Polycystic ovarian syndrome: 8 things TikTok taught me about PCOS

Spent the last week falling down the rabbit hole and all of the sudden things are just clicking in my head. I found out things I wish my doctor explained to me when I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome. I have talked about before when I was diagnosed with PCOS and recently have been very public about my weight loss journey.

Somehow scrolling through TikTok I ended up on PCOStok. Every video on my for you page was about PCOS and it got me thinking. I want to share 8 things that will blow your mind about PCOS that I learned from TikTok.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome

If you do not know what PCOS I will give you a brief summary. PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. PCOS is a common health problem that can affect women. It can cause irregular menstrual periods, heavier periods, or not even have a period every month. Which can make it hard for women who are trying to conceive. Plain and simple infertility issues. There are also a lot of different side effects. Some women can get them all or just some. The most common side effects are excess hair and acne.

There is no cure for PCOS. It is something you have to learn to manage and learn to reduce the symptoms. I got diagnosed back in 2017 and I have had my fair share of ups and downs these past 3 years.

The frustration

I was grateful for my doctor being able to tell me what was wrong with me, but her first response to me was that I needed to lose weight. Losing weight could benefit me a lot. Hearing that news I was excited, I was ready to start. My weight kept fluctuating between 10lbs. Expressing my concern to her, she suggested I speak with a specialist about gastric bypass. I am not against gastric bypass, but I wanted to do it on my own, and if I couldn’t then I would see the specialist.

She then recommended I see the weight loss doctor in their clinic. The doctor suggested an appetite suppressant. We explained when I say we, I mean Mike and I. We explained to the doctor that I barely eat as it is. Mike eats 3 times the amount I do. Explaining that did no good. So, I gave in and tried the pills. It did nothing, but make me tired and have no energy.

I was having side effects from the medication my OB-GYN put me on. They suggested I stop the medication. By stopping the medication meant I stopped having my period. So not having my period, having no energy, and being tired all the time cause frustration and because of this frustration, I gave up.

Starting over

2 months ago Mike wanted to start going to the gym. I went with him for moral support, but then I decided I needed to lose this weight. I will never have a baby if I don’t do anything about it. Starting this weight loss journey has been an eye-opener. I am back to not being able to lose the first 10lbs.

My weight keeps fluctuating. It has been very frustrating since I have become very determined that this time will be different. Making myself very cautious about what I put in my body and how much. I don’t eat much as it is, but when I was eating it wasn’t the healthiest.

Working out was great I loved it and saw some improvements within the first couple of weeks. My sciatic stopped bothering me. I always had a dull pain in my left butt cheek and had a pull on the side of my left knee. Those were gone.

Changing my eating habits was going to be the hardest part. I had to undo 34 years of bad eating habits. If you want to know what I did starting over I will create a separate post about food. I can also make a post about the exercises I am doing as well. Let me know in the comments.

But let’s get into the reasons for this post. These are 8 things that will blow your mind about PCOS that I learned from TikTok.

Tiktok Creators

I ended up coming across two profiles that really blew my mind and explained a lot of things I was feeling. The first creator is Tallene from pcos.weight.loss and the second is Letisha from thatpcoscoach. Both of these ladies have PCOS as well as many others have made it their mission to spread knowledge and positivity surrounding PCOS. Please look them up if you have PCOS and a TikTok.

Different types of PCOS

I did not know that there were different kinds of polycystic ovarian syndrome. The different types are:

Adrenal Fatigue – can be caused by an underactive thyroid, low vitamin B12 or vitamin D levels, and anemia (low blood count). Factors such as sleep problems and side effects of medications can also play a role.

Inflammation – Chronic low-grade inflammation has emerged as a key contributor to the pathogenesis of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). A dietary trigger such as glucose is capable of inciting oxidative stress and an inflammatory response from mononuclear cells (MNC) of women with PCOS, and this phenomenon is independent of obesity.

