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TOPIC: Success with PCOS

 
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February 23, 2012 5:25 PM
Yes, when you have PCOS, your body requires a lot less calories then a normal person. For me that magic number is 1200 a day. I have to exercise almost every day, eat low carb and high protein diet. The weight is coming off slowly, but it's coming off. I actually lost about 45 lb in 2 years, working to lose another 30.
  10150990
February 23, 2012 5:29 PM
Also, if you're looking for a natural supplement to lose weight with PCOS, look into Blood sugar formula, it has the cinnamon, spirulina and a bunch of other vitamins. I'm taking it and pretty happy with the results so far. Also, apple cider vinegar is a great appetite suppresant, it's natural and also regulates your blood sugar. But again, do your own research and see if you want to give it a try. As with anything, you'd have to do it for at least 2 weeks to see any results.
  10150990
February 23, 2012 5:31 PM
Five years ago I lost 50 lbs on a diabetic diet. I'm not a diabetic, but do have PCOS and a thyroid problem. They checked me for insulin resistance when I was diagnosed and it was negative but the diabetic diet still did wonders for me! The weight came off at a steady pace and I felt WONDERFUL! I was also exercising regularly and drinking a lot of water. I am trying to do the same thing now. Metformin ripped up my stomach no matter how many times they tried lowering the dose...I just couldn't take it and aldactone didn't do much for me no matter how high the dose...lol But the diabetic diet and exercise did wonders and balanced my hormones.
February 23, 2012 8:19 PM
Hi everyone. I'm VERY new here- this is my first post in fact :) I'm 18 years old - will be 19 in June- and have PCOS. My highest weight was right around 240. I'm only 5'3 so that's a LOT of weight for me.

I just started the My Fitness Pal thing daily this past week. I've also started watching what I eat, cutting back on soda (before that's all I'd drink) and drinking TONS of water. I've lost about 12 lbs in 45 days and I think that is doing pretty good. I started excercising the last week as well and just did my first REAL excercising today.

I have a question for everyone. I find myself staying way below my calorie intake that I'm supposed to have, but what I'm reading here is that I should be more cautious of my carbs? Is that true? How many carbs would you recommend staying around?
  15034825
February 23, 2012 9:05 PM
Hi, I too am very new here and this is my first post. I been formally diagnosed with PCOS since 2008, but the Docs have been trying to prove it since I was 18 (so over 10years...diagnosis of the condition has changed in that time).

As part of my managment program I saw a dietician who specialised in PCOS. The basic message is not necessarily just eating low carb, but eating low GI. So the carbs you eat have to break down lowly so you dont have a blood sugar spike and put extra pressure on your pancreas. If this happens the excess blood sugar gets stored as fat as you dont get a chance to use it.

So what I have done, and this seems to work for me is change things like use more sweet potato. I make lasagna with thin slices of butternut pumpkin instead of pasta, I use food processed or finely chopped cauliflower instead of rice, or if I have rice I use basmati.

Basically this is why often diabetic diets work, because they are focussed on controlling the amount and type of carbs consumed.

If you want to do some more reading here is a link:
http://www.glycemicindex.com/
February 23, 2012 9:09 PM
Hi, I too am very new here and this is my first post. I been formally diagnosed with PCOS since 2008, but the Docs have been trying to prove it since I was 18 (so over 10years...diagnosis of the condition has changed in that time).

As part of my managment program I saw a dietician who specialised in PCOS. The basic message is not necessarily just eating low carb, but eating low GI. So the carbs you eat have to break down lowly so you dont have a blood sugar spike and put extra pressure on your pancreas. If this happens the excess blood sugar gets stored as fat as you dont get a chance to use it.

So what I have done, and this seems to work for me is change things like use more sweet potato. I make lasagna with thin slices of butternut pumpkin instead of pasta, I use food processed or finely chopped cauliflower instead of rice, or if I have rice I use basmati.

Basically this is why often diabetic diets work, because they are focussed on controlling the amount and type of carbs consumed.

