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PANDASAURUS's Photo PANDASAURUS Posts: 28
5/28/10 8:28 A

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I started dieting in Jan of 09, lost 12 pounds and then missed my period that month. Went off my diet cos I thought the sudden change in lifestyle messed up my period. Stopped dieting completely and missed my period until I finally went to the doc in June. I mentioned PCOS to her, she said it was a possibility, did tests and the first week of July they determined I had PCOS. I went into the doctor, he gave me info about it, prescribed Met and Spiro but said I didn't have to take it. He said I have a MILD case of PCOS and would be off the meds in 6 months if I did take them. I actually didn't get my period until October after dieting for 3 months and losing 6 lbs.

I'm glad I was diagnosed early. :) I'm 17 now and I always hear of older ladies who have gone through years of misdiagnosis and stress trying to figure out what's wrong, so I'm glad I researched PCOS and mentioned it to my doc, otherwise I prob would have never gone to the doc or possibly would have been misdiagnosed.

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SWEETSUNSHINE72's Photo SWEETSUNSHINE72 Posts: 534
5/26/10 12:11 A

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Hi Paggaby,

The bad news about PCOS is that it forces you to live a very healthy lifestyle. The good news about POCS is that you are forced to live a very healthy lifestyle! All those people who are chowing down on donuts, chips and pop, but appear to be "thin" are not necessarily healthy, and it will catch up to them at some point or another. In many ways, our PCOS bodies are like high-powered racing cars - we need the high-quality fuel and we need to rev our engines on a regular basis!

Long story short, you DO have PCOS - it just may be clearer what the trigger is for you (and therefore easier to control, too). Here is a link to a documentary that totally blew my mind!!! It takes a little time to go through it all, but it's more than worth it!!!
www.uctv.tv/search-details.aspx?show
ID
=16717


Hope this helps!!!

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PAGABBY's Photo PAGABBY SparkPoints: (0)
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5/25/10 7:56 P

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SweetSunshine72 - Thanks for the advice that you gave to KAYRAEZ about the IR fact. I received my PCOS diagnosis in 2007 after having two sons, no cysts, and no troubles with my periods prior to 2004. Do not want to go into the long details of what happened from 2004 to 2007. In the end I lost my period from Feb to October 2007. After many tests blood and other - Endo placed me on Metformin - period came right back the following month. And the rest is history...

My new (just saw him May 4th) just told me that he did not think that I had PCOS because I did not have cysts. And that if I did not eat SO much food I would lose weight. Doctor has me scheduled to see a nutritionist on June 10th. So I have been tracking every single think that I have been eating for the past month and I will take a print out with me. I know that I eat too many carbs. I have a very high GI diet. I still believe that my old Endo was correct with the PCOS, but I also believe that it is not how much I eat it is what I am eating that is killing me. I can not eat like the regular thin girls in this world. I need to eat the five veggies and fruits per day. PCOS means that I need to be more accountable to what is going into my own month. Thanks for the Insulin Resistance information. I was going to change and find a new Endo. Maybe I just need to except that fact that I need to stay way from all the carbohydrates.

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SWEETSUNSHINE72's Photo SWEETSUNSHINE72 Posts: 534
5/20/10 2:09 P

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Hi Nicomi,

Many, many, MANY women have a similar story to yours!!! PCOS is one of the most commonly mis- or un-diagnosed issues that women deal with today!!! The biggest thing to realize about PCOS is that it's not really a gyno issue, but a metabolic issue that happens to have gyno symptoms! Because of that, properly diagnosing and treating PCOS really falls outside of the scope of practice and training of a gyno or family doc - although there ARE some great docs out there who've taken extra training on their own or developed the experience needed to properly deal with PCOS. Really, an endocrinologist has the best training when it comes to getting down to what's behind all the "lovely" symptoms - Insulin Resistance.

When it comes to exercise - I know what you mean! I think the best thing to do is to find something that you really love to do, and use that as a way to get more active. For me, it's dancing! I love Middle-Eastern Dance (aka - Bellydancing)! It's an AMAZING workout, and you're not always surrounded by stick-thin model-types! lol Walking is another good one - especially if you walk a nature trail, or some other type of path that gets you into more of a natural setting, rather than the concrete and glass big-city setting that we usually have to deal with all day! Take things one step at a time. Start where you are now, and increase bit-by-bit. Baby steps! :)

In a nutshell, a program that works for PCOS will include some kind of an eating plan where you eat every 2 - 3 hours, reduce your carbs, increase your fibre, and do away with as much pre-cooked, processed food as you can! Including exercise is also a good idea, and many people here also take Metformin - an insulin re-sensitizer.

Take care, and I hope this gives you a starting place! PCOS is about so much more than "just" periods and fertility! It affects your whole life!

Hang in there!

Registered Massage Therapist (2200 hrs training)


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NICOMI Posts: 1
5/20/10 12:51 P

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Hi all.

I was diagnosed with PCOS last year. It only took the doctors 15 years to figure out what was wrong.

My problems began when I was 15. I had my first period then. I was prepared to have to deal with periods for the rest of my life. But after 3 months, the periods stopped. Um, at 15, I wasn't going to complain. By the time I was 16, my mom finally got scared enough to take me to the doctor. The doctor said I was fine and that it could be all my hormones falling into place. When I was 17, my mom really didn't like the fact that I was having maybe one period a year at this point. She took me to the OB/GYN again. They said I was dealing with a hormonal imbalance. They put me on birth control (much to my mother's dismay).

With young adult life comes having to take care of yourself which I didn't do to well at. I didn't have medical coverage again until I was 23. I went to the OB/GYN with hopes that now they could something about it since my body was at the point where I wouldn't have periods for as long as 20 mos or longer. Anyway, I went through the whole round of thyroid tests and so on. They slapped me with yet another set of birth control pills and told me that it was a hormone imbalance.

I went to see the OB/GYN again after my (ex)husband and I decided that maybe we should try to have a child. I went to see the OB/GYN to have them refer me to a fertility specialist. We never followed through with all that because our marriage fell apart. I often wonder if they would have found the cause then if I had continued with seeing a fertility specialist.

Just last year, when I was 29, I finally had good enough insurance that I could see private practice doctors. I explained my entire medical background to her... lack of periods, extra body hair (I hate even admitting that part... my boyfriend doesn't even know about it), problems with losing weight, acne (still) at 30 years old, and I was diagnosed with bi-polar depression. My doctor said to me, "So, no one has ever told you that you have PCOS?" I didn't know what that was and she explained it all to me and did all the testing. Sure enough, no thyroid problems and she made it official. She put me on a dosage of Yaz (generic: Ocella)... it seemed strange to me that she would put me on that since Yaz/Ocella has been known to contribute to weight gain.

So, yes, I can say that PCOS is generally overlooked. I'm not sure how so many doctors could miss that when I explain all my symptoms to them... but they did and only now do I realize what a struggle it is. I've already decided that I'm not going to have children. I'm REALLY tired of being overweight. My weakness is that I'm really lazy when it comes to exercise. So many people tell me they feel better after working out at the gym but for me, I've always felt more worn out and regretted wasting time on making myself feel so horrible afterwards. Because of that, I gave up on exercising for years until recently. I'm forcing myself to workout every day now because I'm tired of being so overweight. I've been working out (not so regularly) since April and I've yet to see much of a change. So, in May (now), I've decided that I'm going to do full cardio workouts on my elliptical 5 days a week. I've been eating better for the last month, but I've still yet to see a change.

What I'm really searching for is a program that's supposed to work for people with PCOS. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm SO open for it.

FYI: I was going to Kaiser Permanente through my teens and early-mid 20's. They were the set of doctors who never figured out it was PCOS. I'm not sure if the different clinic locations collaborate, but I won't ever go to them again since they couldn't figure it all out.

SWEETSUNSHINE72's Photo SWEETSUNSHINE72 Posts: 534
5/18/10 9:24 P

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Hi Alicia, and welcome!

It's a good thing that you decided to get re-diagnosed and treated, especially as you haven't had a period for over a year. Be prepared for it to be extremely heavy when it does come, though!!!

I'm not sure if they explained the transvaginal ultrasound, but they insert a wand up the vagina to get a closer view of your ovaries. This is likely to rupture your hymen, and it is a test that is not aboslutely necessary. While many women with PCOS do have multiple mini-cysts, it's not necessary to have them, and there are other reasons for the mini-cysts besides PCOS. They might even be able to get a good enough look at the ovaries through the transabdominal ultrasound (overtop of the stomach).

Considering your virginity and religious background, I thought it would be only fair to warn you ahead of time, so you had a chance to ask them not to do the transvaginal if you didn't want them to.

One test that you should make absolutely sure that they did is an assessment of both your blood sugar AND insulin levels. This is best done as a Glucose Tolerance Test (where they take your blood, give you a sugar drink, then take your blood again after 2 hours - sometimes they will take blood every 1/2 hour for the two hours, sometimes just at the end).

Keep in mind, too, that PCOS is not a gyno condition, but a metabolic one that just happens to have gyno symptoms. Really, diagnosing and treating a metabolic issue lies outside of the scope of training and practice of a family doc or gyno, however, there are a few that have taken extra training on their own and/or have developed the necessary experience. An endocrinologist is really the best kind of doctor to see.

While many gyno's prescribe BCP's to control PCOS symptoms, that's all it really is - symptom control. In reality, it's a good thing that you didn't go on BCP's because long-term use of them has been shown to make the underlying metabolic issue (Insulin Resistance) much worse! Since the connection between IR and PCOS was made (about 8 years ago, now), the treatment of choice has become a combination of Metformin, a low-GI-type diet, and exercise. Eliminating as much processed or pre-cooked foods as possible is also very important in managing PCOS.

The great news is that, once you have the IR under control and get ovulating again, you have almost the same chance of getting pregnant as the "average" woman! PCOS is a real pain in the rear, but it CAN be managed, and you CAN lead a perfectly normal (but very healthy) life!

Take care, and good luck with your appointment!

Registered Massage Therapist (2200 hrs training)


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ALICIA2008 Posts: 28
5/18/10 7:24 P

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I was just diagnosed with PCOS today, actually. Here's a little background history: I started my period when I was 12, I am age 26 now. I never had a regular cycle, would have my period for one month or two months, and then it would be absent, sometimes up to six months at a time, especially in college (perhaps due to high stress levels?). I'm Catholic, so being on BCPs for me, at least, wasn't an option at the time as I was still following parent's wishes, etc.

Fast forward to yesterday. I went in for a physical and pap, since I'm getting married in September and wanted to start BCPs (because now I'm marrying a non-Catholic and my views have changed as far as BCPs are concerned since I'm not under my parent's wishes anymore). I definitely do not want to have children for at least another two or three years, so wanted to try BCPs first. I've never been on BCPs before as I'm still a virgin and will be until I'm married :)

I told my (female) doctor that I had not had my period for one year, maybe more (I think I last had it March 2009, the month before I was laid off from work). She said she suspects PCOS, and recommended a urine and blood test, ultrasound and a progesterone challenge test, and a follow-up within the next two weeks. I had the both urine/blood tests done and got the results today. They have started me on Provera to kick-start my period, which should happen within the next two weeks. I also have a pelvic and transvaginal ultrasound scheduled for this Thursday. I have my next follow-up exam scheduled with my doctor in the next two weeks.

Hopefully, Provera will be successful and I'll have my period, and my ultrasound will show at least some issues. I'm not worried at this time, as I've suspected something has been wrong for a while, just didn't take any action until now because of the BCP reasons.

As for my symptoms, no period for a year, irregular periods since I started when I was 12 years old, acne since age 12, some stomach weight gain but not noticeable (mostly all-over and this is probably due to lack of exercise and poor eating habits) of an average of 5 pounds gained per year since 2002, and no extra hair growth in areas where it shouldn't be :)

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BLAZEOFLOVE1's Photo BLAZEOFLOVE1 Posts: 20
4/28/10 10:19 P

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I'm 32 now. When I was 17 I went on BCPs for 2 years. Towards the end of that time I started spotting even while on the pills. I decided I was done with them and stopped. The first few months of strange periods didnt concern me, figured the hormones had to get back to normal. Then I was in a routine, have a few periods, skip a month or two. This went on for a couple years.

In my early 20s I started to really gain weight, even though I was still active. I started skipping more periods and after a stretch of 8 missed periods, I figured I better go to the doctor. lol

I was 23 when I was diagnosed with PCOS and IR (Insulin Resistant). I had all the tests done, blood work, vaginal ultrasounds etc. They asked me if I wanted BCPs to regulate my period and I said no. (I also have an insane habit of looking up information on things) We then concentrated on taking care of the PCOS. So I too went on Metformin. However, I CAN NOT take it. My sugar would drop SO low too many times while I was on it. They took me off of it, and I have since then also been diagnosed with Hypoglycemia. I don't always have low blood sugar, but I know what to look for now!

