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JuLieL8508 01-06-2004 03:09 PM

PCOS/weight loss

My doctor said I'm borderline PCOS today and that I need to try to drop some weight and eat healthier. Problem is, when I don't eat for a few hours, I get shaky and weak and sweaty because my blood sugar dips. I'm a college student, so its hard to avoid carbs entirely-a lot of what is served is carbs. But I need to start and I plan to try. I was wondering if anyone else with PCOS could share their experiences with me..and does losing weight really help? Thanks.

steelwife 01-06-2004 04:43 PM

Re: PCOS/weight loss
Hi Julie!!!

I was diagnosed with PCOS at the age of 16. Weight problems are one of the nasty symtoms of this disease!!!! I have a severe case of PCOS and I have found that when I lose weight, if I am not careful, the weight will come right back.

You might want to start with an exercise program. I found a cardio & aerobic exercise program helps me!! As far as a diet, I do not limit [B]what[/B] I eat, I limit [B]how much [/B] I eat. Try eating small meals all through the day. My Dr. told me to eat 6 small meals a day. When I told him there was no way I could eat that much, he said that I did not have to eat a complete meal, just munch on something that is healthy and no candy bars!!! ;) So I became a grazer. I find myself eating healthy snacks all through my day. The Atkins kind of diet is not recommended for women with PCOS. Some websites promote the Atkins diet for us, but my Dr. frowns on it and from experience, it only made me feel sick!!!!

Once you start loosing weight and exercising, you will find that you will feel much better!! Do some research on PCOS and I am sure you will get some questions that you may have answered. PCOS is a pain in the butt, but is managable!!! You are lucky because your case is not as severe as some!!!

If you need any help, ask away!!!! :)


JuLieL8508 01-06-2004 06:27 PM

Re: PCOS/weight loss
Thanks for the quick reply!

Do you also have the problem where your blood sugar drops severely when you don't eat for awhile? If I have breakfast at 8 am, by 10:30 I'm a shaky, sweaty, weak mess and thats when I'll dive into the carbs. Right now I'm thinking I'll just eat better-as in cut out burgers/fries/sweets and incorporate more lean meat and fruits and veggies. Do you think that will help, even if I don't cut out all carbs, such as having bread with a sandwich? Its so hard in college, the food revolves around sandwiches.

Also, did you ever have to go on birth control? They suggested ortho tri cyclen for me if things don't get better with weight loss. My skin isn't so great right now either, I'm having troubles with breakouts and I know that could be related to pcos. Have you had that trouble as well??

Thanks for reading, look forward to seeing your reponse!

Glitterygrl 01-06-2004 07:57 PM

Re: PCOS/weight loss
I was diagnosed with PCOS and have been reading quite a bit of information on it. Weight problems are the worst thing about this disease. My DR also wanted to put me on birth control but I didn't take them after reading other message boards that women with this condition only gained more weight on the BCP. So I've been working out and trying to watch what I eat and the weight is coming off slooooowly. I mean slowly. I read that high protein diets are the best for women with PCOS but how many people can really tolerate those for long?? I think eating small meals throughout the day is just what I need, I am going to try that, before I was starving myself and eating one big meal a day. The trainer I work out with says thats a big NO NO. Especially since I also suffer from hypothyroidism. Good Luck finding what works best for you, research the internet you may find some thing helpful out there.

sillynilly 01-06-2004 10:41 PM

Re: PCOS/weight loss
[[waves]] hey there fellow PCOSers :)

All that I know is what I learned through websites and books...however, PCOS is still a shady topic...doctors really don't know alot about it and not a whole lot of research is done on it...i have read alot of contradicting things, so I just follow what seems the most problem with PCOS is that most women do not know that they have it...the side effects of PCOS are treated, but rarely is the root of the problem (PCOS) is found =\

One thing, don't go on birth control pills...even when i was on the lowage dosage available, it about killed me...this is from my own personal experience, but really, the birth control pills on control a [b]side effect[/b] of PCOS...the best way to control PCOS is through a healthy diet and exercise

PCOS is often thought as a hormonal imbalance, which is why when you go to the OBGYN they often refer you to birth control pills...the truth is PCOS is caused by an insulin problem...your pancreas creates [i]too[/i] much an aspect, you are the opposite of a diabetic...this causes your body to not process sugars correctly, causing sugar blood drops and being hungry all the time, and thus the weight gain as well