If you want to do some more reading here is a link:
http://www.glycemicindex.com/
February 24, 2012 2:51 AM
QUOTE:

it seems like everyone has PCOS, I don't know if I have it, as I don't go to the doctor, but what do you mean by quickly enough? if you're losing or averaging 1 pound a week or 4 in a month, that's healthy and most likely fat, and the slower you lose, you're likely to keep it off long term. drink plenty water, eat when you're hungry, eat fruits/veggies. it's not hard, it's a matter or doing it, we're all a lot smarter and capable than we think we are.


Great for you if it's not hard for you, but MFP and other socially-based weightloss and fitness programs wouldn't exist if it weren't hard for many. PCOS does exist, tends to be underdiagnosed, and makes it damn near impossible for some of us to lose wright with "normal" measures.

For the original poster, THANK YOU, for this. I am unmedicated, and want to stay that way. Carbs are addictive - literally - and much like other addictions, it requires a real plan for breaking and coping.

Here's me, wishing us strength and determination in the face of "fighting our bodies to save our bodies," and hoping for more support and community to help get me through it.
February 24, 2012 3:01 AM
I'm another PCOS sufferer who has successfully managed to loose quite a bit of weight and keep it off.

I've done this by following a low GI diet, so cutting out white carbs and eating 'clean', lots of fresh fruit and veg and limiting processed food (I cook most of my food from scratch). It is harder for us PCOS girls but it is possible so don't give up hope!

I have found that the weight around my stomach has been hardest to lose, which is apparently a symptom of PCOS, but it's going eventually!

Just stick with it and try to stay positive, the feeling of success is even greater when we have had to struggle even harder to get there than 'normal' people haha!! :)
February 24, 2012 3:02 AM
Lower your sugar intake, EAT CARBS!!! The good carbs that is and make sure you add a protein with it. I've had success when I followed Freedom From PCOS by Katie Humphrey and used the Insulite program. I gained back the weight because I laxed on these things. Check out the book, she is a personal friend of mine. I'm just now getting back on track.... It can and will happen!
  17308373
February 24, 2012 3:17 AM
To those who have mentioned side effects of metformin, have you tried the extended release version? I had to take that for a couple months just to get used to it, but the gastrointestinal side effects were much milder on the extended release. I transitioned to the "regular" stuff eventually, just becuase the extended release was more expensive on my insurance plan.
  258955
February 24, 2012 3:20 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

The varied opinions are interesting. I've struggled with weight for years sometimes it seems no matter what I do nothing works. And was wondering how others with PCOS deal with it. Also I would be interested how others deal with some of the other symptoms like excess hair growth? I've tried lazer hair removal but the Dr said the PCOS makes it hard for it to be perment, also the heavier you are the worse the PCOS symptoms are which makes it easier to retain weight have more excess hair a real vicious circle.


Because PCOS is a syndrome, it affects everyone differently. The side effects one person has are completely different than another's. For most women, PCOS is caused by insulin resistance, the IR is not caused by being obese. This is very true for me. Once I hit puberty, even though diet and exercise didn't change, I started gaining weight inexplicably and had to starve to lose any weight. I am VERY insulin resistant. My only other PCOS symptoms are anovulation (once a year only from age 14 to about 35 when my body suddenly started working again), and polycystic ovaries. I also have autoimmune issues that are frequently tied to PCOS. I don't have what most would call 'excessive' hair growth, but I come from a family of women who are basically hairless. My grandma has never had to shave her legs, and my mom can do it maybe once every 3 months. I have to do it daily. I also have a light mustache and a couple chin whiskers that I pluck. My suspicion is that people who can lose weight without Met are less IR than I am. There are even women with PCOS that are NOT insulin resistant at all, but have many other symptoms. That's what makes it so hard to compare what works for PCOS. And I find it pretty condescending when people say 'oh, you don't need medication. Just do xyz.' implying that I didn't try or didn't try hard enough. My body just doesn't FUNCTION that way. Just because we both have PCOS doesn't mean our bodies work the same way with it.