I was having blood work done regularly to monitor my hormones, insulin and sugar. I tended to have high testosterone. lol I didn't go back to an OBGYN for this until 2 weeks ago. I stayed pretty regular (having few periods, skipping a few) until the last couple years or so. But I had lost my health insurance so I was slow seeking help. I'm missing more and more periods and spotting once in a while randomly. Just had more blood work done and go back in about a week.

I'm really hoping that there are several choices to decide between for help with PCOS, because before it was well known, there was very little.

(Sorry for the long post. lol)

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SWEETSUNSHINE72's Photo SWEETSUNSHINE72 Posts: 534
4/27/10 1:53 P

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Hi ShortySax, and welcome!

While Metformin (at minimum 1,500 mg/day) does work with most of us, there are some people who it's just not workin' for them! It doesn't mean that you don't have the Insulin Resistance that's the main cause/trigger of PCOS, it could just be how your body responds to it.

Belrosa is another member here, and she has training in natural health treatments - you might want to ask her for some advice, or, better yet, see if you can find a good naturopathic doctor in your area. Even though I personally take Met (I seem to gain weight without it, no matter what I do with diet and exercise), I really do believe in using as much holistic medicine as you can and supporting the body in regulating itself.

One thing most of us agree with is that, while BCP's can (and do) regulate many symptoms, long-term use is connected to worsening of your metabolic issues. This means that your PCOS can actually be getting worse behind the scenes, while you are actually feeling better.

Remember, too, that PCOS is not really a gyno issue, but a metabolic issue that just happens to have gyno symptoms, and that untreated PCOS often develops into Type 2 Diabetes, Hypertension, and elevated triglycerides (cholesterol). These issues are not restricted to "old age", either, but can strike at any time! A friend of mine with PCOS has been on blood pressure meds since she was 18!!!

(Sorry about the rant! Pet peeve of mine is docs that just throw BCP's at you!)

Anyways, if the BCP's are working to control symptoms for you, and you are aware of the risks, then you do what you feel is right for you. Just be aware of what else is going on, and keep in mind that the metabolic side does need treatment, too.

In fact, a good idea might be to get evaluated by an endocrinologist, as there are other conditions that can cause similar issues (including cysts), such as Non-Classic Adrenal Hyperplasia ( www.caresfoundation.org/productcart/
pc
/ncah_late_onset_cah.html
).

Take care, and I hope this helps! emoticon

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SHORTYSAX's Photo SHORTYSAX Posts: 20
4/27/10 1:35 P

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Hi all!

I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was in college, but looking back, there were way earlier signs. My period was always very irregular. Like, I'd go 8 months, and then 2 months, and then 5...very unpredictable. In high school, I gained weight and I started losing clumps of hair on my head. I saw a doctor about the hair issue, and he couldn't find anything. I guess I noticed hair on my face and some unfortunate areas, but I thought it was normal because my mom was always asking me to help tweeze her chin. LOL.

The summer after my sophomore year of college, I got my period and it lasted for 6 weeks before I finally saw a doctor. He gave me something to stop it and ordered an ultrasound. I got a letter from him a while afterward saying that there were lots of benign cysts in my ultrasound but nothing to worry about.

I can't remember where or when, but at some point I heard about PCOS, and thought "Hmmm...I think that describes me pretty well!" I asked the doctor, who told me that yes, that's what the ultrasound meant. Thanks for letting me know!

After I graduated and got a job, I saw a specialist in Boston who really sat me down and explained things, and told me all my options. I started on Met, but it didn't make a difference in my periods, and it also bummed me out that I could never have even one drink without getting sick. About a year and a half ago I started taking Yaz, and it obviously regulates my periods. I'm not sure if I see a difference in other symptoms.

Anyway, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

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HELPFULH's Photo HELPFULH Posts: 68
4/23/10 4:17 P

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Hi DramaGirl Wow, That seems like a rough go of things! I am very sorry. Stay strong!!!! I know you can!!!

emoticon Heather

Edited by: HELPFULH at: 4/23/2010 (16:19)
"You simply have to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. Put blinders on and plow right ahead."

-George Lucas



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SWEETSUNSHINE72's Photo SWEETSUNSHINE72 Posts: 534
4/21/10 10:55 A

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Hi DramaGirl, and welcome!

Losing almost 30 lbs in a month and a half is NOT slow!!! In fact, it's REALLY fast!!! It might be because of your medications, but be sure to check in with your doctor and make sure you're getting appropriate nutrition. In fact, it might be a good idea to have even one visit to a dietitian just to be sure.

I know the weight (and the wait!) is frustrating! Keep going, though... it took some time for things to get this way, and it will take some time for them to go back. Think more about learning healthier lifestyle habits, and finding ways to make it work for you, rather than "just losing weight". Once your meds are straightened out (with appropriate nutrition, too), you should find that your body "wants" to get rid of the toxic weight!

www.womentowomen.com is a GREAT website with TONS of information!!! They use a combination approach of both western and holistic medicine, and I find their information is always right-on.

Hang in there!!! You're doing GREAT!!!!

Registered Massage Therapist (2200 hrs training)


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DRAMAGIRL1982 Posts: 3
4/21/10 10:15 A

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I started my period around the age of 13, and for the most part it was irregular nearly every month. At first, I would have periods that were only 21 days apart, but being so young I didn't really think much of it. Throughout high school, my period was never an exact science. It sort of came and went as it pleased, with no warning. I finally went to the doctor at 16 because I was putting on a ton of weight. She took one look at my face and the slightly darker hair I had on my jaw/cheek area and decided I had PCOS right there on the spot. She suggested birth control for the crazy periods, but as I recall she didn't suggest much else:(

Flash forward a few years and at the age of 19, the ridiculously heavy periods were back. They were so bad that I went through half a package of pads every day... this all came to a head when I went to see a friend in college and literally passed out in the cafeteria.
I went straight home and set up an appointment with a new doctor. I had lost so much blood that he considered putting me in the hospital for a blood transfusion. Luckily, I didn't have to do that, but he put me on thyroid and iron pills and tried to help me start getting a handle on my weight. I lost a bit of weight over the next few months, and then my doctor moved away... the 20 or so pounds I had lost came back.

Throughout most of my early 20's, no one seemed to get it right. They put me on and took me off a number of things, and I continued to balloon in size and depression.

At the age of 25, I found a new doctor- who had a specialization in women's health and internal medicine- and I finally felt that I was in good hands. I had a trans-vag ultrasound which confirmed multiple small cysts on one of my ovaries. The dr. started me on 75 micrograms of thyroid, and 2000 mg daily of metformin. This was way too much for me, and it caused me to have uh, massive bowel issues. A month after this, I wound up in the hospital with a UTI, and the xrays and CAT scan showed inflamation in my small bowel. Because I didn't have insurance, this was never dealt with, and they sent me home.

Basically at this point, I was an idiot. I was 25 and decided I would just quit taking meds and do whatever I wanted. Don't do this, kids. Bad idea. I'm 27 now and I'm back to seeing the same doctor I saw a couple years ago. I still don't have insurance, so we're paying out of pocket, but it's worth it. She's got me on 88 micrograms of thyroid, and she started the metformin again gradually. For a month, I took 500 milligrams daily, now I'm up to 1000. Starting the meds gradually has helped me avoid any side effects. I'm also taking a daily iron pill.

SO sorry for the long post!!! This whole journey has been a nightmare. My goal right now is to lose weight over the next couple years, and hopefully I'll be able to have children in the next couple years. Thinking about the fact that that may not be possible just depresses me to no end, so I'm hoping and praying I'll be able to get pregnant without IVF, etc.

My starting weight on March 1st was 344 pounds, my heaviest yet. Today I'm down to 317... so I'm getting there slowly. Thanks for reading and understanding. I appreciate it. Has anyone had a similar time with this? And have you been able to have children? Any encouragement is much appreciated!


Edited by: DRAMAGIRL1982 at: 4/21/2010 (10:17)
SWEETSUNSHINE72's Photo SWEETSUNSHINE72 Posts: 534
4/20/10 9:40 P

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Hi Hopeful, and welcome!

Don't worry about "running a rant" - if there's any place to do it, it's here with your Cysters who KNOW what you're going through!!! emoticon

For the facial hair, once your hormones get sorted out and better balanced (and, yes, it CAN happen!), I would suggest you speak to a good esthetician about electrolysis. It's a permanent method of hair removal, and even if you only pick away at it, it can help it get better, and help YOU feel better!

One last "ray of sunshine" for you: over 90% of women with PCOS WILL get pregnant with some level of assistance! Also, once the underlying Insulin Resistance (main cause of PCOS) is dealt with and you get ovulating again, you have almost the same chance of getting pregnant as the "average" woman!

So, don't give up, if it's important to you!!! It CAN and DOES happen!!! emoticon

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HELPFULH's Photo HELPFULH Posts: 68
4/20/10 9:24 P

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Hello All,
I was diagnosed when I was 19 or 20. My periods were irregular my entire life; but after I graduated High school (THANK GOD IT WAS AFTER) I Started to have "side burns." The turned in to a few hairs on my face and now I have almost a full beard that I have to shave EVERY DAY.

I was really Skinny until Puberty hit me.. and then I was diagnosed and the pounds got more and more.

I still, to this day, have a really really really hard time even thinking that I may not be able to have children... it makes me sick.

Not to mention the five o'clock shadow I have no matter how hard I "scrub" my face with a razor...

Oh my, I guess I went on a little rant. Im sorry. I have never been to a place where people have what I do and understand.

Sorry... kinda ran with it...

"You simply have to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. Put blinders on and plow right ahead."

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BELROSA's Photo BELROSA Posts: 697
4/19/10 6:59 P

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I know what you mean. I found myself working at one of the best private hospitals in Sydney with the top Endocrinologists in the country (allegedly) and decided to go and see one of them hoping to get better advice and more direction for treatment etc. I waited a couple of months for the appointment, forked over an obscene amount of money (discounted for 'staff') only to find that she had nothing to offer and appeared to know less than I did about PCOS and made some very basic mistakes regarding a couple of things.

My only suggestion is to educate yourself as much as you can before you go, so you'll be better able to judge how good the person is. Do you know any health professionals who could go with you for support and to evaluate the Endo?

Good luck! I really hope you find the help you need.

I have a website with loads of PCOS info www.mypcos.info Please stop by!

Leader of Managing PCOS Naturally www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
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GIRRRLYCHILD's Photo GIRRRLYCHILD Posts: 610
4/19/10 12:15 P

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i'm part of a community health care program, and the dr's i've seen through them are ok, but they don't give many referrals because of how few patients the specialists will see through the program. i wouldn't mind paying out of pocket to see an endo, but i don't want to go to somebody that isn't going to help me and have to pay out of pocket.

o well, i gotta make an appointment with somebody at the main clinic anyway. off to find the phone number! *hehe*

~*anna~rae*~


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BELROSA's Photo BELROSA Posts: 697
4/19/10 11:10 A

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The other solution, if it's possible within your healthcare system, is to go to the cheapest doctor you can find and ask, but you need to know what you want for this option. Cheap = as little time as possible spent on patients, therefore less time to argue. If you have an existing relationship with a decent doctor though, trying to get the referral through them is preferrable. Do research on the internet, print stuff off and take it in to back up your suspicions or questions.

Good luck!!

I have a website with loads of PCOS info www.mypcos.info Please stop by!

Leader of Managing PCOS Naturally www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=54257
SWEETSUNSHINE72's Photo SWEETSUNSHINE72 Posts: 534
4/19/10 11:00 A

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One way is to keep bugging him, saying "you call THIS normal? It's obvious SOMETHING is wrong! If you can't find it, send me to an endo, who CAN!"

I had to do that to my family doc. In the end, he was happy to get rid of me, I think! Then, after I had been able to lose some weight and was improving, I had to see him because I had a chest infection. He was asking a few questions about my treatment, and I think he was honestly interested and wanted to know for future patients. Ultimately, he is an OK doctor, just very over-worked.



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GIRRRLYCHILD's Photo GIRRRLYCHILD Posts: 610
4/19/10 10:47 A

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i've never heard of CAH before. i googled it and most of the symptoms of the non-classic version fit me. definatly worth looking into. :) thanks!

in order for me to see an endocrinologist, i have to get a referral....um, how do you convince a dr you need to see an endo when they aren't finding anything wrong??

