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


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