Visit the endocrinologist or just go on a diet?

A place for older ladies to discuss the issues affecting them and share hints and tips relating to PCOS in later life

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Visit the endocrinologist or just go on a diet?

Postby Karinn » Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:04 am

Hi All,

I've just joined the forum after a horrible few months. I had a hysterectomy in July this year, recovered well and have been sort of sliding downhill since early October. {Note: This got longer than I intended, so you can skip the blue "history" bit if you're in a hurry!}

I'll give an outline of my PCOS history: I started my periods at age 10 and by 13 I'd missed so much school from painful, heavy and irregular periods accompanied by vomiting and fainting that I was put on the pill - which helped A LOT! In those three years, I'd gone from being a skinny kid to about the fattest in my school and the weight just fell off when I went on the pill. I got down to and remained at 7 1/2 stone (I'm 5'3") and life was great until I started TTC. By the age of 25 I'd had three miscarriages and had gained weight since coming off the pill. Then I had two years with no pregnancy, so I got tested and was diagnosed with PCOS. My periods were irregular again, and I wasn't ovulating reliably, so I was put on Clomid and was lucky enough to fall pregnant in the first month, and I didn't lose the baby this time. I did get horrendous "morning sickness" which lasted all day, and the only time I wasn't nauseous or throwing up was when I was actually eating! It turned out I had pre-eclampsia, and I gained 5 stone despite only being pregnant for 7 months (my son was born early by caesarian) About two stone of it was water, and I lost another stone by dieting but six months later, I was pregnant again (you don't think about contraception when you needed help to conceive!) I had another healthy boy, carried to term this time and born naturally but by the end of the two pregnancies I had reached 17 stone. With a great deal of hard work I got down to 15 stone. My boys are now 17 and 16 and my weight hovers around 16 stone. Over the years, I have probably lost about 6 stone (in maintenance dribs and drabs, never all at once!) but I've never been less than 14 1/2 stone (and that didn't last very long) since my pregnancies. I wasn't and am not happy with my weight, but I used to be able to say "I am very fit for my size" or "I'm much fitter than I look" and now I can't!

I was diagnosed with a vitamin B12 deficiency two years ago (apparently there is a link to PCOS - although I don't understand this) and I am now permanently exhausted. This has definitely got worse since this past October. I feel old before my time - I'm 45 but feel about 70, I am constantly whining or worrying about various aches and pains and general tiredness, and I get on my own nerves because I am usually so positive but can barely muster a smile at the moment.

This weekend, I ended up in hospital because I thought I was having a heart attack - I'm used to being short-of-breath because of the low B12 - but this was WAY worse than anything I "usually" have. I was kept in because I did have raised levels of an enzyme that is a marker for heart attack, but then they decided I was OK to go because it normalised overnight.

This morning, I went to see the GP and she wants to put me on anti-depressants, but I refused them, because I am only depressed because I'm ill! On the days when I don't feel like death itself, I am fine. After a long discussion with her, we agreed that I wouldn't have even considered myself to be having a heart attack if I wasn't generally worried about my health, but because all the blood tests I had done at the hospital, plus some earlier ones ordered by the docs (for the general maiaise I've been moaning about) were all fine, they (the GP's) couldn't refer me for further tests and I would have to go private to get more detailed screenings done.

So my question is, should I just go on a diet (I'm liking the sound of the Vitaline one advocated on these forums) or should I visit an endocrinologist to help determine what sort of diet would be best for me? It is inevitable that I will need to go on a diet of some sort as my weight is currently 16 stone 8 which is high, even for me. Clearly if I weighed 10 stone and chose to carry 6 stone of weight around all day, I would be tired. I can't argue with that, but I am currently so very tired, so miserable, and so worried about losing all my friends because of all the moaning(!) that I can't think straight. Please help!!!!

Thank you for "listening",

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Re: Visit the endocrinologist or just go on a diet?

Postby Hols969 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:07 am

Im 43 and just restarted the vitaline diet this week so I would give that a shot, thing is you will still have PCOS even though you have had a hysterectomy as it is an endocrine disorder more than anything. All the endocrinologist will say is low G1 which the Vitaline diet follows so I would give it a shot. Have you thought about taking st johns wort as they can help lift your mood as well which may just help for a few months as you do sound low. We are prone to getting depression as well but they do not currently know if it is the hormones or terrible symptoms that cause it. I have recently gone back on anti depressants and for me they help me through a low patch and give me more umph than normal to keep going, especially during the winter when generally you can feel a little lower anyway.

Come and join me on the vitaline diet. I lost 3 stone first time around with no exercise (put a stone and a half back on which is totally mad) so it does work (if it suits you).
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Re: Visit the endocrinologist or just go on a diet?

Postby Karinn » Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:18 pm

Hi Holly, Thanks for the reply. I will give the diet a go first then. Having slept on it, I'd kind of reached that conclusion anyway. When I got down to 14 1/2 stone a couple of years ago, I was literally like a new woman and I did that by myself on my own diet plan of Atkins plus vegetables! I was galvanised into dieting by the low B12 diagnosis, but it was hard to keep up by myself. Now that I've found this forum and the Vitaline diet, I'm hopeful I'll find it a bit easier because there are others in the same boat.

So thank you for the encouragement, I will come and join you over on the diet discussion!
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Re: Visit the endocrinologist or just go on a diet?

Postby JennyC » Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:48 am

Hello Karinn,

I'm wondering whether when you had your hysterectomy whether you kept your ovaries.

Some of your symptoms sound very similar to the ones ie had before being treated for PCOS ie extraordinarily heavy periods, chronic fatigue and breathlessness. I too ended up in A&E with what they thought was a panic attack however I've always been doubtful about that. It's interesting to hear you've had the same thing.

I think the diet sounds a very good idea. However i would also take up the opportunity to see the endocrinologist. As Holly says PCOS is an endocrine disease. My own symptoms got loads better when I was put on the Pill, they disappeared completely when I was additionally treated with 50mg cyproterone acetate for the first 10 days of my "cycle". Mad as it sounds if you've had a hysterectomy, I'm wondering whether, if the Pill has worked for you in the past, it will work for you again in controlling your PCOS symptoms. I'd encourage you to give the endocrinologist a go as they should be gemmed up on this. If not ask them to put you on the Pill anyway and see how you go.

And most of all hang on in there girl. You will get through this with the right treatment.
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