The only time my stomach growls is first thing in the morning. During the day the only reminder I get that I need to eat is that light-headed yucky feeling that is usually correlated with low blood sugar.
I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) which is a very confusing condition for women and it’s hard to diagnose. I don’t have all of the symptoms but I do have some and insulin resistance is one of them. I’m still really confused on what all of this means and how it affects me but I found an article this morning that helps out a little, Hypoglycemia and PCOS symptoms .
I’m pretty sure I’ve suffered from PCOS since puberty but I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 30. I got my first period when I was in the 7th grade and I didn’t get another one until about a year later. From that point on I would only get my period 3 or 4 times a year. At the time I played competitive soccer so they just assumed my lack of menstruation was just a side effect of being so physically active.
The symptoms got worse the older I got. I’ve previously written about the winter two years ago when I fell into a deep depression. During that time my body was thrown off completely and I didn’t know what was wrong with me. Mentally and physically I was completely jacked up. It wasn’t until I had a period that lasted for two and a half weeks that I finally took action by going to the doctor. It was so heavy and lasted for so long that I knew that something wasn’t right. At that point I realized that what I was going through wasn’t something that I just needed to snap out of. There had to be some sort of medical reason behind it.
During that doctor’s visit I was diagnosed with PCOS. They prescribed me Metformin for insulin resistance and Bupropn for depression. Within a few months I had dropped twenty pounds and was back to my old chipper self.
I couldn’t help but be irritated, because I had suspected this after having read an article in Women’s Health a few years earlier. At the time we didn’t have a family doctor so I just made an appointment with a doctor that took our insurance. I told him my concerns and talked about the article I read, but I couldn’t help but feel like he wasn’t hearing me. At my insistence he made an appointment to have a sonogram to check for ovarian cysts. It turns out I have “beautiful ovaries” with not a cyst in sight. Since that was the case they overruled any thought of me having PCOS and I just went back to dealing with all of my wacky symptoms in silence. That is, until I got the period from hell and switched doctors.
When I told her about the experience I had with the other doctor she explained to me the difficulty in diagnosing PCOS… it’s all over the map. It manifests in so many different ways that it’s hard to pinpoint. It is just now starting to be recognized and a lot of the medical community is just as confused about it as we are.
When I got pregnant I stopped taking my medications. Because of this condition I bled for 8 months after having Penelope. If you think having your period once a month is bad enough to make you crazy try it for over half a year. I’m still trying to regulate my hormones after having her.
I am proud to say that through sheer force of will I have been able to make some progress. Through eating clean I’ve dropped some weight and I’ve been able to break that vicious grimlin inducing carb craving cycle that comes with PCOS. My face is clear and I’ve finally stopped bleeding. When I talked to my doctor about this she told me that extra fat stores can also throw your hormones off balance.
You’re fat because your hormones are out of wack and your hormones are out of wack because you’re fat. It’s like a really mean game of what came first…chicken or the egg.
Despite all of my progress, I still have random jittery light-headed anxiety causing moments due to this whole insulin… thingy. I’m still not clear on it.
I wish I could find the article that I had read so many years ago that prompted me to try to find answers so that I could share it with you. What I do remember is that it talked about how many women have conditions that embarrass them so much that they just live in secret with it. Many times those conditions are actually symptoms for health issues that you don’t even know you have.
The moral of the story…
If there is something about your body that bothers or embarrasses you open up and talk to your doctor about it. There is a good chance that this issue can be resolved and you will end up a more secure healthy person for it in the long run. Even if that means getting a second opinion until you figure it out.