Insulin Resistance – Insulin resistance and impaired glucose tolerance are present in a large percentage (ranging from 44-70%) of women with PCOS.(2). Insulin resistance is a key contributor to metabolic disturbance and is a driver in the pathogenesis of PCOS.

Hypothyroid – associated with a high incidence of subclinical hypothyroidism, goiters, and autoimmune thyroiditis, as BioMed Research International, reports. Another study published in Endocrine Abstracts found that of 107 women with PCOS, half of the participants had a thyroid-related disease, such as positive thyroid antibodies, thyroid dysfunction, or nodules. Women with both PCOS and subclinical hypothyroidism have also been shown to have higher levels of LDL cholesterol, according to Fertility and Sterility.

Nature can lower cortisol

Sitting or walking outside for 20 minutes a day can decrease the stress hormone cortisol. Low impact workout outside by the water. I am down. Lower that cortisol. Take nature’s pill and lower that stress hormone.

High-intensity workouts

Doing high-intensity workouts increase stress hormones and no weightloss results will happen. Slowing down your workouts reduces your stress hormones resulting in weight loss. Intense workouts pump up your cortisol leaving you fatigued and exhausted.

This may explain why I would feel so sleepy and exhausted the next day after I pushed myself hard. Doing slow weighted exercises to help lose weight.

Eat less sugar

This is an obvious statement but that also includes sugary fruits. Us, cysters have a hard time digesting and working off sugars found in a lot of foods. When you eat fewer sugars it lowers your blood glucose levels. Decreasing your insulin levels reduce the male hormones you normally produce.

The normal reaction to eating foods containing carbs would be the body breaking down the digestible ones into sugar and they enter the bloodstream. Your blood sugar levels rise and the pancreas produces insulin. The hormone that tells the cells in your body t absorb your blood sugar for energy.

However, when you have PCOS having high insulin levels sends signals to your ovaries to make more testosterone. Testosterone is a male androgen, having high androgens can lead to the PCOS systems we know as body hair growth, acne, or irregular periods. Men don’t have periods so if you are producing the hormones men usually would it explains why you may not have a period.

Weight gain is another symptom produced by these high androgens. If you see most women with polycystic ovarian syndrome carry a lot more weight in their mid-section because weight gain is triggered by male hormones which men typically carry weight in the mid-section.

Learning all of this has blown my mind that’s why most women with PCOS have an apple shape instead of an hourglass.

Try cutting out gluten and dairy

My thoughts lead me to believe that cutting out gluten was just for those with celiac disease. I have seen many people praising the benefits of cutting these out of their diet has helped. I have never tried this before and right now I am ready to try anything.

Higher cortisol levels

This one blew my mind because I couldn’t figure out why I was messing up my sleep schedule so much. Cortisol goes up when doing an intense workout.

Cortisol should only be high in the morning because women with polycystic ovarian syndrome have a harder time getting that stress hormone to go back down. So when I was working out after Mike got off of work between 5-7 pm. My cortisol was high and causing me to stay up until the wee hours of the morning till it went back down. Even when I did sleep it wasn’t a good night’s sleep.

Supplements

Reading the comments of some PCOS videos I have seen a lot of people recommending evening primrose oil used to help with period pain and irregular menstruation. It may also improve cholesterol levels and oxidative stress, both of which are linked to PCOS.

As well as, Berberine is an herb used in Chinese medicine to help with insulin resistance. If you have polycystic ovarian syndrome, berberine may ramp up your metabolism and balance your body’s endocrine responses.

Myo inositol and d chiro inositol pills Inositol is a B vitamin that can help improve insulin resistance. It’s also been found to help with fertility in some cases of PCOS.

Many more natural ways to help with PCOS Polycystic ovarian syndrome on Healthline.com

Do your research and don’t give up

This one really isn’t mind-blowing, but it deserves to be said. Getting your health in check and finding out what works for you will not be an easy process. I have always said I would rather try anything and everything than to just give up and not try. I know defeats my point earlier where I said I quit.