Atkins diet is found to work the best for weight loss in PCOS women as it stabalizes their blood sugar...since it is stabalize, you see the side effects of PCOS disappear or get less severe as well...however I agree that atkins is not the healthiest choice for someone with PCOS...atkins might stabalize your blood sugar but it also depresses it, which is why some people who go on Atkins feel drain, weak, and shaky after being on it for more then a week or two

What I did which is working for me: I went on a high protein/low carb diet for about 2 weeks...this allowed the body to be cleaned out and it stabalizes the insulin levels...then start with a healthy eating style, mimicking that of the fruits, veggies, and whole grains, lean meats, and stay away from sugary foods...they totally wreck your insulin levels...i am in college as well, and i agree that to eat healthy, the food becomes extremely monotonous (i am afraid i can never look at a salad the same way again), but i tell myself that i have a disease, and i need to take care of myself in order to live a long and healthy life...the weight gain aggravates PCOS, and many women do become diabetic later in life if they don't take care of it, and also suffer from a truckload of side effects, including infertility, and bad skin...this is a disease, and you need to take care of yourself as best as you can...if you simply can't find any food that you think is healthy at the school caf, talk to the cafeteria and explain to them that you need a healthy lifestyle...many schools offer diabetic meals...i agree with the other that you should have 5-6 mini meals a day...last and not least, exercise! it really does cardio and weight training, and drink alot of water...take vitamins and minerals...try to beat the root PCOS and not just the symptoms :)

i hope this helps, and there is alot that you can research out there as i said, this is what makes sense to me after reading through a bunch of contradicting material :P


steelwife 01-07-2004 04:31 PM

Re: PCOS/weight loss
Hi Julie!!!

I did feel like you did when I did not eat, but when I started eating small snacks all though my day, I stopped feeling like that!!! Try to limit your carbs and go with fruit, veggies or those oatmeal bars!!

Yes, I was on birth control pills to bring on my period because I never had a natural period without [B]taking birth control pills[/B] or [B]provera[/B]. Dr.s go with birth control pills most of the time because of the hormones. This is a personal choice because there are side effects of both the birth control pill and provera.

Ortho tri cyclen is supposed to help with your skin problems. I do not know if it will work because I never have taken the ortho. Instead, I am using Pro Active Solution and have been for 5 years. Pro Active really helps me, but depending on your skin, I can not promise it will work you you.

Once you start an exercise program, you should loose weight. It is known that fat holds estrogen and once you start loosing fat, the estrogen that is trapped will be released and you will start feeling different and you will see a difference in your skin!!!! Try loosing weight before going on any medications.

There is a medication called Metformin, which is given to diabetics, but has shown great promise in women with PCOS. This medicine helps with your insulin, which can be a problem with some women with PCOS. I took this medication for a while because I was trying to get pregnant. The one thing I noticed while taking this is that my skin looked better, my cravings for sweets went away and the hair on my legs grew slower!!! In some women, Metformin even helped regulate their periods. You might want to look into this medication if diet and exercise does not help and before going to hormones!!!

If you do not have your period on an regular basis: Do not wait more than 3 months to have your period because you can get hyperdisplasia of the uterus. That means that the lining of your uterus gets really thick and can cause cancer if not watched!!! This is one of the problems I have!!! I have to go in for endometrial biopsies on a regular basis and let me tell you, they are no fun at all!!! I no longer take birth control pills, instead I am taking provera, which will bring on a period, every three months. Again, this is up to you and your Dr. to decide what route you should go. Since you are boarderline, you may not even have a problem with your periods and that is one thing to be happy about!!!!

PCOS affects each woman differently. You need to get as informed as you can and ask your Dr. many questions. Yes, there are some Dr.s who know little about PCOS, but there are Dr.s that know a lot. I am lucky, my Dr. was very informed and has really helped me and I have been living with this for over 20 years!!!

Hope this helps!!! Good Luck!! :)

Tiggergirl98 01-07-2004 07:16 PM

Re: PCOS/weight loss
Hi...I'm new here. I have had PCOS since 1999, but was not told about it until about a year ago. My husband & I have been trying to have a child for about 4 years now and it has been a really bad emotional battle (espically on my end).

I had been on [B]Metformin[/B] for about 2 weeks, but the gas problems were so bad ... any suggestions. I'm currently on [B]Proveria[/B] days 25-30 to start my period. I will not go back on birth control at all.

I also did the Atkins diet for 3 months, but was so weak and barely lost any weight. Atkins made me sick too, it's just so unhealthy. I'm currently trying a low carb/ low fat verizon of Weight Watchers and so far I'm down 10 lbs in the last month.