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SWEETSUNSHINE72's Photo SWEETSUNSHINE72 Posts: 534
4/19/10 8:00 A

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I, too, had a lot of "normal" test results, until I finally got to see an endocrinologist. What he basically said was that, while my test results were "technically" normal, they WERE different than what he would expect to see in someone my age. One example - Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG). The technically "normal" range is huge, and incorporates both male and female levels. Mine was about 1/2 of what he would expect of a woman my age, though. Lower SHBG levels are more common with women with PCOS.

Also, IR can be VERY difficult to diagnose. Many doctors don't even do the correct tests. They will do diabetes tests, for example, that look for elevated blood sugar and not even look at your insulin levels. You can have IR for about 10 - 15 years before your blood sugar starts to elevate. In the meantime, you can actually get LOW blood sugar, but that won't catch the doctor's attention necessarily.

So, it is possible you could still have the IR, or, as Belrosa suggested, there could be another issue that's causing the same symptoms.

I would strongly suggest that you see an endocrinologist and get a full assessment. I wouldn't necessarily go to an infertility specialist - sometimes they can have "tunnel-vision", and only focus on what it might take to get you pregnant, rather than investigate deep enough to figure out what the underlying issue is.

With CAH, for instance, you don't tend to respond to the regular infertility protocols, but, once you are treated with a small daily dose of prednisone, often fertility returns very quickly.

In the meantime, the healthier lifestyle sure won't hurt, and could be the "boost" your body needs! Hang in there, and good luck!

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BELROSA's Photo BELROSA Posts: 697
4/19/10 12:30 A

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There are other diseases that can present in a similar way to PCOS. Have you been tested for Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia? It might be worth asking. It's much less common than PCOS, but the symptoms are very very similar.

Often 'normal' hormone results can be in the interpretation. Do you still have the details of what tests were done and the results? If you post or SparkMail me I can have a look for you.

I love your charts - what a great tool to keep you on track.

I have a website with loads of PCOS info www.mypcos.info Please stop by!

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GIRRRLYCHILD's Photo GIRRRLYCHILD Posts: 610
4/19/10 12:15 A

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honestly, i'm not totally convinced that i have PCOS.

for the first year or so after i first got my period (at age 12), i had a completely regular - although slightly long - cycle. seriously - every 35 days, almost exactly. then my cycle gradually started getting longer and more irregular. usually, my cycles were around 60 days long, although every once in awhile, they'd be more like 35 or 40 days. but most were long.

then, at age 19, i went on the pill. i bled like crazy and had terrible cramps for the first couple months, but after that, i was fine. then, just before i turned 21, i got married and my husband and i decided i should go off the pill.

after my last "cycle" on the pill, i went over 4 months without a period. after that, my cycle went completely crazy, and i gained 50 lbs in that 4 months. all that had changed was that i quit taking the pill.

i went to a dr, supposedly an infertility specialist, in 2006 after my husband and i had been not using any form of birth control for about two years.

he tested my hormone levels, my thyroid, and tested me for IR. all those tests came back normal. he said, "well, you have irregular cycles, you're overweight, and you have haritism, so you have PCOS. try to lose some weight, and let me know when you're ready for Clomid."

no one has ever even suggested any other testing for me. i have had my hormone levels and thyroid tested again since then and i've been tested for IR and diabetes since then. those tests have all come back normal.

so, like i said, i don't even know if i really have PCOS. my last couple yearly exams have been with nurse practitioners at planned parenthood, and they seem to doubt that PCOS is my problem, but obviously, infertility isn't their area of expertise so they haven't suggested any other testing.

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SIMPLYNIA's Photo SIMPLYNIA Posts: 493
4/13/10 12:41 P

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I've read through lots of the responses, and I cannot believe it was so hard for so many to be diagnosed.

I was diagnosed at around 22 or 23 I think. Basically, as soon as I started working and got health insurance I immediately went to the ob/gyn. Since I can remember, I always had problems with my cycle. I would have extrememly heavy bleeding, would get sick, and then in high school, I bled once for almost a month, super heavy. My doctor's fix for this was to put me on BC, which I took until junior year in college. I stopped at that point, because I was not sexually active, and I felt incomplete as a woman that my body couldn't work on its own. Well, it took 8 months for me to have a cycle, but I was determined not to take BC again. Finally, some time during senior year, I got a period. Fast forward to 2005...

I go to the gyn for a regular appointment and she asks when was my last cycle...at this point I think it had been maybe 2 months or so since I'd had one, so of course she wanted to do a test. It was negative, so she decided to do blood work to check my hormone levels. U/s results came back and it said that I did have polycystic ovaries. As far as my bloodwork, I think all of my levels were a little over or under the normal range. Doctor asked if I wanted BC...I told her no, so she gave me provera to start my cycle and that was the end of it. My cycles remained irregular 40-60 days or something. In early 2006, I did the South Beach Diet and lost 40 pounds. After that, I started to get my cycle almost every month, every 29-36 days to be exact. In fall of 2006, me and my boyfriend started trying to conceive...nothing happened. After six months or so, I gave up...I resolved myself to the fact that it wasn't the right time, even though my cycles seemed to be regulating. In early October 2007, I went back to the doctor to have my levels checked again. Doctor said everything was normal, and if I wanted to TTC to start taking prenatal vitamins. That was it. Well, two weeks after that, I found out I was pregnant (period was about a week late when I tested). My pregnancy was pretty much healthy. I did have gestational diabetes, but it was diet controlled and my daughter was born healthy 9 days before her due date. After she was born I got on the depo shot, but only got one because I bled almost the whole time I was on it....talk about birth control.

Then my body had a time getting that out of my system, and I ended up getting another u/s in June of last year because of irregular bleeding (spotting mostly). My ovaries were still showing PCOS symptoms, but I was also ovulating regularly. I'd been charting since last year June, and I've had one annovulatory cycle since then, so I don't know what to think. I ovulate around the same time every month. My cycles are now about 32-35 days and I get true positives on OPK's. I have a regular luteal phase...and have managed to not get pregnant...So anyway...I figure weight loss, if nothing else, will help prevent diabetes.

Sorry this is so long. Just wanted to share my story.

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SELAGRIMM's Photo SELAGRIMM Posts: 357
4/11/10 9:15 P

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Yes like so many others its a long hard journey, and finding the right Doc is the key I think. Makes things a little easier to deal with. Its still frustrating though that people that know nothing about it think that it is weakness or a flaw in our personalities that make us overweight.

“I would much rather have regrets about not doing what people said, than regretting not doing what my heart led me to and wondering what life had been like if I'd just been myself.” ~ Brittany Renée ~



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SWEETSUNSHINE72's Photo SWEETSUNSHINE72 Posts: 534
4/11/10 9:24 A

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Hi Sela,

I'm glad you were (finally) able to get the help you needed! Your story highlights the struggle we often go through to not only get treatment, but often to simply get diagnosed in the first place!

It's especially challenging if you don't appear to follow the "typical" PCOS profile. I've had IR probably since I was about 11 or so, but I didn't have a weight issue until I was 16. I didn't get diagnosed until I was 22 or 23 (I'm 37 now), and even then, there wasn't the knowledge that there is today.

Congrats on finding a good doc! Hang on to him! He's worth his weight in gold! emoticon

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SELAGRIMM's Photo SELAGRIMM Posts: 357
4/11/10 7:49 A

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Hi I'm new to the group as well...let's see my story begins way back 16 years ago. I had stopped having periods about 3 months before I got pregnant w/ my daughter (Doc's still scratching his head on that one). It had been a whole year of any type of birth control to even get pregnant. There were other signs as well as the missed periods, but I was thin and active with exercise so no one thought anything...just one of those things right. Well after my daughter was born (tons of complications) I didn't have a period for 5 years (got divorced through this time), and doctors were baffled. Mind you I was living in a very small town with not the best doctors in the world. I finally had a period, at least I thought...turned out to be a miscarriage. Then another 3 years of periods off and on. Got remarried and moved to another state, better doctors and after 7 years of weird stuff I was looking on the net for symptoms and came across PCOS, I printed it out and took it to my gyno for my first visit, I asked him about it, showed him the print out and he looked over my med history and said this is exactly whats going on. He sent me for the usual battery of tests and found he was right. Been with him for the past 10 years, I could have hugged him. After years of gaining weight at super speed, hair growing in everywhere, and all the other lovely things that go along w/ PCOS he gave me hope.

“I would much rather have regrets about not doing what people said, than regretting not doing what my heart led me to and wondering what life had been like if I'd just been myself.” ~ Brittany Renée ~



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4/10/10 9:17 P

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Hi. I am new to the group. Trying to find someplace where I might actually belong. I quit smoking in Jan 2008. I officially started trying to loose weight over the summer that year and had really no luck. I played with 10 lbs for over a year, loosing them and hten gaining them and a few more. I reached my heaviest at 193. I know that is is not as high as many PCOS get but it was dangerously close to the line for me. My mother is severely overweight and diabetic as is my younger sister. I have avoided htat diagnosis so far but felt it closing in on me. I was working with my doctor and taking metformin already along with Byetta as he felt I had some insulin resistance though did not have the tests to back up his suspicions. I decided that since it was apparent that I was diabetes bound I might as well get a diabetes doc. He is the one who made my dx.

I have SEVERELY elevated levels of DHEA and my cholesterol was way, way out of the park as well. THat was about 6 months ago. My endocrinologist put on higher doses of metformin and Byetta right away. Following my initial blood work he added a cholesterol med, Trilipix. That has brought down my cholesterol to within normal limits almost all the way around but my HDL was still not high enough so he added niacin. Subsequent blood work has shown that my DHEA-S levels are still elevated even on 1000 mg of metformin twice a day so he has added 0.5 mg of decadron 6 days a week and has upped my niacin. I am supposed to try for 2000 mg a day. The reasoning for that is not only do have severe PCOS but I also have a particuarly bad form of LDL cholerol - something called lipoprotein little a disease - for which niacin is just about hte only treatment.

I have lost 40 lbs, give or take 3 on any given day, but have stalled on my weight loss so far. I seem to do best when following an almost vegetarian diet. The only prob is that I hate fruit and love meat & taters. So.... that is my story.


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SWEETSUNSHINE72's Photo SWEETSUNSHINE72 Posts: 534
4/8/10 1:18 P

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With the twins - that usually means further from normal - but I guess it depends on where you started from, and what your body needs. It is an interesting theory, though!

Single with twins! My hat's off to you! I thought single with one child was enough for me! lol :D

I'm wondering if you might have an imbalance in your cortisone/cortisol levels? That would explain the questions about stress. Mind you, all you'd have to do is say two words: Single and Twins! lol

It really IS about keeping things in balance, though. I'm convinced that our "modern" way of living is totally connected to our deteriorating health as a society! When the idea of a "balanced lifestyle" first came out, people thought that meant in ADDITION to what they were already doing. I disagree. I think that people work too hard for too long during the day at jobs that only make them sick (for the most part). One of the things I did was become a massage therapist so that a) I can dictate my own hours, and b) earn enough so that I don't have to work 40 hours per week, and can afford to have some of that balance. There's different ways to do it, but as a society, we HAVE to make some changes!!!

Anyways, that's my thoughts! lol :)

Take care!

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MAMA2AANDB Posts: 3
4/8/10 12:17 P

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SWEET,

I have the same theory on the pregnancy. And it could be (maybe) that since I was carrying twins my hormone levels were even higher and that brought them closer to "normal". No worries about getting pregnant while/if on Spiro. I'm a single and very busy mommy with my hands more than full with the 2 I have. No intentions of having any more any time soon.

Another interesting (in my opinion) thing. My CNP also asks me continuously if I'm under any more stress than usual. Every visit and every phone call she asks me about stress in my life. It really is about keeping it all in balance, isn't it?

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SWEETSUNSHINE72's Photo SWEETSUNSHINE72 Posts: 534
4/8/10 12:10 P

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That's interesting that you've been on BP pills for so long. Excess insulin in your system can cause high blood pressure, as well as high triglycerides (cholesterol). Because Metformin tackles the Insulin Resistance that's behind most of our symptoms, it usually helps with both issues. Diet and exercise can do quite a bit, too. In fact, I highly recommend using nutrition and activity as your first level of treatment, and only adding medication if still needed.

While pregnancy (congrats, btw!) does put more strain on your body, metabolically, it could be that your hormones just happened to be closer to "normal" during pregnancy, and that could be why your BP was so good? Just a theory, anyways!

One caution - with Spironolactone, you need to make sure that you DO NOT get pregnant!!! It can do NASTY things to a male fetus!!! I would also double-check with your doc if you are breastfeeding as I'm not sure if it can pass into breast milk.