When I said that it didn’t include my health. My health I put on the back burner because I felt I was always meant to be fat and out of shape. I took the easy way out and I can’t do that anymore.

My new plan of action

I am taking everything I have learned from these ladies and putting a plan of action into place. I will be starting to cut out gluten and dairy to see if that helps me. While making that change I want to add some supplements to take. I don’t want to go back on that medication my doctor prescribed if I can find a way to get my periods regular.

I need to find alternatives for my favorite sugary snacks or develop a savory palette. Incorporating meal planning may be the best way for me. If I have things prepared at home for me to just throw together. It may stop us from choosing something unhealthy.

I will continue with my low impact workouts. Having high-intensity workouts were something I was starting to incorporate more into my routines, but I did see the scale go back up once I was doing that. The scale wasn’t going down, but my measurements were and then they weren’t anymore.

I am more determined now to learn everything I can about PCOS and I should have done it sooner, but it just became so overwhelming. Having to change everything I had grown up doing is scary, but who would I be if I did not push myself outside of my comfort zone. I have a 4 part series on getting out of your comfort zone if you are interested in reading it.

Let me know in the comments if you have PCOS and what has helped you on your journey?

Until next time, have a great day!

Our-redonkulous-life-michele
Polycystic ovarian syndrome

39 Replies to “Polycystic ovarian syndrome: 8 things TikTok taught me about PCOS”

  1. I don’t have PCOS, but I’ve also struggled with losing weight. Like you say, high-intensive workouts tend to release stress hormones – making you not lose weight. I’ve found it much more effective to go on longer walks 4-5 times a week. Another good tip to try is something called “metabolic confusion”. It basically means that you switch your calorie intake during the week, from low/high. Confusing your body to actually lose weight 🙂 Wishing you the best of luck on your journey!

    1. I will definitely have to look up metabolic confusion. I just want to yell “PLOT TWIST” one day during the week. LOL

  2. Wow. Thank you so much for teaching me about PCOS. I had heard of it before, as it was something that my doctor brought to my attention last year, but it was never explained to me the way you explained it. I’m rooting for you, and I’d love to know about the changes you make to your diet and the exercises that you’re doing as I don’t have access to a gym. Good luck!!

    1. I do have access to a gym, but I will be doing home workouts as well when my fiance has to work late. I go with him since he is the one who has the membership and I am just the guest. Follow me on TikTok or Instagram if you are interested. I post my routines on there both @redonkulousfitness

    2. PCOS is very common among women these days. I too have multiple endometriotic cysts. PCOS is more related to hormonal changes.

      1. It is related to hormonal changes. For those who have it and don’t learn how to manage symptoms run the risk of never being able to have a child if they wanted to.

  3. PCOS is so hard for women to deal with. It’s great that there is such an open community out there talking about the struggles though and how they are managing. I have a couple of friends who have it and I really feel for them. The weight issues, infertility, the stress and sadness they have felt because of it. I had no idea there were different types of PCOS. That’s actually really interesting. I wish you all of the luck in managing your PCOS.

    1. Thank you, Magen. I did not know that there were different types either. Mind-blowing to see that a PCOS “plan” is not one size fits all.

  4. I have a friend who is experiencing PCOS and it is not okay and true that symptoms and medications differs from one patient to another. Thanks for your post.

  5. blair villanueva says: Reply

    I am still learning about PCOS thanks to my BFF who has it. TikTok also has an educational and informative niche that delivers valuable information like PCOS. Great way to learn in just 15 secs or a minute!

    1. Just a bite-size video of information. Enough to not get overwhelmed but still make an impact.

  6. Wow, I didn’t know that there is actually something you can learn from tiktok – I thought it was just some fun app. Good for you that you were able to profit from it!

    1. I was surprised as well. I thought it was all fun and games.

  7. Thanks for sharing your story in this informative post. I am sharing your post with my daughter. They are ruling out PCOS for her.