I completely agree with what you're saying! I'm excessively over weight (452lbs) and it's disheartening and depressing but I'm doing something about it. I have extreme IR and heavy periods but without the metformin I wouldn't have any periods for months at a time nor would I lose weight with trying. Since I've been back on it, I've dropped like 15lbs. 8lb since I started MFP, I have excessive hair growth, skin tags in my armpits, skin discoloration on my breasts and waist, red bumps on my arms and a slew of other symptoms. But, I am not giving up and neither should YOU all! I'm here if you need support. You can definitely add me, I'd love to support another cyster or anyone for that matter! I also have many cysts on my ovaries and Metformin is keeping them down. I have hard horrible problems with them bursting and have ended up in the ER many times. I don't want to have surgery because of the cysts so I am doing everything I can humanly do to change my situation! Good luck to you all and God Bless!
  17308373
February 24, 2012 3:26 AM
QUOTE:

I was told by a trainer who also has PCOS that you have to do specific exercises when doing cardio (sort of like HITT cardio exercises) and then weight training. I personally have had zero success with losing weight having PCOS, so I don't know the magic formula to success at this time. I am considering surgical weightloss at this point since it seems I have tried everything, many trainers, docs, etc. I also take Metformin, and it worked by dropping ten pounds the first month, but it's come back, plus 20 more. I hope you find what you're looking for and are successful!


Yes!! Interval training (cardio and weights) will boost the hell out of your metabolism helping you to lose the weight at a steady rate and keep it off. The key is not only the diet but the exercise. I also read to not workout more than five days per week because if you do, it will make the testosterone in your system sky rocket which causes agressive and aggitated behaviors. Just FYI! :)
  17308373
February 24, 2012 3:27 AM
QUOTE:

I was diagnosed with it in 2001. My weight has fluctuated most of my life. I'm not on any medications for it currently. Although I've recently reset my ticker, I have lost 55lbs. I keep my carb intake around 100 net, and limit sugar. When I do use sugar, I use raw sugar, 'cause that substitute stuff isn't good for you either. Also keep processed foods to a minimum if possible. Definitely talk to your doctor, and figure out what works for you.



Stevia is organic and is the best to use with PCOS... The next best is Agave!:)
  17308373
February 24, 2012 3:46 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I eat a banana every morning (after I drink a glass of lemon juice - organic lemons) and I eat whole grain pasta once a week.

Exercise is the key.


Can i just ask what the lemon juice is for as i eat a banana most mornings. And i also agree excercise does seem to be the key smile


:)
I read quite a lot of articles and I also spoke to a nutritionist about it. Lemon juice has got a lot health benefits.
http://www.livestrong.com/article/215380-drinking-hot-water-lemon-in-the-morning/
http://www.lifemojo.com/lifestyle/top-10-health-benefits-of-lemon-water-1422542

Ever since I'm drinking lemon juice in the morning, I go to the bathroom every single day :) But that's just my personal experience :)

PS
I am not insulin resistant and I don't have any other problems (acne, hair).
My stomach is my biggest problem. My body is totally asymmetrical (big tummy, big breasts, no butt and quite think legs).
  10575132
February 24, 2012 4:00 AM
On more thing. According to MFP I eat too much sugar every day. :) It's quite annoying actually. I get all my sugar from fruit and sometimes a little bit of honey (and an organic piece of chocolate every now and then). Should I be worried? I am losing weight and I'm feeling great .... It would be very hard for me to stop eating fruits...
  10575132
February 24, 2012 5:01 AM
QUOTE:

On more thing. According to MFP I eat too much sugar every day. :) It's quite annoying actually. I get all my sugar from fruit and sometimes a little bit of honey (and an organic piece of chocolate every now and then). Should I be worried? I am losing weight and I'm feeling great .... It would be very hard for me to stop eating fruits...


