Spent the last week falling down the rabbit hole and all of a 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.
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 having 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.
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 a 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. 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.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome
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. Made 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 sciatica 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.
On top of trying to figure out this whole PCOS thing women also have a bunch of other things that can happen to our bodies. Have you heard of a Bartholin Cyst? I didn’t until a few months ago when I got one. Check out the blog post if you are interested. FYI… it is a bit TMI. Bartholin Cyst Survival Guide.
Changing my eating habits was going to be the hardest part. I have 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.
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 can incite oxidative stress and inflammatory response from mononuclear cells (MNC) of women with PCOS, which 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 – is 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.
Doing high-intensity workouts increases stress hormones and no weight loss 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 reduces the male hormones you usually 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 to 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 midsection.
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. 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 p.m.. My cortisol was high 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.
Reading the comments on 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 PCOS, 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 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 it 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 was 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!