with PCOS are referred to a fertility specialist to find out about invitro or taking fertility drugs. For Hubby and I this is not an option we are considering. I just wanted to let you know that it is something we have thought and prayed about, but do not feel it is what we should do at this time.

Thank you always for your love and support. You lovelies are the best!

XO Danielle

P.S.

The pictures above I pulled from my Instagram. They are some of my progress pictures I've been posting over the past few weeks :)

30 comments:

  1. You're amazing for facing this straight on and tackling it! Keep it up Danielle!

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  2. YOU ARE A QUEEN! Seriously my idol. My sister also have PCOS, so this was a good read. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. I feel your pain, I too have PCOS. I have primary and secondary infertility, primary is where my eggs do not reach a certain size to be able to be fertilized and become a baby. Secondary is the PCOS, altho my fertility doctor said in all reality they are both primary. If both aren't treated there isn't a chance of a baby, we were lucky with our little (now 9 almost 10). We did have to go fertility treatments to have him, it's a hard struggle and choice. you are doing amazing. and no it doesn't matter how many littles you have if your desire is more children (I know that struggle too), God made us to be mommas and put that desire in us, keep ur hard work up.

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  4. I also have PCOS. Infertility was heartbreaking for me. I am barren due to the fact that I only produce cyst and never a viable egg. God had a different plan for forming my family. I am still in awe of how things worked out for us to bring our Megan home. :) Wishing you the best with your plan to combat PCOS!

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  5. I did have one more question - when you say plant based - are you now vegetarian or just more heavily on plant side? I'm checking out the sites you mentioned.

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  6. you are doing amazing!!! i love seeing your instagram photos and following your progress, you got this girl!!!

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  7. I'm so sorry Danielle, but I know that finally having a diagnosis is a huge step in the right direction. Keep up all the good work- very proud of you! Sending you my prayers <3

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  8. Best wishes and I'm sure you are the kind of person who is going to shine through this. I'm no expert on any of this, just wanted to throw out that Almond milk is great for you and there is always that distant talk of soy and plant hormones...just thinking out loud here.

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    1. I wanted to say the same think about soy Julie.

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    2. Agreed. Soy is highly genetically modified which creates extra proteins that are allergens.

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    3. Agreed! I was a huge soy milk lover until I learned that it is actually a crop that is used to "clean" the soil. Just food for thought. Almond milk is just as delicious!

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  9. That must be difficult to swallow and I'm so happy you were brave enough to share it with us! Thank you :)
    Hang in there and keep praying - God is a God of miracles


    Happy Medley Blog

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  10. You can do this!! I was just diagnosed 4 weeks ago with an autoimmune disease. Hashimotos Thyroiditus which us requiring me to make some life style changes too, eliminating all gluten, dairy, sugar, soy and corn. I have seen your posts on IG and they are helping me stay on track! Thank you! It is not easy, but you are benefitting not only yourself by making these changes, but also your family and future babies. :)

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  11. Danielle, thanks so much for posting. I was diagnosed yesterday and I'm still feeling a little down about it. So this is perfectly timed. For me it came as a blow because I'm only 26 and plan to get married this year. And we want a lot of kids. My husband to be is very supportive and is helping me to change my diet and lifestyle. Thanks for your positivity. (Trinidad and Tobago)

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  12. You are doing great!!!! A great resource for recipes are the happy herbivore cookbooks....I have them all and all the recipes are easy and great. I'm rooting for ya!!

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  13. Im about to start addressing my PCOS in two weeks with a new doctor, and Im so nervous. So I came across this post just in time.

    Good luck fighting PCOS!

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  14. Danielle, I am so sorry to hear this.. I will put you on my prayer list. With God , all things is possible.
    Congrats on fighting this battle.. You are doing a great job..loosing 15 lbs already.. That is wonderful.
    Thank you for sharing with us, so we can pray for you..
    Sending big ole hug.