    1. My doctor took one look at me and said I am going to bet 100% you have PCOS, because you are carrying most of your weight in your midsection. Then she did all the tests and confirmed it.

  8. That’s nice that we can learn something from TikTok , I thought it’s all videos for fun because my sister always share her funny dance videos from TikTok. Anyways, I don’t have PCOS but a colleague has and kinda aware of her experience. I’ll share this to her for additional information that surely help her.
    Hugs.

    1. Yeah, i thought the same thing, but then PCOS videos started popping up on for you page. I am glad it did though.

  9. Well who would have known that something goos would have come out of TikTok! Good on you! this is such an important issue to raise

    1. Right. I liked the funny videos, but finding my way to PCOStok really struck a cord with me.

  10. You know I’m from India and Tiktok has been banned by our government. So I’m actually glad that I got to read it through your post since I wasn’t aware about such details that PCOS was linked to infertility. An informational read there, losing weight as an option indeed is difficult.

    1. I didn’t know TikTok was banned in India. I didn’t know all the different types of PCOS. Finding my way on to PCOStok really opened my eyes.

      1. That is very good and detailed information about PCOS. I never knew you could learn these things on tiktok.

  11. At first, I thought doing a lot of exercises will help in weight loss. Haha I recommended to some of my friends to do so. I guess it’s the opposite. Learned a lot from this, thank you for sharing it!

    1. I thought so too. I was doing HIIT and trying to do as many reps as possible to lose the weight. Once I stopped all that and worked at a slower speed I am actually down 9lbs.

  12. Morning Cup of Love says: Reply

    “ I will never have a baby if I don’t do anything about it.“ this sentence just broke my heart… I hope you’ll be alright and everything will go as planned. wish you good luck on your weight loss journey and I hope to read a blog post about your pregnancy journey in the future xoxo

    1. I didn’t realize how much I would want to have a baby until I was told it might not happen. It crushed me. I would love to write about my pregnancy journey, so You and me both!

  13. What a journey you have had. You’re so strong hopefully this is a positive way of managing pcos for you now

    1. I am hoping this helps. I have tried so many different things without results. It gets very frustrating.

  14. Apologies if I can’t relate but my daughter and wife can. This PCOS is really something new and we think its due to all these fastfood etc. Here in our country there are herbs that they say can cure it but I can’t prove that. Be well..

    1. I hear ya, Kenneth. This is not something you could relate to, but you know people who may suffer from it. I wouldn’t be surprised if fast food was a cause too. All the chemicals and additives they add. I think would affect our hormones.

  15. Thanks for this personal sharing of yours, appreciate it & me too starting with HIIT to lose weight for nearly 3 weeks now, will continue for sure 😀
    cheers, siennylovesdrawing

    1. I was trying HIIT, but I wasn’t seeing the scale move. Once I slowed things down I am finally down 10lbs. I am glad HIIT it working for you!

  16. So cool! I don’t have tik toks but I’ve seen so many fitness videos on it.

  17. I’m pretty sure I have PCOS, but my birth control keeps the cysts after bay – but causes me to gain weight and have issues losing it. It’s a crappy vicious cycle and I hate it!

    I hope you find something that works well for you long term.

    Tonyalee @ https://www.vivaciousbibliophile.com

  18. I know someone who struggles with pcos, and I feel so bad for her. I can’t imagine what you guys go through! Also, I need to jump on the tik tok bandwagon and familiarize myself with that platform since so many people have learned a ton from there!

    Rayka | South Asian Skin Blog
    http://www.southasianskin.com

  19. This is really insightful to read. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Things that we didn’t expect from Tiktok could turn out some really nice stuff here.

  21. Marta Skeledžija says: Reply

    This was a very educational post. Also I have been suprised on how many things that are helpful you can learn from tik tok.

  22. I am not very active on tik tok but I am amazed that platform can also teach you something. Everything just depends on how you use it. Ukeveryday

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