As for the pain - there are a couple of different kinds of cysts. The cysts from PCOS usually don't cause much pain. They are really eggs that never matured or ovulated properly, and they are usually re-absorbed within about 3 months or so. The large, painful cysts which DO cause problems are no more common with us Cysters than the general population. I WOULD get it checked out, though, because the really large ones can twist around your ovaries and fallopian tubes, literally strangling them!

A better check for PCOS is a Glucose Tolerance Test with fasting insulin and end-of-test insulin levels. That, combined with other hormone tests (estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, testosterone - free and total) can give a better picture as there are other conditions that can cause cysts, and you don't need them to have PCOS.

Take care, and I hope you get some answers soon!!!

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MAMA2AANDB Posts: 3
4/8/10 11:45 A

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I still haven't gotten an "official" diagnosis. When I was pregnant with my twins and having a visit with a lactation consultant, she noticed the hair growth on my chin and said she bet I had PCOS. It always stuck in my head but my family doctor never mentioned it and I didn't bring it up to him. About a month ago I had a bad head cold that just would not clear up and tried to make an appointment with my DO but he was out of town so I saw his nurse practitioner instead. She was asking questions about my pregnancy and my blood pressure. It's funny that my blood pressure has always been very hard to control and I've been on at least 2 pills a day since my late teens to keep it controlled but during my pregancy my BP was a dream. It averaged 120/80 during my entire pregnancy and started going sky high the day after I had the twins. She said that I must need progesterone (my DO knew about my blood pressure during the pregnancy and this thought never came to HIM). Anyway, she started me on progesterone cream along with omega-3 and stress tabs to help the progesterone do it's job. Shortly after that, she started me on Spironolactone.

Two days ago I was at work sitting at my desk when I got a terrible cramping pain in my left abdomen. It only lasted about 10 minutes but it hurt like a booger. She (and I) think that it was a cyst rupturing. I'm scheduled for an ultrasound on Monday to confirm and see if there are any more cysts visible. While at that visit, she started me on Metformin.

The day after the rupture (yesterday) I got up in the morning and could barely walk. My thighs felt like I'd taken a 10 mile hike up a steep hill. Today the pain in my thighs is no better so I called her this morning. She thinks it's an electrolyte imbalance from the Spironolactone so she's having me stop it and take a calcium, magnesium and zinc supplement to see if that helps. She also told me to stop the Metformin (even though we know it's not the cause since the thigh pain started before I started taking it).

So, that's where I am today. I'm actually looking forward to the ultrasound on Monday because it may possibly give me a definite yes to what's going on in my body. But she did remind me that you can still have PCOS even without cysts.

I'm really hoping I can go back on the Spironolactone. I've got a heavy patch of dark course hair growth on my chin that I've lived with since my late teens and knowing that something can help get rid of it thrills me to no end. I've read enough mixed reviews about the Metformin that I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. I guess I'll just have to give it a try (once she lets me start back on it) and see what it does for me. I can say that so far (even though I've only taken one 500 mg dose) I haven't had any of the nasty side effects I've read about. She warned me to take it with a meal and include a starch so the chance of diarrhea is reduced.

I'm sorry this ended up being so rambling. It's just so nice to have a place where I can talk with women who UNDERSTAND!

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SWEETSUNSHINE72's Photo SWEETSUNSHINE72 Posts: 534
4/8/10 10:13 A

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I am so sorry you had to go through all those loses before finally getting the help you needed!

I am glad that you are finally found someone to help you, though!

Hang in there!

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LISALOXX's Photo LISALOXX Posts: 26
4/8/10 9:47 A

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It took me years. I first had signs before I was even married about 13 years ago. That is when my periods started being very irregular. I had many a nervous moments when my period wouldn't show before I got married lol. It took us about a year to get pregnant with my first child. I was actually about to make an appointment to check things out when I ended up pg. My pregnancy went fine except the birth. I went 36 hrs and only got 3 cm so I ended up with a c-section. No problems though. When my son was 10 months we decided to start trying again. Right away my periods were messed up so I called the doc. She had my chart for 6 months and come in.

This was about the time I had first heard of PCOS. I asked her about it so she did a hormone test. All came out normal so she said I didn't have it and diagnosed me with annovulation. I did one cycle of clomid 100mg and got pg right away. That was my first miscarriage. I found out at 12 weeks. I ended up getting pregnant right away with my daughter and that went fine.

Over the next 4 years I would have 2 more miscarriages. I had seen other doctors and asked about insulin resistance since I had to sisters diagnosed and we had similar problems. All they did was a fasting glucose test which was always fine. It was after my second miscarriage when my OB I was seeing for it said she wondered if I had it. I said that I had sisters who did and tried getting tested but they never did the right test. She sent me for the insulin resistance test (basically the gestational diabetes test) and I failed miserably. She thought I might already be diabetic at the time. My insulin was 5X the normal rate.

I started seeing an endocrinologist for my insulin resistance. I ended up getting pregnant while on metformin but was told to stop taking it once I was pg. That was a mistake that let to my 3rd miscarriage. It came out in studies shortly after that that woman should stay on the metformin for the first trimester. I now have my youngest daughter because of that.

Anyways, even then I didn't know i had been diagnosed with PCOS until I got a copy of my records because we had moved rather far and the RE needed the records. I was reading through them and saw the diagnosis. You know, no one ever told me that diagnosis. For years I had known I had it. So that's it. I'm now on 1000mg of met to help facilitate weight loss.

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READYBABY's Photo READYBABY Posts: 173
4/6/10 9:46 A

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My gyn diagnosed with me with PCOS because of my irregular periods. I have had my AF for 2 years once. Its true. He couldn't figure out why it wouldn't go away and decided to draw blood. Finally, the answer is PCOS. Now I have to take BC pills if I do not want an never ending cycle. I am taking Metformin now and hoping it will regulate my cycle.

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3/29/10 11:21 P

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I was recently diagnosed, and until then hadn't heard of PCOS. It's something easy enough to get information on, but I never saw it. I never read women's health stuff because it always seemed to be about breast cancer or getting pregnant, and I figured my basic knowledge of the 5 female body parts could get me by until I had breast cancer or tried to get pregnant.

I gained 30lb.s in 1 summer when I was 10 (without doing anything out of the ordinary). I got periods that were always very painful, and always came with vomiting and heavy bleeding. I could exercise hard (when I was trying) for a month, lose 10 pounds, and then gain it back the next month while still doing the routines I'd done the previous month. My monthly "visitor" was becoming something more of an everyday roommate, then it would be gone mysteriously for a couple of months and then come back with a vengeance. I figured "This is what being a girl is about" because wherever you look, there were commercials about bad cramps, women dieting to no end, and removing unwanted facial hair. You're a girl, so you just have to live through the stuff you can't change.

It got really bad a couple years ago. I was really stressed about unrelated stuff, and the more stressed I got, the heavier and longer my period became. Then, within a few days of the stress-issue ending, so did my period. (Which was good, because almost 1.5 months of being on was giving me fantasies about having a hysterectomy!)

I figured I couldn't stand another round of such misery, so I saw my doctor for the first time in quite sometime, and decided to ask him about it. He recommended a gynecologist who diagnosed me after an ultrasound and blood tests.

I guess, in some ways, my rough patch a couple years ago was good for me, because it scared the living daylights out of me. Otherwise, I'd have probably let this go on until I got cancer or something.

TMCHEER's Photo TMCHEER Posts: 62
3/18/10 9:39 P

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I have always had irregular periods my entire life. When I was in high school and college I was on the pill, so I thought that everything was normal. I had always weighed about 120 lbs. Then after I graduated and got married, my husband and I started trying to have a baby. I gained almost 60 lbs. instantly. I became pregnant, but sadly miscarried shortly after we found out. We were devastated. The doctors didn't really have much to say about the reasons. They pretty much told me that things like that happen and not to be too concerned about it. Well that was almost 2 years ago.

About a month ago I was having some awful pains in my lower abdominal area. I decided to make an appointment with a new doctor. I was in her office for about 10 mins. when she told me that I needed to have an ultrasound, because she was pretty sure that she knew what was going on. She was right...

Now I am just trying to learn everything that I can about PCOS, so that I can stay informed and make the right decisions for my family.

Edited by: TMCHEER at: 3/18/2010 (21:40)
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BELROSA's Photo BELROSA Posts: 697
3/14/10 10:20 P

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Thanks for sharing dezertfairy... what a rough road... I hope things go smoother for you now.

I have a website with loads of PCOS info www.mypcos.info Please stop by!

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DEZERTFAIRY's Photo DEZERTFAIRY Posts: 72
3/14/10 7:30 P

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Well, I've never had a regular period in my life... except for when I've been on BC pills. In HS I weighed about 105-110lbs. I was reasonably active but not terribly athletic.
I had fertility issues for 3 years ( not trying but not preventing ) before I became pregnant quite by surprise.
My weight stayed pretty much the same and I was back into my high school clothes just after the birth of my daughter. Then everything changed. I went on BC and gained 60lbs ( I am five ft tall. That was almost another person for me! ) I could NOT loose the weight. It would fluctuate a little but I seemed to be stuck.
When my DD was just over a year I went off the BCP and decided to start trying to get pg again. I did but miscarried almost immediately after. I changed jobs, amazingly enough to a chocolate store and lost 30lbs practically over night. I didnt change anything and quite often sampled the wears. Stayed at that weight for quite some time and started going to doctors about my irregular cycles and lack of getting preg.
No one seemed concerned. If I didn't start a cycle they would put me on progesterone to start it and a few months later I'd be back to get some more. At one point they would give me three dose's worth so I wasn't always coming in. I was frustrated and no one seemed to give a flying.... care .... what was going on.
I talked a friend and she told me about PCOS so I did a little research and I swear it was like someone had just copied down all of my symptoms.
So I made an apt. w/ a nurse prac, since my GP wasn't any help, and I went in and asked about PCOS. She never touched me. Stood across the room the entire time. She asked me why I thought I had PCOS, and I told her I have the symptoms. She argued with me. I wasn't "over weight" and I wax my mustache ::ugh:: so all she took into consideration was how I looked to her. Finally I asked if I could just be tested. And she LAUGHED at me. She told me that she "KNEW" I didn't have it and she laughed in my face. I have never felt so stupid in my life. So I never brought it up again.
We had a horrible family tragedy and I ended up moving back home to be closer to my parents with my family. A year later I tried the doctor circuit again. I never brought up PCOS, although I still thought I had it. I was put on clomid for my lack of ovulation and did that for a few months and was passed off again. At that point I was done. I gave up.
I got pregnant with my son, again quite by surprise, in 2007. On my first OB visit they did an u/s to date the preg. since I had no idea how far along I was since it'd been a few months since I'd had a period. My weight had been up and down. I'd gain 30lbs and loose it and gain it and.. ect.
While doing the u/s doc looked at my ovaries and said. "Wow. Those are very polycystic ovaries" and showed me the pics. I could have cried. I had been right! Luckily the pregnancy stuck, although I had a fair amount of complications ( not pcos related ) and now we are done having kids. It makes me a little mad that if someone had just listened or taken more then a moment with me that maybe I wouldn't have had to have a 6 year age gap. maybe I could have had 3 children like I'd wanted. But that was not the deck I was dealt.

Now I have another doc that I've been referred to, who has dealt w/ PCOS issues before. I need to make that yearly apt. anyway so Im going to give her a try and go from there. Im trying the zone diet and already seeing results, although slowly. Im hoping to be able to control it w/ diet. But as diabetes runs in my family, I really want to make sure that Im covering everything. I want to be sure that Im on the right track. No more "well I think its this... so lets try that... "

Sorry for the long rant. :) Its been a rough road tho. And Im just hoping that the worst is over.

Edited by: DEZERTFAIRY at: 3/14/2010 (19:33)
*~*Dez*~*
wifey to Will
Mommy to
Shelby and Liam

~Having a telephone conversation with someone that has young children is like talking to someone with tourettes.~


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MAIDENFINE's Photo MAIDENFINE Posts: 25
3/13/10 7:54 P

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I actually consider myself lucky, in terms of getting diagnosed. When I was 17, I read an article about PCOS. It said that a woman could have it without any symptoms and I had about half of them. So when I went to a gyno for the first time, I said I wanted to be tested for it. She left the room for a while, and to this day, I swear, she had to go look up what I was talking about. But she ordered the blood test and diagnosed me. But at that time, she said they didn't really have a treatment for it, just different stuff for the symptoms. I didn't really care so much for taking a bunch of medications, so I just said thanks for the diagnosis and didn't worry about it.

A few years later, I went to my GP and he noticed my symptoms and brought it up. He put me on metformin and spironolactone at that time. Then when I got married, I added BCPs to that. In 2006, when we decided to try to have a baby, I went off the BCPs and the spironolactone. We got pregnant within a couple months, and I went off of the metformin at that time.