Any suggestions will be very helpful. I have only learned about my condition online also & lots of endlist nights of staying up and reading site after site. My new GYN has been very helpful and seems to know quit abit.


steelwife 01-08-2004 01:41 PM

Re: PCOS/weight loss
Hi Tigergirl!!

Keep taking your Metformin!! Those nasty side effects :eek: will go away within a couple more weeks!!!! I know it can be a pain in the butt, but Metformin is worth a try, especially since you are trying to get pregnant!!!!

Unfortunately, Provera is the only thing you can take that will bring on your period and taking birth control pills is not an option since you are trying to get pregnant!!!! Maybe you will be one of the lucky ones and the Metformin will regulate your periods!! It will take a while for the Metformin to work its magic.

Once you are on the Metformin for awhile, Clomid might be helpful to try and get pregnant. The Metformin/Clomid combo does work with some women with PCOS, but it depends on how severe your PCOS is. Unfortunately, I have tried everything and I never did become pregnant. One of the reasons is that my PCOS is considered severe and also I am over the age of 35, which makes it even harder. So, the younger you are, the best chance you have that the Metformin/Clomid combo will possibly work for you!!!

You are on the right track on your weight loss and you should be proud of yourself. Having PCOS makes it hard to loose weight and keep it off!!! Once you get to your goal weight, maintaining the weight loss will be very important and you will have to work harder to keep the weight off!!!! Are you on an exercise plan? If not, I suggest that you start one!!!! I find a good cardio/aerobic plan helps me!!!! The excercise along with the diet will get you to your weight loss goal faster and you will feel better!!!!

I am glad that you are getting informed about PCOS!!! This disease is not fun, especially when you are trying to get pregnant!!! My advice is to listen to your Dr. and follow what he/she says!!! The more informed your Dr. is the better it is for you!!!!

Try to not worry so much because stress makes it even harder!!!! Believe me, I understand 100% how you feel about trying to get pregnant and struggling with your feelings!!!! I have spent many a days crying about not being able to have a child. It has taken me years to finally come to terms with it!!! I don't know how old you are, but I will tell you that you have a very good chance in becoming pregnant if you are younger than 35, just follow your Dr.'s plan for you!!!! If you are in my age group (35+) then I would tell you to keep trying until you feel you can not try anymore!!! I finally had to give up after spending thousands of dollars and getting tired of feeling depressed all of the time!!!! With GOD's help, I was able to stop trying and go on with my life!!! I know that it can be overwhelming, just keep a positive attitude!!!!

Good Luck, my prayers are with you!!! :)

Tiggergirl98 01-08-2004 03:23 PM

Re: PCOS/weight loss
Thank you Steelwife! What you have told me has been a great inspiration. I will continue with the metformin and my doctor does what me back on Clomid (round 2 for me). Maybe the combo will work.

By the way...I'm 23 (24 in March).

steelwife 01-08-2004 04:18 PM

Re: PCOS/weight loss
Hi again Tiggergirl!!!

Just keep doing what you are doing regarding the Clomid. Don't loose hope because the Clomid can be upped, so if it does not work the first time, you still have the chance to go again, with a larger dose!!! You are young enough for good things to happen!!!!!!

I'll keep you in my prayers honey and pray that you will be blessed soon!!!! :)

JADEDGYPSY 01-14-2004 03:20 AM

Re: PCOS/weight loss
I was diagnosed with pcos two months ago. But the doc was so non-chalant about it, and waved it off like it was no big deal. Also, because there is no exact testing for PCOS, nor an explanation for is often misdiagnosed. Fact is the symptoms of Extreem Weight Gain are alot like those of PCOS. Your body can be thrown completely out of whack, because it is not made to handle the weight. Especially with short females. Hormones are the first to be thrown for a loop with massive weight gain. I believe I have an under active thyroid due to the weight and poor life style and eating habits I adobted over the last 3 years. But I don't believe I have PCOS. My symptoms are of those that show I have High Testosterone levels. Something that only happened 3 years ago, when I started gaining weight. 110 lbs to 180lbs in 2 years! That's when all these symtoms started. I know I didn't just wake up with PCOS. But I do know I had a big lifestyle change and suffered from depression after a loss in my life. Down hill from there. Don't think about PCOS, forget about that!!!!!!! Just adopt a healthier way of life, and you'll find you'll go back to the way you were before this pcos mess was ever brought up. - Jaded

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