My sugar level is always over, i dont eat chocolate its all from healthy stuff. I wudnt worry. Im stil loosin weight n over everyday x
  9264968
February 24, 2012 7:45 AM
QUOTE:

On more thing. According to MFP I eat too much sugar every day. :) It's quite annoying actually. I get all my sugar from fruit and sometimes a little bit of honey (and an organic piece of chocolate every now and then). Should I be worried? I am losing weight and I'm feeling great .... It would be very hard for me to stop eating fruits...


maybe changing the fruits you eat would help that? Im not sure what fruits you eat or how much, I was told to be careful with my fruit intake because of the natural sugars in it.
February 24, 2012 8:37 AM
Just had to share this with you PCOS ladies as i am sure it will make you chuckle! I do suffer with the excess facial hair, which i obviously need to address at the moment as according to my 4 year old "mummy you have an eyebrow under your nose!"

Got to love childish wisdom!
  9129039
February 24, 2012 8:44 AM
I have PCOS as well and I am still loosing. I don't take any medication. I try really hard to stick to the Glycemix Index. I cut out white flour items and that made a huge difference! Here a few references to look at. I wish you luck it's hard but can be done!

www.glycemicindex.com

Also some good books that are easy to understand are The G.I. Diet by Rick Gallop he has a few of them I found very useful and not overly confusing.
February 24, 2012 8:56 AM
Someone may have addressed this, but: if you're staying low carb, how do you integrate fruits and vegetables into your diet? I'm vegan, so things like meat aren't an option.
February 24, 2012 10:44 AM
QUOTE:

Okay I'm going to hijack this thread just a little bit since we're (mostly) all PCOSers here -

For many with PCOS, we don't have periods on our own. That's how mine was diagnosed- I was 16 and hadn't started yet so my parents took me to the doc and told them I was broken, fix me. :) They did the necessary tests and put me on birth control. So for me, period = birth control. They do not exist separately.

So I haven't been on birth control for the last 5 or so months and just had my annual checkup. as has happened in the past, the doc gave me a 5 day cycle of provera (progesterone) to jump start things, and while I've noticed the symptoms and all that usually come along with our dear friend TOM, he has not shown up. Mind you, I'm not asking for a diagnosis, I just talked to my doctor about it less than an hour ago, I'm just wondering if anyone has had something similar happen after losing a significant amount of weight.

I've always been heavy, and provera has always worked, every time I've used it for the 11 or 12 years since the diagnosis. I'm wondering if anyone has experienced shifts in hormone levels as your weight came off. Some people say if you lose weight your body can try and correct itself and your PCOS can lessen or disappear, so it's not THAT weird of a concept. Additionally, I've been super active compared to the previous years, which I know can also affect it.

So for now we're just putting me back on birth control because it could be other hormones that are out of whack right now. If it still doesn't happen in a month, I guess we investigate further.

OH to be a boy sometimes!

(And before anyone suggests it, yes, I'm taking a pregnancy test tonight JUST to be sure, but I'm 95% positive that IT will be negative- but doctor's orders!)


I was also put on progesterone to induce a period nearly 5 years ago. I had regular periods when I was young until I got put on birth control when I got married (age 18). That year I started having irregular periods so I went off of birth control. Fast forward several years and we were ready to try and have a family. I didn't have a period for over a year, went to the doctor and was diagnosed with PCOS. The doc put me on progesterone and it didn't work at first so she put me on something else, I can't remember what it was. Somehow in the middle of all of this I ended up pregnant which was concerning because the medicine can cause birth defects. My son is almost 4 now and he does have a medical condition that we have no family history of. I've always wondered if the medicine contributed to this but we'll never know. I got pregnant with my second son the first time we tried...I remember my doctor told me that it would likely be easier to get pregnant with subsequent pregnancies.

My heaviest non-pregnant weight was 173, in my adult life I have mostly been between 150-160, size 12. I am 160 now and I really need to be more like 135-140 b/c I am short. This thread has inspired me to try a low carb diet. Right now I eat a ton of carbs and drink a ton of Diet DP. I've been following Weight Watchers but I haven't really lost much on it. I struggle with wanting instant gratification and giving up when I don't see results. I'm going to try low carb this week and cut soda to see if I feel any better/loose any weight.
  17679365
February 24, 2012 1:38 PM
QUOTE:

Just had to share this with you PCOS ladies as i am sure it will make you chuckle! I do suffer with the excess facial hair, which i obviously need to address at the moment as according to my 4 year old "mummy you have an eyebrow under your nose!"