After my daughter was born, I basically haven't found a birth control that works for me. They all seem to cause me to bleed more than once a month. I think I've been on 4 or 5 different birth controls in the last 2 1/2 years. At the beginning of 2009, I saw a new doctor and she is very knowledgeable about PCOS. She was the first doctor that ever did a full blood workup on me. She put me back on metformin and spironolactone this last June and I've been able to lose about 30 lbs since then. And now we're working on baby number two. So I've stopped BCPs and spironolactone and I'll stop metformin once I get pregnant. I'm hoping we'll have quick success this time too, but I've had some bleeding issues that are worriesome. I have a sonogram scheduled for Monday morning and I'm hoping they won't find anything terrible.




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SWEETSUNSHINE72's Photo SWEETSUNSHINE72 Posts: 534
3/11/10 5:52 P

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Metformin doesn't lower your blood sugar directly, but it does slow down how much sugar your liver pumps back into your blood between meals.

That's why it's important to eat every 2 - 3 hours. Also, you need to gradually increase your dosage, rather than jumping into it. Also, eating every few hours helps the underlying IR, too, and helps to keep your insulin and blood sugar levels more even.

My blood sugar levels are not high, either, in fact, I tend to get low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). I find that in the first couple of weeks of taking Metformin, I do get more low blood sugar, but after that, it gets a lot better, and I start feeling a lot better, too!

Take care, and good luck!

Registered Massage Therapist (2200 hrs training)


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MALUQUINA's Photo MALUQUINA Posts: 612
3/11/10 5:04 P

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I was diagnosed back in 1998 on the East Coast in grad school. I went in for birth control issues because I had gained 35 pounds in 6 months and I think it took off from there. (Prior to 1998 my weight was always 120-125)

I was referred to the head of Endocrinology and he looked at my (male) hair growth patterns, belly fat, among other things and said that I had PCOS. I didn't have an ultrasound or anything technical. However, it went untreated for about 8 years because I moved, changed insurance plans, etc..

Tried Metformin but since my sugar levels are normal, I think it reduced my levels to where I was feeling light headed after taking it. Currently I'm not taking meds (might try sprirolactone before I do laser hair removal). I'm trying to see if things get better by just losing weight.



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BSUZYHOMEMAKER's Photo BSUZYHOMEMAKER Posts: 6
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It took me almost three years and having three miscarriages to get a proper diagnosis. I went to a Repro Endo and he did an ultrasound and the cysts showed up on my ovaries instantly on the screen. My bloodwork kept coming back normal, so my obgyn kept telling me that it was normal that I had miscarriages until my third one. What was peculiar is I have a healthy three year old (three must be my luck number or something) and I had her with no problem but after her birth I had all of the symptoms of pcos but had to suffer 3 losses and go to a R.E. before I was taken seriously. I was actually just diagnosed about a month ago, even though I have suspected since my little girl was born. Hope my story helps someone who is trying to make sense of what is going on. Thanks for letting me share it! emoticon

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
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BELROSA's Photo BELROSA Posts: 697
2/8/10 6:14 P

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We are incredibly lucky with the amount of information that has come to light in the last 10 years about PCOS. Nobody should have to go through what you (and many others) have been through to get a diagnosis and proper treatment.

Clinicians need to be much better educated about IR.

I have a website with loads of PCOS info www.mypcos.info Please stop by!

Leader of Managing PCOS Naturally www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
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2/8/10 11:28 A

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It took me years to get diagnosed...All the doctors I saw at first kept telling me that I just had a low tolerance for pain (menstrual cramping would send me to the ER it would get so bad at times) and that there was nothing wrong with me.

I was a military brat so we were constantly moving and it was never the same doctor that saw me. I had the hair growth start when I was around 14.

I was working 40 hours a week, going to high school full time, was on the volleyball team and ROTC so was always on the go. Between ROTC and Volleyball I was running 5+ miles a day etc but the doctors just kept telling me I was eating too much junk and not exercising and that's why I was gaining weight.

Finally in 1999, when I was 18, we moved again. This time when I ended up in the ER I had a doctor who noticed the hair growth in all the wrong places, the abdominal fat, etc and sent me to an Endo.

He ran a bunch of tests and gamve me a name for what I had....finally! LOL. Proof I wasn't making it up. He started me on metformin and spironolactone. Unfortnately a couple months later I lost my health insurance through my father due to my age and couldn't afford to get treated any longer.

Back then they didn't link diet, IR, etc to PCOS. I'm amazed at all the info that is available now compared to then :)

Take one day at a time...it's never too late to make a change.

Yes, my real name is Sunshine :) (I get asked that all the time)


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1/31/10 11:16 P

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I haven't yet gotten hold of the full paper, so can't answer your questions. I would love to know a lot more as well. I'll let you know if I do manage to get a copy.

You fall within the PCOS, BMI over 35 and intolerant of carbohydrates category if your BMI is over 35 and you exhibit the classic IR pattern on GTT (which so few people can recognise it isn't funny - my BSL is extremely stable - I've only ever seen it at home in the 5.3-5.5 mmol/L range (x 18 if you're in the US), but when I had my one and only GTT I got a raging migraine by the 2 hour mark and when the results came in my BSL never spiked above 8 mmol/L, but almost immediately dropped precipitously, down as low as 3.1 - hypo territory. The pathologist classified it as 'normal'.

I suppose the problem when your BMI gets that high, is that all your fat cells are contributing to the insulin resistance - so you not only have the insulin resistance that comes with PCOS, but also an additional form which happens when one is obese (horrid word :) ). You are right - if you can tolerate metformin, then the best thing to do is to use it (under monitoring) for only as long as you need to to get things back under control.

I misunderstood you regarding metformin being safe - it probably is one of the better antidiabetic drugs. It's so often quoted as being 'one of the safest drugs' point blank I thought you were referring to this.

I know I'm biased against it because of my experience, just as you would be biased in favour of it because you've had a good experience with it. All the training in the world regarding scientific method can't completely eliminate that I don't believe :) I'm just concerned that we jump at new treatments (for anything) sooner than we ought and without proper testing.

I was talking to a Dr friend of mine who also happens to have PCOS a few weeks ago and discussing the way I felt when I tried metformin and what happened afterwards (I went from no symptoms other than cysts and irregular periods, 6-8 a year and only being able to maintain a normal weight with a lot of exercise to no periods for 3.5 years, and the amazing ability to put on 5 or 10 kg in a single month with no change to diet or exercise, plus acne and hairius horriblis (sic)).

She suggested that my extreme fatigue and 'unwell' feeling was likely liver damage due to the metformin (don't know why I didn't think of this as I warn everyone else of it!) and that the metformin likely damaged part of the DCI-IPG enzyme system, which is what triggered the complete unbalancing of my system. Why I didn't think of this for myself I couldn't tell you. You lose all perspective when it's about yourself or those you love.

Anyway, for me, I can really appreciate what the study authors are saying - Metformin can be good for those who are already severely unbalanced, but if the PCOS is mild, then it may do a great deal more harm than good.

There's a link on the metformin page of my site to a study which found that whilst metformin prevented the development of metabolic syndrome in those predisposed to it by 17%, diet and exercise alone prevented the development of it in 41% of people, and revered Metabolic syndrome in 38% of people who already had it, compared to only 23% for metformin.

Essentially, for the majority of people, diet and exercise are twice as effective as metformin. Obviously when your BMI gets over 35, you have a whole heap of additional problems to deal with and may need additional help to rein things back in.

It's really hard I know to take people who give you offhand advice without really knowing what you are going through ... whether they are a wellmeaning but ignorant GP or your own mother. Losing weight will help, but that is half the battle and the weight is likely there because of the underlying insulin resistance anyway. It's the chicken and the egg...

And let's not even start on BCPs ;) I suppose that is one of the reasons I'm so concerned about the apparently indiscriminate use of metformin - for years BCPs were considered the best way to treat PCOS as they magically made most of the symptoms go away, then lo and behold we discover that they can cause IR and PCOS in healthy folk. Whoops.

Anyway ... I have to get going, I've an appointment (thank heaven or I'd waffle on all day no doubt :) ).

Take care... xx Belrosa xx

I have a website with loads of PCOS info www.mypcos.info Please stop by!

Leader of Managing PCOS Naturally www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=54257
SWEETSUNSHINE72's Photo SWEETSUNSHINE72 Posts: 534
1/31/10 10:29 P

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The abstract did say pretty much exactly what you stated just now, but it did not say how they arrived at that conclusion. For treating secondary infertility, for instance, did they just give it one month and what was the dosage given, or did they use the full 1,500 mg/day dosage recommended for treating PCOS and give it a full 3 - 6 months before "declaring it a failure"? What about lifestyle issues? Were test subjects monitored for diet and exercise? What about supplement use?

"I believe from what you've told me SweetSunshine, that you would have fallen within the acceptable criteria for prescribing metformin."

I'm not sure - technically, I'm not diabetic, and I don't have high fasting blood sugar. Even my Glucose Tolerance Test is usually technically "normal", although you can still see the IR pattern, and although my fasting insulin levels are elevated, my family doc put that down to my weight (my BMI is well over 35). I actually had to really search for a doctor who didn't just tell me to "lose weight and you'll be fine". I was trying, but even after 5 months of strict low-GI-type diet and working out for 1 to 1.5 hours 5 days/week including hours with a personal trainer - I still had gained weight. My body fat % had gone down, but only slightly (only a couple of %).

"I'm not saying that it should never be prescribed, just that it must be prescribed with caution."

I appreciate (and agree with) that! emoticon

"I've come into contact with quite a few women who have suffered very serious side effects from it - from lactic acidosis, to irreparable kidney &/or liver damage after several years use."

I agree that regular bloodwork and follow-up should be done to catch any serious issues, and certainly if you are taking it and you feel that you are reacting, you should go to the emergency room ASAP - but that's the same as with any medication.

As for being "the safest drug around" - that is not quite what I was saying. I do believe it is one of the safest medications used in treating Insulin Resistance and one of the safest medications used for treating diabetes. It certainly doesn't have the same heart health risk as Avandia, for instance, which is commonly used as "the next step up" in diabetes treatment (or, at least, it has been until recently).

Long-term, I believe the goal should be to use it for a couple of years to help re-balance (and aid in allowing weight loss, which then helps the IR), but to then begin to rely more on the lifestyle changes to maintain, rather than the medication if at all possible. Like anything, it is a tool which needs to be used correctly. If you hurt your leg you may need to use a crutch for a while, but eventually you need to give up that crutch or your leg will never re-gain it's strength. It's the same idea.

I guess that we agree on the need for proper follow-up care and on not just prescribing it indescriminately, although I don't agree on how tight the prescribing recommendations are, as I feel that it can leave out many women who could honestly benefit from the medication. I also firmly believe that IR needs to be tackled aggressively to prevent health deterioration and possible progression to full-fledged Type 2 Diabetes. I also have questions about the study, which cannot be answered from the abstract (but which might be answered in the full write-up).

Anyways - sorry I pulled things off-topic! I know your original intent was merely to post important information. I guess I am emotionally involved in this - it wasn't until I finally had a doctor who actually BELIEVED me that I finally got some help, and it was that medical assistance (Metformin) that gave me hope at actually being able to get control over my body again. It is certainly a better option than just using BCP's to control symptoms!

Take care, Hon! emoticon

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BELROSA's Photo BELROSA Posts: 697
1/31/10 8:07 P

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That scientific paper basically states that metformin is not efficient enough to regulate menstrual cycles, treat hyperandrogenism, nor as a frontline treatment for secondary infertility, nor as a secondary treatment for infertility if Clomid treatment fails. It should also not be taken during pregnancy by women with PCOS who are not diabetic and should only be prescribed if:

A person is diabetic or
A person has PCOS, high fasting blood sugar OR carbohydrate intolerance AND their BMI is over 35.

Metformin should NOT be used in non-diabetic people as a means of losing weight, nor should it be used to treat dyslipidaemia (abnormal levels of cholesterol or triglycerides in the blood).

I believe from what you've told me SweetSunshine, that you would have fallen within the acceptable criteria for prescribing metformin.

I'm not saying that it should never be prescribed, just that it must be prescribed with caution.

Metformin is not what I would consider 'one of the safest' drugs around, and I am quite familiar with pharmacology. There most certainly are more dangerous drugs out there, but the risk of side effects from metformin (often after long term use) is quite substantial. I suspect that those who say that it is one of the safest drugs are those who have either a personal or financial investment in it being prescribed.