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  15. Thanks for sharing your story. Have you seen the documentary Fed Up? It is amazing just how much sugar is in the foods we eat.

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  16. Enjoy your blog. So sorry for what you are going through. I will keep you and yours in my prayers. One thought if you don't mind, chiming in with previous comments. Please do research on soy. Almond or cashew milk is a great choice. You can purchase or make homemade. I feel it is a healthier alternative. Take care.

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  17. When I was told I had pre-diabetes, I was really confused about carbohydrates. I thought of "sugar" as candy bars and cupcakes, but didn't realize that sugar was also fruit and whole wheat. More specifically, I didn't understand the insulin responses to eating things I typically thought of as "good for me," like whole wheat. http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/understanding-carbohydrates/types-of-carbohydrates.html This link was helpful. I also read Wheat Belly and did a ton of research into the Paleo/Low Carb Diet. Anyway. Good luck!

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  18. Hello! I am a long-time reader of this blog and also have PCOS. Not to sound like a weirdo, but I have suspected you might also suffer from PCOS for a while due to the pictures you post, since your symptoms seem to be almost exactly the same as my own (the things you mentioned above but especially the weight and acne). Though getting the diagnosis is tough, know that your body is capable of conceiving as you already have two beautiful kids! It might just take a bit longer. I wouldn't even use the "infertility" word since you obviously ARE NOT infertile, your redheads prove that. It sounds like you are off to a great start with your weight loss, that was the number one thing my doctor told me. I had success following a paleo diet and my sister (also has PCOS) did well when prescribed Metformin. My husband and I have been TTC (trying to conceive) for over two years and I have faith that I will get pregnant. In fact, I am hoping that this is the month for us!! I will be keeping you in my thoughts. If you haven't, check out PCOS diet support website. They have a ton of good info and just recently released a free video series. Best of luck!

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  19. Just an FYI, try almond milk instead of soy. Soy has natural estrogen and if you have problems with ovarian cysts the soy will make you more likely to get them. I have Endometriosis so I too have to avoid soy for that same reason.

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  20. I'm so sorry for this hardship, but you are already making such amazing progress. Fifteen pounds lost is fantastic! Praying that you are blessed with another little one in the future, but until then, you are still giving yourself and your family such a GIFT with this new lifestyle. We all need to remember to never take our health or longevity for granted. God bless!

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  21. I am so sorry to hear about your diagnosis! I will be praying for you and your sweet family. I did want to know where did you get the Christmas Vacation shirt...I LOVE IT!!

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  22. Danielle, I know you are getting a lot of advice right now about what to do and how. Well, I want to add to it. There is a book called "Trim Healthy Mama" (if you haven't already heard about it)that has caused many woman that had PCOS to get pregnant and cary full term and have healthy babes. This is a answer to their prayers. There is also a THM facebook group that you can join these ladies are so encouraging to one another. I have bought the book and have lost 17 lbs and kept it off. This is not just for the mamas but for the whole family. Here's the fb group link. https://m.facebook.com/groups/425450264194797?ref=bookmark
    God bless you and I will be praying for you.

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  23. Girl you are doing awesome! 15 pounds is huge, congrats!

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  24. I found your blog just by searching for PCOS on feedly and this post came up. I just got diagnosed with PCOS in March and I will be following along and rooting for you. I am having weight loss success with Whole30. Have you heard of it? You might want to research it---it's very similar to Paleo and may help you curb your sugar addiction. It has certainly helped me with mine.

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  25. Good luck to you! I just have to give you my 2 cents though about the soy milk. It's probably the worse substitute you can drink. Soy acts like estrogen in the body, which we know can cause cancer. You may want to consider coconut milk or almond milk instead. Just something to consider. :)

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  26. You said you switched to plant based; so maybe you've seen this video. This is the most powerful video I've seen about veganism and Pcos. Sorry about the cursing :-(
    https://youtu.be/SMkYwAuPZCA

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