After my first Monday Mental Wellness Share I got the opportunity to meet this inspiring lady from Blonderia Blog. Her blog is one really worth checking it out. Here is the Link. I love her culture section it is something I do not see on many blog. Enjoy her story below.
My PCOS story
In 2014, at the age of 28, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). It means that there are several cysts in my ovaries which cause hormonal imbalance. Though the illness itself doesn’t sound severe, if it’s left untreated, it can lead to severe health issues. PCOS can cause irregular periods, thyroid issues, insulin resistance, Type II diabetes, acne, obesity, heart disease, fatty liver syndrome, high blood pressure, male pattern hair growth, hair loss and infertility. In addition, it also makes the patient prone the cancer and heart attack.
The first red flag was the rapid weight gain I experienced after I finished university. In one year, I gained 14 kg. I also had adult acne but I didn’t really care about it as I could conceal it with makeup. In 2014, my husband noticed that I always felt sick two hours after meals. It was a huge red flag, so my gynaecologist performed a transvaginal ultrasound which confirmed the doctor’s suspicion: I had PCOS. As there have been diabetics in my family, I had to have an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test done and it turned out that I was also suffering from insulin resistance. My condition was so severe that my doctor told me that she could not help and I had to see a specialist to start treatment as soon as possible. I went to see an endocrinologist who told me to start a low-carb diet and lose 16 kg. I had to take metformin, transform my lifestyle, pay extra attention to what I was eating and I started to play squash twice a week. I lost 10 kg in 3 months and 3 more in the following 3 months, so I got rid of 13 extra kilos altogether. A year later, my husband and I decided to start a family. I had a series of blood tests done and it turned out that I was suffering from hypothyroidism as well. It means that there isn’t a sufficient amount of thyroid hormone in my body. It causes infertility or if you manage to get pregnant, you have an increased risk to miscarry or the baby might be born with a birth defect. I had to take medicine to stimulate my thyroid and I also had a check-up every 4-6 weeks.
- What do you find is the hardest part of living with PCOS?
The hardest part for me is the fact that it’s invisible and when I say that I can’t eat this or that, people don’t understand why because I don’t look ill and they think that I don’t really need this diet, I’m just picky and a drama queen.
- What makes the bad days better?
Thanks to all the treatment I got and the transformation of my lifestyle, I gave birth to a healthy baby girl in November 2016. On bad days, I look at her, the result of all my efforts. She reminds me that I am stronger than my illness and I have to keep doing what I’m doing to be as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
- What do you want people to know about PCOS?
I want people to know that it’s a severe illness, patients don’t make it up. If you suffer from it, I want you to know has to be treated even if you don’t want children. Weight loss and regular exercise and a healthy diet are important in managing this illness and they also boost your immune system.
- Do you find you are treated differently?
Food is an essential part of Hungarian culture. In my country, people are often proud to eat unhealthy food, so I’m definitely treated differently with diet that contains lean meat, a lot of vegetables and no refined carbohydrates. I no longer like family meals because I feel odd and excluded.
- What advice would you give your younger self about your journey with PCOS?
When I was 17, I had a dermatologist’s appointment and the doctor noticed that my acne wasn’t that typical teenage acne. She printed out my medical record and wrote “PCOS?” on the paper and told my mom to take me to a gynaecologist’s appointment. She didn’t. So my number 1 advice for my younger self: “Go and get checked by a gynaecologist”. Advice 2 would be: “Never stop exercising regularly”.