I've come into contact with quite a few women who have suffered very serious side effects from it - from lactic acidosis, to irreparable kidney &/or liver damage after several years use. I myself had a severe reaction to it, which I believe was related to liver damage, a degree of which appears to have been permanent or at least not transitory.

I have a website with loads of PCOS info www.mypcos.info Please stop by!

Leader of Managing PCOS Naturally www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
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SWEETSUNSHINE72's Photo SWEETSUNSHINE72 Posts: 534
1/31/10 7:48 P

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I agree that whenever you take a medication, you should educate yourself about the risks and benefits and discuss them with your doctor. Certainly, ANY medication (even "natural" ones) have side effects and contra-indications.

From what I've read, however, Metformin is one of the mildest medications out there in terms of serious side effects (medications used to improve insulin resistance). Personally, when I looked at what it could do for me versus what it might do to me, I found that the scales tipped way over to the benefits side! I also found that it totally changed my life. I was getting WILD emotional issues from hypoglycemia (and yes, I was eating a healthy diet). I also had some crazy weight gain that I could NOT control, even with some pretty heavy exercise and diet! Metformin evens out the playing field for me, so, while I certainly still need to do the work, it means that I have a chance of being successful, and I'm not driving everybody nuts around me! Not to mention that I started ovulating regularly again, too!

Certainly, you ABSOLUTELY need to incorporate lifestyle management. In fact, it should be your first line of attacking PCOS. Some basicly safe supplements should also be included, such as fish oil, a good-quality multi-vitamin, chromium and Vit. D3. Inositol seems to be fine, too, although it can be expensive, depending on where you get it. Much more than that, and I would strongly suggest that you get someone who's properly trained to help you, such as a naturopathic doctor.

Yes, Metformin does have side-effects. It also has beneficial effects, and is one of the few medical treatments for PCOS that actually addresses some of the major health risks associated with the syndrome, such as high triglycerides (cholesterol), high blood pressure, and IR (which, left untreated, can easily develop into full-blown diabetes). It is also true that some of us cannot manage our PCOS and IR through lifestyle changes on their own, and some of us have trouble accessing even standard medical help, let alone complementary or alternative medicine.

One thing that this article does not say (ok, the abstract doesn't) is; What lifestyle factors were looked at? What dosage of Metformin was used? How long was the Metformin used for? These are common questions that I find are rarely dealt with in many of the studies that I've read on the efficacy of Metformin in treating PCOS issues. Metformin seems to work much better when combined with a low-GI-style of diet and exercise as opposed to no dietary or lifestyle modification at all, yet lifestyle modifications are rarely mentioned in the studies.

Just my thoughts on the matter!

Edited by: SWEETSUNSHINE72 at: 1/31/2010 (19:57)
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BELROSA's Photo BELROSA Posts: 697
1/31/10 7:33 P

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Anyone who is on or considering Metformin, should read this abstract:

Duranteau L, Lefevre P, Jeandidier N, Simon T, Christin-Maitre S. Should physicians prescribe metformin to women with polycystic ovary syndrome PCOS?, Ann Endocrinol (Paris). 2010 Jan 13 PMID: 20079483

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20079483

Metformin is often seen as a universal panacea for anyone with PCOS, yet the criteria for when it should be used are much more stringent than it would appear is being practised clinically. The side effects from metformin use, including liver and kidney damage are very severe and the risk must be weighed against the potential benefits.

I have a website with loads of PCOS info www.mypcos.info Please stop by!

Leader of Managing PCOS Naturally www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=54257
SWEETSUNSHINE72's Photo SWEETSUNSHINE72 Posts: 534
1/30/10 2:24 P

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Believe it or not, no, having lots of mini-cysts is not enough for a PCOS diagnosis (it's only one possible symptom out of many, and you don't even have to have them). In fact, many doctors/scientists are now arguing over what to re-name PCOS as it's not really an accurate description!

That being said, you could very well still have PCOS. It is really a metabolic disorder that happens to have gyno symptoms. Insulin Resistance (IR) is at the heart of it, and eating irregularly, eating lots of processed foods, especially high-carbohydrate foods are two things that will definitely make IR worse, or can even trigger it! IR also causes your body to make larger amounts of insulin, and insulin is a growth hormone that blocks fat burning and promotes fat storage, so the worse your IR is, the harder it will be to lose weight (or even to prevent gaining weight)!

What your endo really SHOULD have said was, not necessarily to lose weight, but to start making some lifestyle changes, especially in relation to how (and what) you eat. That will reduce your IR and you should then start losing weight almost as a side effect! You will feel MUCH better, and if your issue is PCOS, then you should start seeing improvement in your PCOS symptoms.

If lifestyle changes are not enough (and give it a good 3 months of honest effort, tracking everything), then I would strongly suggest that you go back to the endo (or even find a new one), and show him your nutrition and exercise tracker print-outs. That is "proof positive" of what you are doing, and he should be able to give you medication (like Metformin) or do further testing to determine what is really going on.

While endo's are the ones who are most likely to be able to help you, there are good ones and... not-so-good ones. This one sounds a little questionable. Maybe he didn't understand that you've already been trying to lose weight, and are having trouble doing so. Or, maybe he's "old-school" and doesn't really "get it". At the very least, he should be able to give you a referral for a dietitian.

I struggled with my weight for so long, and I figured it was "just me" - not eating as well as I should, and not exercising. Then, when I got fed up and not only got a gym membership, but also some personal trainer sessions, was working out an hour or more, 4 - 5 days per week for 5 months AND ACTUALLY GAINED WEIGHT!!! I knew that something REALLY wasn't right! It still took me a few more years before I found a good endo who was able to explain to me how IR factors in, and can literally make it impossible to lose weight. He put me on 2,000 mg/day of Metformin, and I was also doing a lot of walking and eating a fairly strict low-GI-type diet, and I was able to actually lose 30 lbs!!!! emoticon

Before that, though, I got some "wonderful" advice from my mother. She told me all I needed to do was "get off (my) fat a$$ and shut the intake valve". Wonderfully supportive - NOT! emoticon

Anyways, I hope this helps you. Know that you're not the only one out there! Hang in there!!! emoticon

Edited by: SWEETSUNSHINE72 at: 1/30/2010 (14:31)
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KAYRAE2's Photo KAYRAE2 Posts: 20
1/30/10 2:03 P

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I'm in the process of being diagnosed, i went to an OBGYN after i hadn't had my period for three months and all neg preg tests and they did blood work and decided to do an ultra sound and i ended up having lots of little cysts and i've seen the pictures of pcos from ultra sounds online and that's what it looked like, but then i went to an endocrinologist because the OBGYN didnt deal with PCOS and he told me no i didnt have it and i just need to loose weight, that's funny because i have the CYSTS! lol its like isnt that enough proof?! I get so sensitive when people say loose weight as if i havent been trying and what not, my problem however isnt over eating its not eating enough and when i do its nothing good for me.

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SWEETSUNSHINE72's Photo SWEETSUNSHINE72 Posts: 534
1/29/10 10:42 A

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Yeah, GP's and gyno's aren't really trained to look for IR, only to diagnose full-fledged Diabetes. Many docs don't realize that, by the time your glucose starts to rise even a little bit, there's a LOT of damage that's happened already!

The endo is definitely the way to go! See if you can find one who's specializing in Diabetes or PCOS.

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CARESMAIL's Photo CARESMAIL Posts: 139
1/29/10 9:45 A

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I went to get my IUD (Miridia-give hormones for 5 years) replaced. She asked about my periods, and I told her I hadn't had one the whole time I had the IUD. After bloodwork and my old record (tried to have a second baby for 5 years and no luck) and history of irregular periods, facial hair growth and adult acne, she told me I have PCOS. She didn't perscribe Metformin, but sent me to my GP, who decided that my fast glucose and insulin levels were fine, even said metformin might make me gain weight since they were normal. So I have a new Miridia for 5 years, going to look for and encronolgist to make sure that this is all right.

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.
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CONNORELLAMOMMY's Photo CONNORELLAMOMMY Posts: 7
1/26/10 12:36 P

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I went of the pill because it was making me sick. I had always had probs while taking the pill, and this time was no different. 4 months after going off of bc, I completely stopped cycling. At first I thought we were pg, but soon found out I wasn't. This "scare" prompted us to start trying to conceive. I talked to my Dr about my cycle, and he felt it was due to stopping bc and it would fix itself. I waited, but it never returned. I had issues with my cycle since I had started, I also had facial hair, hair loss on head, and a concstant struggle with my weight. I finally decided that my DR was not looking and that there was somethign wrong. So, I did some research online and came across PCOS. It was like someonehad written the symptoms about me and I knew deep in my heart it was right. I took the info to my Dr and he said it was possile and referred me to a specialist. Turns out I was right, he started me on appropriate meds and we now have two beautiful children! I am still taking the Met, 750mg x 2 a day and it really does seem to help. I am now trying to get the weight off from my first pregnancy 5 years ago!!!! I know that weight has always been a struggle for me, but I am finally determined to do something about it.

Edited by: CONNORELLAMOMMY at: 1/26/2010 (12:36)
" The reason Grandparents and Grandchildren get along so well... They share a common enemy."


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1/25/10 8:44 P

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I was referred to an endocrinologist after being unsuccessful in getting pregnant for over a year. I began fertility treatments. I was never told to watch my diet, etc. Then after two years of treaments with clomid and ensemination, we decided to go to invitro. I started the meds, but I would not stop bleeding. The doctor food fibroids, and I had to have an hysterocopy to remove them. That was in April of this year. The doctor I was seeing left the practice, and his partner told me that I should have been on metformin and advised to diet and exercise with my insulin levels and other symptoms. I had begun to gain weight and have other issues after begining to take BCPs. Once I went off the BCPs, my periods were never regular again. They were regular before the BCP, and I had a son unexpectedly at 21, which is why I went on the BCP.

BELROSA's Photo BELROSA Posts: 697
1/24/10 8:38 P

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It never fails to sadden me the dreadful trouble women have with PCOS, their doctors and obtaining a diagnosis and then useful help rather than the usual no or bad advice.

I have a health/science background myself and had read of PCOS, had always had irregular periods which I had previously put down to low body weight and too much work and stress, but when I started having difficulty maintaining a normal weight despite a lot of exercise I went to 3 different GPs in succession to try and get the tests done. None of them would do it as I didn't fit the clinical picture (not overweight, not infertile, no excess hair ... at that point). I finally went to a 5 minute staff GP at the hospital I was working at, gave her a list of all the tests I wanted done, saying I suspected PCOS, she didn't have time to do a history or argue with me and low and behold when the results came back it was the worst case she said she had seen, according to the ultrasound. She gave me a prescription for metformin (which I took for a month or 2, but had to stop due to suspected liver damage) and birth control pills, which I never filled, because I read the research about how it can actually cause insulin resistance, making the underlying illness worse.

I now have the PCOS under control through diet, exercise, herbal and nutritional supplements, the most useful being d-chiro inositol. It was 6 years between my diagnosis and getting the treatment right though and in that time I gained a LOT of weight and developed dreadful hirsutism and lost my menstrual cycle.

There ARE diagnostic criteria for PCOS, if you need to educate your doctor, please see:

pcosinfo.wordpress.com/what_is_pcos/
di
agnostic-criteria/


The diagnostic tests you need done are here:

pcosinfo.wordpress.com/what_is_pcos/
di
agnostic-tests/


If you want to learn more about the way insulin resistance causes PCOS see here:

pcosinfo.wordpress.com/what_is_pcos/
wh
at-causes-pcos/


And finally - women with PCOS should avoid BCPs at all costs. They do SO MUCH harm to our insulin/blood sugar regulation systems.

mypcos.info/1/treatments/pharmaceuti
ca
l/ocp


Best of luck to everyone ... it's a hard path we are walking on.


I have a website with loads of PCOS info www.mypcos.info Please stop by!

Leader of Managing PCOS Naturally www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=54257
LYNZZIE's Photo LYNZZIE Posts: 248
1/23/10 8:51 P

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I was just diagnosed in December. I've been struggling with ovarian pain, hospitalizations from cysts when I was a teenager because of the pain, irregular periods, and insulin resistance. My OB-GYN of 10 years just kept switching my birth control. Well, I finally got a 2nd opinion and am so glad I did! Now I know what's going on and can work towards fixing things!! My doctor basically diagnosed me through my symptoms and an internal ultrasound.

Lyndsey - PNP working on a change!

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says "I'll try again tomorrow".