Got to love childish wisdom!

Oh my! Kids!
  9649585
February 24, 2012 1:42 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Okay I'm going to hijack this thread just a little bit since we're (mostly) all PCOSers here -

For many with PCOS, we don't have periods on our own. That's how mine was diagnosed- I was 16 and hadn't started yet so my parents took me to the doc and told them I was broken, fix me. :) They did the necessary tests and put me on birth control. So for me, period = birth control. They do not exist separately.

So I haven't been on birth control for the last 5 or so months and just had my annual checkup. as has happened in the past, the doc gave me a 5 day cycle of provera (progesterone) to jump start things, and while I've noticed the symptoms and all that usually come along with our dear friend TOM, he has not shown up. Mind you, I'm not asking for a diagnosis, I just talked to my doctor about it less than an hour ago, I'm just wondering if anyone has had something similar happen after losing a significant amount of weight.

I've always been heavy, and provera has always worked, every time I've used it for the 11 or 12 years since the diagnosis. I'm wondering if anyone has experienced shifts in hormone levels as your weight came off. Some people say if you lose weight your body can try and correct itself and your PCOS can lessen or disappear, so it's not THAT weird of a concept. Additionally, I've been super active compared to the previous years, which I know can also affect it.

So for now we're just putting me back on birth control because it could be other hormones that are out of whack right now. If it still doesn't happen in a month, I guess we investigate further.

OH to be a boy sometimes!

(And before anyone suggests it, yes, I'm taking a pregnancy test tonight JUST to be sure, but I'm 95% positive that IT will be negative- but doctor's orders!)


I was also put on progesterone to induce a period nearly 5 years ago. I had regular periods when I was young until I got put on birth control when I got married (age 18). That year I started having irregular periods so I went off of birth control. Fast forward several years and we were ready to try and have a family. I didn't have a period for over a year, went to the doctor and was diagnosed with PCOS. The doc put me on progesterone and it didn't work at first so she put me on something else, I can't remember what it was. Somehow in the middle of all of this I ended up pregnant which was concerning because the medicine can cause birth defects. My son is almost 4 now and he does have a medical condition that we have no family history of. I've always wondered if the medicine contributed to this but we'll never know. I got pregnant with my second son the first time we tried...I remember my doctor told me that it would likely be easier to get pregnant with subsequent pregnancies.

My heaviest non-pregnant weight was 173, in my adult life I have mostly been between 150-160, size 12. I am 160 now and I really need to be more like 135-140 b/c I am short. This thread has inspired me to try a low carb diet. Right now I eat a ton of carbs and drink a ton of Diet DP. I've been following Weight Watchers but I haven't really lost much on it. I struggle with wanting instant gratification and giving up when I don't see results. I'm going to try low carb this week and cut soda to see if I feel any better/loose any weight.


Careful with the Diet sodas, they contain Asparthame, which can do some funky things if you have too much of it. Also, I heard a medical study's findings that diet soda can trigger the same insulin reactions as regular soda sometimes because the sweetness and taste confuse the brain, so it thinks it's supposed to act like normal.

It's easy for me to stay away of soda because I've never really been a soda drinker, but even with diet it's usually best to just cut it all out.
  9649585
February 25, 2012 4:12 AM
I was port on metformin a few yrs ago, but i wasnt dietin, so lost nothin. Now im dietin i think mayb metformin wil do more gd for me. Hmm mite talk to doc.
V
xx
  9264968
February 25, 2012 4:32 AM
I have been on metformin and low carb. With that combo I'm having regular cycles and losing weight - My meds ran out two weeks ago and I decided to NOT go back on the metformin but see how things were just low carbing it, and so far so good - my cycle was right on time and I'm still losing weight. This month will be the true test, since I won't be on met for the whole time.
  3812036

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