New, hello and help!

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New, hello and help!

Postby Gillian » Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:11 pm

Hi, I am in the process of exploring further investigation and treatment for the management of PCOS and Insulin Resistance. PCOS was first identified in 2008 when the surgeon who delivered my 1st child informed me that I had polycystic ovaries. Following this I had an initial appointment with the endocrine department at the Hospital but no further treatment was identified as at the time this was managed by breastfeeding as this sufficiently suppressed the PCOS symptoms. This was followed by two further appointments with the endocrine clinic after the birth of my 2nd child in 2010 - once where I saw the consultant and once where I saw a registrar within their team. At this time I was still breastfeeding and I believe that this helped to manage the condition and I was able to maintain a lower weight and had few further symptoms. My pcos also did not seem to affect my ability to conceive (1st child took 6 months and 2nd a month although I think the breastfeeding helped in the conception of the 2nd. My periods were 30-36 days before I had children and my weight was 13st7 and I'm 5'3). Since I finished breastfeeding in May 2015 (after 7 years across 2 children) I have seen an increase in symptoms and weight (I had lost an average of 2 stone, but am now 12st 7). I would now like to have further/repeated tests to check my blood sugar, insulin, and hormone levels, and a referral back to the endocrine department if possible to progress with this and enquire about treatment.

My symptoms at present that I relate to pcos include:
- Fatigue - I feel tired a lot, and I sleep a lot. Often I will sleep from 7pm at night for 12 hours (maybe 3x a week or more) and I don’t feel any better for this.
- Weight - difficulty losing and maintaining a healthy weight regardless of effort/activity.
- Ovary pain - I have had further investigation for this as it has been an issue for a while, but the scans and tests were all clear.
- recurrent UTI symptoms, but with no underlying cause. This has also been a problem for some time, and again I have had numerous scans and tests, but all of these have also been clear.
- Weak, brittle and splitting nails - my nails split down their length and then chip off where the grow at the top of the finger. This is worse on my thumbs, but also effects other fingers.
- Excessive facial hair, and hair elsewhere on my body e.g. stomach, nipples etc - I currently manage this through epilation/sugaring/threading etc and would not require hormonal treatment for this.
- Feeling cold all the time - I feel cold excessively when other members of the family or colleagues at work do not feel that it is cold. I wear additional clothing, but feel that it does impact on my life as I have had to cut short family outings due to feeling cold - despite wearing several layers and hats/scarf etc. I also find this embarrassing at work as I will often arrive at work wearing more clothing for winter than others, and I also often wear more cardigans/jumpers etc in the office to keep warm - admittedly it isn't the warmest of offices, but I do find that I need more layers than others to feel at an acceptable temperature.
- Low vitamin D levels - I had this tested last summer and had a course of treatment. Since then I have been taking a daily multivitamin with the correct dosage of vitamin D, and I know I am now due for retesting to check these levels again as agreed with the GP I saw at the time.

I know I have had some tests relating to PCOS and these symptoms previously, but I would like to ensure that I have had the appropriate tests for this condition, and some re-tests for areas that have previously been explored as I feel it would be necessary to explore how the cessation of breastfeeding has impacted on my hormonal levels and my PCOS, as well as providing a current baseline on which to base any treatment. I have requested the following from my GP and have an appt this week for bloods to be taken:
- that my vitamin D levels are re-tested to check whether I am still deficient or whether my levels have improved/normalised.
- A hormone level check to see what my current levels of testosterone etc are like and how this might be affecting my PCOS or other symptoms (I don’t know the correct term for this or whether this is something that would be done by the endocrine department).
- Testing to check my Insulin Resistance levels. I am aware that I am not diabetic, but I am also aware that PCOS is a metabolic disorder within the same family as diabetes and I would like to know to what extent my insulin usage is impacted due to this condition so that appropriate treatment can be discussed.
In addition to these the GP has signed me up for some other blood tests to rule out some other things - I'll have more details of this when I've seen the nurse to ask as the GP was a bit surprised at being asked for details and was a bit abrupt.

In terms of treatment I am aware that many of the strategies for PCOS management begin with lifestyle management to address the conditions. At the moment I undertake the following in a bid to manage my lifestyle to minimise my PCOS conditions as fat as possible:
- I attend Slimming World every week - I used to do Weightwatchers, but needed a change in routine and so I swopped to slimming world. I had initial success in losing half a stone in June last year, but this was immediately after I had stopped breastfeeding. In the time since I have more or less maintained my weight, but I am still around 2 stone 7 pounds overweight at 12 stone 7. I find this very frustrating as many other class members have excellent weekly weight losses where I struggle to lose.
- Within what I do for Slimming World I have significantly reduced (but not wholly omitted) simple carbohydrates from my diet, I consume little fat, and do not drink much alcohol (maybe 3-5 glasses of wine per week).
- I am currently exploring a low Glycemic Index base diet as I believe this may be beneficial for PCOS management. I have signed up for the course with Annabel Boys.
- In addition to being as active as possible for someone who has a mainly desk based job (I ensure I do my 10,000 steps a day), I also undertake some additional exercise - at the moment I currently undertake 1 yoga session, 1 swim (20 - 40 lengths), and 1 dance session (clog dancing). Previously I was running 10-20k per week, but I have not run since April last year due to a foot injury, although I am considering re-introducing this if I can squeeze it in (when the weather is better!).
- I also currently take some dietary supplements to try and improve my conditions, and these are:
- Omega 3 capsules (1000mg per day)
- Evening primrose oil (1000mg per day - this was to address breast pain)
- Magnesium (375mg 2x per day)
- Multivitamin (1x per day for the vitamin D).

I am particularly interested in the use of Myo Inositol for the management of PCOS and IR and would welcome the opportunity to discuss this further. I am also open to discussing other possible treatment options and would welcome any discussion on treatment and PCOS management and would be grateful for any suggestions/comments/help/support.
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Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:53 pm

Re: New, hello and help!

Postby wrigglepup » Sun May 01, 2016 9:36 pm

Hello Gillian,
Haven't been on here for awhile and just like to say that I have never had good nails. Well, about a month ago I remembered somebody said eat a cube of jelly a day. Being not too keen on eating all that sugar and researching if jelly really could strengthen my nails, I am now taking 1 tbs of Gelatin 3 times a day dissolved in a herbal tea. Apparently it is full of amino acids, also I have seen alot about bone broth, that it is very nourishing, (cooking gently the bones of ethically reared animals for hours) in a hot-pot.
You can find no end of info on the net, I have only been having gelatin for just over a month, can't believe it, but it seems to have made them stronger. I have been taking hair, nails and skin vitamins for about a year coz they can't cope with my job, they can brake and wear away which is really painful. Not much cop when I need them as well. I have just started taking iron too as I had a cold that wasn't shifting.
I have come across some sites that suggest that some PCOS sufferers can also have problems with their thyroid too. They say the two are interlinked, I have no proof of this because its just what I have seen on the internet. I don't know if it is true. Next time I am at doctors I may ask.
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