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1/22/10 9:57 A

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In 1998 I had a son my 24th week in pregnancy. He lived for 17 days and then passed away. I was 23 years old at the time. I only weighed around 100 lbs when he was delivered. In the next two months I gained 115 lbs. I didn't have health insurance at the time and the doctor I was seeing kept saying I was lazy. Even after my (now ex) husband told him I was still at the same activity level and eating the same. The following three years I tried to get pregnant without success. I was finally sent to an infertility clinic and saw an endocrinologist.

Immediately I was diagnosed with PCOS and was started on Metformin. Looking back I started my menses at 8 years old but was never regular. It could be months sometimes years before I would have a cycle. After still not being able to get pregnant I got separated in 2001 and divorced in 2005.

I was diagnosed with type II diabetes in 2008. My blood sugar is now under control. I am still trying to get all of this weight off. I hate the fact that I am losing hair on the top of my head and gaining it thick all over my face!

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RAVEN2FEATHERS's Photo RAVEN2FEATHERS Posts: 7,175
1/21/10 5:00 P

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I was diagnosed in 2008 and was only checked out because my daughter found out she had it and let me know right away of course. So, off I went to the gyno and she confirmed that I have it too. I was, to say the least, not thrilled but at the same time relieved to know it too. I was put on medication, metformin, which I also take for my diabetes, and so far no problems getting rid of the weight.

I've dropped 241 lbs and have 124 lbs left to go. So it does work for me. Oh I do hit plateaus but they soon go away and then I'm on the losing streak again.

So that's my story. :)

Oh Great Spirit who dwells in the sky, lead us to the path of peace and understanding. Our lives are so short here, walking upon Mother Earth's surface. Let our eyes be opened to all the blessings you have given us. Please hear our prayers, oh Great Spirit.

"Native Amerian Prayer for Peace"
Tsalagi, Sasa Ageya


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FITJAYHAWK4LIFE's Photo FITJAYHAWK4LIFE Posts: 1,136
1/20/10 1:08 P

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I was diagnosed about three years ago. My period had been super irregular and driving me CRAZY (it would go on every other week for about 2.5 months, and then nothing for 2.5 months, etc). I had gained weight from my first year in college and was at my heaviest ever of 160 lbs (5'6"), so not too overweight. My general doc told me to lose some weight and my period would become regular (and the hairs on my chin would stop growing). My older sister had been diagnosed with PCOS as well, so I went to see her Endocrinologist who specializes in PCOS. Lo and behold, she took one look at me and the lab tests I had already had done (and had to clarify that I HADN'T eaten before, as for some reason the lab said I had) and she diagnosed me. She put me on Yaz and Spiro.. I've kept up with the Yaz, not so much with the Spiro (for the facial hair), but it hasn't been too much of a problem for me.

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PINKWIN68's Photo PINKWIN68 Posts: 2
1/20/10 12:09 A

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I struggled for years with the symptoms not sure what was wrong with me. About 20 years ago I read an article about PCOS in Cosmo. I made an appointment with my Gyno and said, "I think I have this." His response was well yeah. Needless to say I quickly switched Drs. I now have a great Dr within Kaiser Permanente. For the first time in a long time I feel like I have control over my body.

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ADAMARIE1617 Posts: 67
1/18/10 11:47 P

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Thank you for that info.. I have been on 1500 mg of metformin since being diagnosed.. Those things happen though so I know its made my Husband and I stronger and appriciate the little darling we do have a million times more!



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SWEETSUNSHINE72's Photo SWEETSUNSHINE72 Posts: 534
1/18/10 8:04 P

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One of the added benefits of Metformin is that it helps to normalize the risk of miscarriage that can come with PCOS. I believe it is because it helps to stabilize the insulin/blood sugar levels, thus providing a healthier egg, "better" ovulation, and a more stable hormone system for those vital first few weeks/months.

It's worth looking into, anyways. Best of luck on your next pregnancy!

Registered Massage Therapist (2200 hrs training)


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ADAMARIE1617 Posts: 67
1/18/10 6:25 P

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I new something was wrong with me since I was like 14 however I was not diagnosed until I was 19. I went to endless endocrinologist and ob/gyn's all them said it was because I was a dancer and young and blah blah blah.... Well My mom owned a hair salon and I would help out on the weekends and I was reading a redbook mag! One of the perks was all the gossip mags and what not! Well I was strictly reading this one cause TIM MCGRAW was on the cover! LOVE HIM!! Anyways there was an article about a woman who was suffering from PCOS so i read it .. I was so shocked that everything that I was going through.. hair growth in the all the wrong places.. thinning hair, unexplainable weight gains, irregular periods.. horrible cramps.. you know the details... It all made so much sense so I went to a specialist AGAIN.. Handed them the article and said test me... cause what I'm NOT A FREAK there really was something wrong with me!! After being treated for 2 years I was able to have a healthy pregnancy and now I have a Beautiful daughter.. I hope to soon have another child However Since having her I have put on so much weight and We have tried 3 times going off the meds to get pregnant like when having Sierra but to no results... Except for one miscarriage. so I am hoping to loose weight and try again a few more times But I already know how blessed I am just with having My daughter.. some people cant get pregnant.
I am 26 now and I hope to be able to nip this syndrome in the butt and not allow it to stop me anymore...



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SWEETSUNSHINE72's Photo SWEETSUNSHINE72 Posts: 534
1/18/10 10:04 A

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Blue, as I mentioned before, PCOS is really a metabolic issue. That's why BCP's only mask the symptoms, they don't really tackle the underlying problem. Metformin is a medication which DOES tackle the underlying issue - Insulin Resistance. It is also a very cheap medication!

See if your OBGYN will prescribe it for you. Typically, you start at 500 mg/day (one pill), and gradually work up to 1,500 mg/day (3 pills). If you can combine that with healthy eating and good exercise, then you should see some really good results!!! Exercise doesn't have to cost anything, either - walking can be a good exercise, and it's totally free!

Hang in there!!! (((HUGS)))

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BLUE82 Posts: 451
1/18/10 9:55 A

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I was diagnosed a year ago this spring. I hadn't had my period(which was erratic to start wtih)but the pregnancy tests were negative. I went to the OBGYN and she put gave me an ultrasound and found cysts. That was when I was diagnosed. I had to go off the birth control the first time because it was making me feel bipolar. The second time was making me more depressed. I have no job and no insurance, therefore can't do anything.

Trying to get myself back


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COLORMI2's Photo COLORMI2 Posts: 43
1/17/10 8:04 P

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I was diagnosed early - at 15. I'd first gotten my period at 13 and it had been regular for a while (i also had bad acne at the time) - but then i didn't have my period at all for about 2 years - it took me that long to realize, maybe something's not right : ) i was diagnosed fairly quickly, luckily, as my gynecologist also had training in endocrinology.

You can't have a better tomorrow if you are thinking about yesterday all the time. -Charles F. Kettering


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SWEETSUNSHINE72's Photo SWEETSUNSHINE72 Posts: 534
1/17/10 9:30 A

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PCOS affects about 10% of women in North America. It is heavily connected to Insulin Resistance (and/or thyroid issues, too). It was not until about 7 or so years ago that doctors/scientists realized the connection to IR. Before that, all that doctors knew to do was throw you on BCP if you weren't Trying To Conceive (TTC), give you fertility meds if you were, or offer to remove part of your ovary if the fertility meds weren't working. The only other option they offered was a hysterectomy if you had severe symptoms such as severe bleeding.

The large, painful cysts (like the one that was the size of a grapefruit) are not related to PCOS whatsoever - "average" women get those just as often. PCOS-type cysts are small, mini-cysts that are really eggs that failed to develop properly and did not ovulate. They usually don't cause any symptoms whatsoever, although because there are usually many of them, they can cause the ovary to become larger, and they can contribute toward some of the hormone imbalance (but not all!).

Because PCOS is really based on a metabolic issue, removing the "female parts" won't "cure" PCOS - the most it can do is deal with specific symptoms related to those parts such as heavy bleeding. In fact, you can end up with worse hormone imbalances afterwards!

I was diagnosed 'way back when I was 21? 22? (I'm 37 now.) My doctor picked up on my weird pattern of stop-and-start spotting in between my periods (which have almost always been regular). He sent me to a gyno, who did tons of bloodwork and an ultrasound, which did show the "string of pearls" (PCOS-type mini-cysts). (***FYI - you don't have to have the cysts to have PCOS. I've had 4 ultrasounds. About 1/2 of them showed cysts, the other half didn't. Docs are fighting over what to change the name of PCOS to.) At that time, there wasn't much she could do for me as I cannot tolerate BCP's whatsoever (not even the progesterone-only "mini-pill"), and I wasn't TTC, and I wasn't anywhere NEAR ready to even THINK about surgery! So, I just kept on going on. Once the IR connection was made, I did a lot of my own research, connected the dots to my hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and eventually found a really good endo who re-diagnosed me and started me on Metformin. He also referred me to a dietician, too. Looking back, I'm glad I cannot tolerate BCP's, as while they can certainly do a good job of HIDING PCOS symptoms, long-term use of them has been strongly linked to worseing of metabolic issues like IR and diabetes! So, you can THINK that your PCOS is getting better, but in reality, it's getting worse in the background!!!

I find I have good results with 1,500 mg/day of Metformin, a low-GI-type diet (eating something every 2 - 3 hours), and exercise. It has been hard keeping that up the last while, though, as I was in school, so I did back-slide, but I'm trying to get back on track. I am aiming to do the local walkathon for MS in May, so that's a good motivator!

HTH! emoticon

Edited by: SWEETSUNSHINE72 at: 1/17/2010 (09:32)
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DENALYNNDRACA's Photo DENALYNNDRACA SparkPoints: (0)
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1/16/10 9:56 P

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I was diagnosed 6 years ago. I was put on bc pills when I was 18 but during college I stopped since I was not sexually active at the time. My period started to be very heavy and would skip months. I went to a nurse practitioner obgyn because my previous doctor moved his practice. She asked me several questions after she noticed that I had some extra hair on my stomach and that in my chart my period was irregular. I also had noticed that they were more painful than they had been on the pill. She told me that she thought it was PCOS and we scheduled a vaginal ultrasound to confirm.

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PIXIEDUST33 Posts: 2
1/16/10 10:48 A

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I was diagnosed about 2 years ago. My period was very irregular I would have a period maybe 1-2 times a year. Since, my husband and I wanted to have kids we decided that I should try to regulate my period. So they put me on bc pills. That very same month I had a period, but it was so heavy. I though well I guess this is just part of it. Well I was going through a super heavy super long pad every half hour or so. I could not get out of bed. So, I saw my doctor. I bleed like this for 43 days. They tried various hormones to stop it and had me stop my bc pills. During this time they also did some blood work. I went for a follow up and my doctor told me I had PCOS.

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JMCAMJ1's Photo JMCAMJ1 SparkPoints: (0)
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12/12/08 4:02 A

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ok, so i got a new primary doc, went in for my annual (which it had been 2 yrs) and c/o irregularity, asked for pills just to make me regular for a while. told her i went to md before w/ same problem just blamed it on my weight. she looked @ my weight, hair, achne, ect... said that she thought i had pcos and did more labs and ultrasound ect.. so it was just a more througho doctor, it so easy for them to blame all problems on a persons weight, unstead of seeing that as a symptom too.

Keep on keeping on!

“Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but doesn’t get you anywhere.”


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STARS.FALLING's Photo STARS.FALLING Posts: 29
12/11/08 2:49 P

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My diagnosis is sort of funny. I had been taking the contraceptive pill for about 3 year when I decided to stop, and so did my periods. My moods changed, I gained weight like an inflated balloon, all the usual signs. I talked to my partner at the time (who trained as a nurse) and my best friend (who has PCOS), who both suggested what it could be. So I went to my doctor and told her what I thought. She agreed that it sounded like PCOS, sent me for a blood test and a scan, and a week later she told me I was right.

That was almost three years ago. Since then I've gained more weight, had more problems, suffered a lot of connected illness too. It's made my mood swings so bad that my boyfriend eventually couldn't put up with it and we split up. Crazy, eh? I havan't had a "not-so-monthly" (aka. period) in about a year, but I haven't been on medication for that amount of time either. I'm fully intending on going back to my doctor now though, asap.

I have a few horror stories about friends who have PCOS.

My sister's friend only found out two months ago when a cyst the size of a grapefruit ruptured and she was rushed to hospital. Unfortunately she was at a weekend music festival at the time so her ordeal was made a lot worse by the festival medics who told her she was just tripping.

Another friend was diagnosed when she was 12 years old. She had been on medication since then (she's now 30) and only this year her doctors told her they had made a mistake, and that the medication she was on was making her worse and CAUSING the cysts on her sensitive ovaries. Poor Brionne had her ovaries removed weeks before they made their discovery. Needless to say, her doctors are not exactly 'safe' right now.

"Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swaps of the not quite, the not yet, and the not at all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists. It is real. It is possible. It is yours."
-Ayn Rand, from Atlas Shrugged


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TRUKRSGRL's Photo TRUKRSGRL SparkPoints: (0)
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10/20/08 7:21 A

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I was 11 yrs old, that was 33 yrs ago. They didn't call it PCOS at the time. I had undergone 7 surgeries from the time I was 15-21 to try and get things under control. When I was 21, they ended up doing a partial hysterectomy on me in hopes that would work. It wasn't until I was having surgery on my leg in 2005 mind you this is 30 yrs after the fact that I was diagnosed, that I was finally told the name of what I had.

Never let life stand in your way, get out and live it!


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TEACHERRJD's Photo TEACHERRJD Posts: 438
10/18/08 12:50 P

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I was diagnosed after ttc for over a year and failing miserably on Clomid alone. Even with super high doses of Clomid, I rarely ovulated. I gained weight quickly, lost it slowly, and had hair in weird places. My OB suspected it, but didn't really know how to treat it. After seeing an RE, I was diagnosed and put on metformin and Clomid, which is when I finally got pg.

Rachelle, mom of two.


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LALA808 Posts: 2
10/14/08 2:47 A

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My "diagnosis" was in 1996--in quotes because at the time, I don't think it had a name. But it was my first time going to the ob/gyn (I was 24), and he took one look at me and said he knew I had a hormonal imbalance because of the way I carry weight on my body (all in the tummy--people constantly thought I was pregnant because my legs, arms, face, stayed skinny, but I had a big tummy). He started listing symptoms and asked if they were true of me--and they were all true. This was the first time I had ever gone to a gynecologist, yet he knew all of that about my history! So he knew of it back then, but just called it a "hormonal imbalance."

Three years later, while getting ready for a pap smear appointment, I had the TV on and was listening to some talk show in the background. They were talking about PCOS, and I listened with interest because the symptoms sounded familiar. Since I was going to get my pap, I thought I'd ask my dr. But as soon as he came in, before I could even ask, he declared, "You have PCOS." (Almost made me think that he too had watched that same talk show earlier!) He even did an ultrasound on me to prove that my ovaries were double the size of a normal one (45mm vs a normal 20mm) and showed me all the black dots which were they cysts. At that point we were desperately trying to have a child, and he told me that yes, it was going to be difficult. But he still wanted me to go on BCP (which I couldn't, because it made my blood pressure high), and then he said we could try clomid after a year of trying.

At my next appointment, he seemed to have read up on the syndrome and told me of some things I could try before going on clomid. I went on Atkins, got my period for 5 months pretty regularly, before becoming pregnant. When I went in for a pg test, he even told me, "Well, what do you know, Atkins cures PCOS!"

Anyway, I had my son in 2001. Since then, I've taken progesterone pills to help control my period, but they didn't really help. My ob/gyn then retired, and I got a new one, but she has more of an approach to not worry about it, unless I am wanting to have another child, so I haven't been taking any medication. I'd also stopped Atkins at the time (I love my pasta and potatoes, and I guess whereas last time, I had the motivation to cut it out so I could have a child--I'm just having a hard time now totally cutting it out) so I ballooned and again periods are all out of whack. So now, it's more not to have another child, but to be alive for the child I do have, that I'm trying to get back to "normal", but seeing if I can do it without being on such a strict low-carb diet. We'll see! :)

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10/12/08 1:44 P

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My diagnosis was strange. It was 2 months ago. I suffered form really bad abdominal pain for a year with many visits to the ER & gyno who kept writing me off as having IBS. (which I don't). They just kept proscribing me different pain pills that I would stop taking, because they didn't work. Finally after passing out from pain one day, I was taken to the ER who did an ultrasound & found large blood filled cysts. I went back to the gyno with the info & I told her I read about PCOS & had many symptoms. She said I couldn't have it, because I didn't have missed or irregular periods. I urged her to do tests, & after a hormone test she found high free testosterone & said I needed to be put on BC. But she never told me I had PCOS. It wasn't until the next appointment that she suggested metformin for difficulty losing weight, likely caused by PCOS. I said what? I have PCOS? She said well that's what the high testosterone indicated, but there's no conclusive diagnosis for PCOS. (So, I'm pretty confused.) the good news is after 2 months on YAZ, all but one cyst is gone and the one that is left has shrunk considerably. I'm not yet on metformin, but after 2 months on YAZ, I've lost 11 pounds. So, my gyno may not be sure that I have PCOS, but I am, and the birth control is working.

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HJACENKO's Photo HJACENKO Posts: 36
10/11/08 4:24 P

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I did it! I got tired for being passed from Dr to Dr so I made an appointment with an endocrinologist. I think that I may get some answers and some relief now.

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MAL5W_ANN's Photo MAL5W_ANN Posts: 157
10/10/08 4:26 P

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I was diagnosed after reading a screening article in a health magazine. One of those 10 question surveys that say, if you have more than 2 of these, you should talk to your physician. I had all 10. I talked to my OB/GYN at the time, who told me that PCOS didn't exist (this was in 2000). Then I re-read the article which recommended a discussion forum. Folks on the forum advised me to go see a Reproductive Endocrinologist, instead. So I did. I walked into his office and he pretty much said "you have PCOS" and then did all the screening and officially diagnosed it.

"I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; Perfection is God's business"



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ONEHOTKRYSTAL's Photo ONEHOTKRYSTAL Posts: 2,338
10/9/08 12:55 P

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My experience was around 2003ish husband and I wanted to try to have a child. I went off my BCP and 9 months later... I still wasn't having a period. So they told me I had PCOS since I had the signs - beyong irregular periods, hursitism (facial hair), weight issues (I gained like... 85ish pounds in the year) and infertility issues. So they put my on clomid and provera to start my periods and sent me on my way. I did get pregnant a lot of months later though, but miscarried very shortly after. I gave up on my pills and four months later was surprised to find out I was pregnant, this time for good.

It took me losing 60 pounds during that time to finally have my body cooperate and work on it's own.... sad to say I'm back at square one again!! I need to get back to an Endo b/c normal doctors can only do so much. I hadn't had my period for 5 months again so my doctor gave me provera. I haven't started it yet but these last three days I've been spotting a little so I'm curious what's up. PCOS is a frustrating disease.

Definitely discuss your issues with an endo or gyno and hopefully they can send you in the right direction.

~*~ KRYSTAL ~*~
"Nothing in this life worth having comes easy"


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MEGAFEE Posts: 416
10/7/08 6:29 P

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I was diagnosed as almost an afterthought. I was on BCPs for about 10 years, and then about 3.5 years ago, I was having all sorts of problems: high blood pressure, night sweats, anxiety attacks, etc. Turned out these were all due to thyroid disease, but in the meantime, they took me off of the BCP. Within a year, between the PCOS not being controled with the BCP and the thyroid issues, I had gained over 50 lbs, and could not lose weight. I developed the facial hair, acne, hair loss, and horrible periods that would come every 2-3 months and stay for 3 weeks. I had been seeing an endocrinologist for my thyroid issues, but it was my gyno who diagnosed the PCOS, when I went to see her about the complications of my cycle. My endo is now treating me for PCOS as well as the thyroid, and I am finally, slowly, able to start losing weight.

It has been a long road. It seems to be quite prevalent, but until a few years ago, I'd never heard of it. Now I'm educating others about it, even some of my other doctors! I wish you much luck--keep asking questions until you get answers--that's my best advice.

Edited by: MEGAFEE at: 10/7/2008 (18:28)
Fortune favors the bold. --Virgil





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HAILEYBOO's Photo HAILEYBOO Posts: 108
10/7/08 4:02 P

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i was diagnosed last year when i asked my DR how if ould have children if i always have to be on birth control to rwgulate my period. she suggested i get off and see if i ovulate, and get an x ray of my ovaries which i did but then as usual i started having a very heavy very draining period. i went back to the DR to find out what was going on and she sent me to an OBGYN with the x ray so she could give me more specific answers i guess. the OB explained it all to me. i told her i was on my period now and that it had been almost 6 months. she wanted to check me right there and i ended up having to get a DNC 2 weeks later. and i have been on BC since.

i have just recently been put on metformin, i am only on 250 mg a day but i do feel better. i notice i am not sleepy right after i eat. and i am hoping soon i will find that i am losinf weight more easily.

***~Hailey~***

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PTPHELAN's Photo PTPHELAN Posts: 1,164
10/7/08 2:04 P

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I was diagnosed in 2004. I was fortunate to be going to an endocrinologist in Philadelphia who specialized in gynecology and is considered an expert in PCOS. I had read a small piece in a magazine that got me thinking I might have PCOS. The first time I met with him he confirmed that was probably what it was and did a full physical and blood screening to confirm it.

My advise is that when you are looking for a new OB/GYN, ask if they have someone in the practice who specializes in PCOS or is at lease familiar enough to understand it and not write it off. If you can't find one, look for an endocrinologist who may specialize in gynecology.

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CECE0330's Photo CECE0330 Posts: 3,465
10/7/08 9:10 A

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Thanks for sharing! I just want some answers, already, and think I'll make an appt, even though my annual exam is not due again til august of next year.


"Strong is the new Skinny"

SW: 212
GW: 145
CW: 186.8 on 9/29/16, after having reached goal (under, in fact!) and then relapsing. :( BOOO!!!


 current weight: 168.4 
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NYXWOLFWALKER's Photo NYXWOLFWALKER SparkPoints: (169,439)
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10/7/08 6:26 A

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I got my GYN to test me for PCOS after I was talking to someone who asked if I had it

learned november 2003 that i had it offically, was nice to know after being told by docs sicen i was 13 that all i needed to do was eat healthy (alright eat healthy how was i not doignthat when i was followig a diabetic diet since i was 8 yers of age!)

oh well, only weight issue i had was that at 16 i hit 250 and stopped gaining held that till 2005 when i droped 50 pounds then gained itback to do allertic reaction to something (they treid me on a few bcps that i reacted to by ended up in ER).

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Living with...
+Type 1 Diabetes
+Acute Intermittent Porphyria (AIP)
+Spinal Ostioarthritis
+Fibromyalgia
+Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

7,050,715 steps taken since 2014
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SLCOLMAN's Photo SLCOLMAN SparkPoints: (0)
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10/6/08 7:10 P

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My OBGYN did a few blood tests, an ultrasound of my ovaries, and a general history of symptoms.

I went in to see the OBGYN because my period was out of control and would not stop. I ended up having to have a D&C to get it to end along with some serious doses of hormones.

BELIEVE in the POWER of your DREAMS!


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CECE0330's Photo CECE0330 Posts: 3,465
10/6/08 6:14 P

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Is PCOS something that doctors generally overlook? I ask because I have not been officially diagnosed, yet I have had multiple issues:

INFERTILITY : a big mystery, but then my Dr was VERY old, and simply assumed I didn't ovulate ever-after a physical exam. He put me on clomid, said it wasn't working still after 2 months & doubled dosage, but voila, i was pregnant. Took 18 months total to conceive. Baby #2 I decided to use progesterone cream and vitamin B6, and got pregnant after 2 months. New Dr advised me to keep using progesterone through 1st trimester

IRREGULAR PERIODS: When I was on a roll, tracking calories & working out, my cycle would be between 31-34 days, but when I'm not monitoring my diet, it can go as long as 49-50 days, or once was a freaky 21 days long

FREAKING CHIN/NECK HAIRS: god, i hate them. They seem to be getting WAY worse. I swear, if I stopped plucking, I could join the circus as the bearded lady.

DIFFICULTY LOSING WEIGHT: I reached a point where my weight loss all but stopped, even though I was doing all the right things, including varying my calories, switching up work-outs, etc. I gain weight when I ovulate (anywhere from 2-4lbs) and it stays through my period, then typically, I lose half of that. So my net loss per month was 3-4lbs total.

DEPRESSION: It's been WAY worse these past 2 months of me not eating well/working out, but I would not categorize it as depression, more like extreme, moody PMS for 2, 3, shoot 4 weeks if my cycle is 50days.

FIBROIDS: not sure how many I have, but know of a "moderate" one that caused difficulty in my last pregnancy.


If anyone cares to share their symptoms, or how they were finally given a diagnosis, and whatnot, I would sure appreciate it. My current OB-GYN retired last month, and I know I need to find a good replacement. I always felt rushed at my old practice.....Thanks in advance!


"Strong is the new Skinny"

SW: 212
GW: 145
CW: 186.8 on 9/29/16, after having reached goal (under, in fact!) and then relapsing. :( BOOO!!!


 current weight: 168.4 
212
195.25
178.5
161.75
145
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