I have PCOS.
What is PCOS? Well, there are different definitions out there but basically here it is in a nut shell:
PCOS has to do with the endocrine system. It is caused by an imbalance in the hormones (chemical messengers) in your brain and your ovaries. PCOS usually happens when a hormone called LH (from the pituitary gland that is located in the brain) or levels of insulin (from the pancreas) are too high, which then causes the ovaries to make extra testosterone.
That is one of the many definitions.
Here is Sister Malakah of grassrootbotanicals.com speaking on it:
Some natural things I've been encouraged to do from my research:
- Eat a diet with lots of grains and fiber with low sugar and low carbs (It's a struggle because I love pies and sweets) since my cysts grew last time I had an ultrasound.
- Circulation of the body (exercise lightly / low intensity)
There are so many PCOS symptoms. I used to go through a lot of the symptoms myself since around 2016 and some symptoms to this day, like obesity and infertility, to name the least of them. It’s not that sisters with PCOS eat a whole lot, it’s just hard to burn food off.
Here's my cook book that has some PCOS catered recipes I hope you try out some day! Remember I'm still learning, so let me know if anything can be altered in there.
I've never had an issue with my weight (other than the freshman 15 I gained in college, lol), up until I hit my 30s. I just chalked it up to "I'm just getting older and my metabolism is slowing down".
Here’s some before and afters of myself struggling with my weight due to one of the types of PCOS I have (Insulin Resistant PCOS):
But little did I know before my 1st diagnosis at my OBGYN doctor, I had, and still do have, the symptoms of a woman with PCOS.
Of course every time I went she practically rushed me out of her office to see her next client. She would tell me I need birth control, which basically is a carcinogenic when you do the research. But I would take my time telling her all my symptoms and she would just say, "Yes that is your PCOS" lol
I'm only going to her to prescribe me for ultrasounds, to keep tabs on my ovaries on my own. Shake my head.
Here are some symptoms a woman may have with PCOS:
- Pain (body aches and cracking/tender joints)
- My knees would crack and my joints would ache. So now I take vitamin D and sit in the sun when its nice outside
- Acne (starting at puberty)
- I have acne, but you can't tell with the makeup I put on...
- Irregular menstrual
- Sometimes I'd get it twice to 4 times a year. And that is terrible to have as a woman.
- Obesity/Dramatic weight gain or dramatic weight loss depending on what the type of PCOS you have (there are 4 types)
- I have the Insulin resistant type
- Facial hair (and other abnormal places like chin, neck etc. due to the high levels of testosterone, which also hinder you from ovulating and having regular menstrual cycles.)
- Yup that's me...
- Hair loss, thinning, and bald patch
- I had a small bald spot around 2017 in the front of my scalp. I chalked it up to a hair product, but no...THANK THE LORD IT ALL GREW BACK with the Most High and some stimulating oils. I also had some hair thinning. Deep conditioners and Bentonite Clay saved the days.
- Hormonal imbalances
- I'll just become really sad, insecure and angry out of nowhere for reasons and triggers I sometimes can't explain nor pinpoint.
- crying at night with all that was going on
- Itchiness / Cystic Acne
- All over due to the sweets I didn't know was affecting me!...cold baths before bed would help at night and shea butter.
- Brain Fogs / Memory Loss
- I would get stuck on the simplest things, and forget things a lot. Just not feeling my sharpest self. I would feel so inadequate.
- Migraines / Headaches
- Brain cracking feeling at night and during the day...I couldn't really open my eyes or hear anything too loud or it’ll be painful. I still have slight headaches even if something is even a bit loud or screeching...depending on the sound, and I normally like to hear my music loud.
- Nightmares / Vivid Dreams
- With the headaches. I don't have them anymore but it was a period of time when the headaches and nightmares were constant for at least a week. I thought one night my skull was actually breaking. The headache and nightmares were so bad one night and I woke up crying and started to pray for comfort because the nightmare was someone stabbing my skull.
- Nausea / Pelvic Pain
- I’m now around 148 pounds due to the nausea I was having in the beginning of 2020 and not being able to eat because of it. I even thought I was pregnant! I was so excited. But it was just another new symptom I was experiencing with PCOS. If I did eat, it was a very small portion and plain foods that were not too salty or oily. Strawberries and ginger tea & a little honey would save the day when I would get those CRAZY hunger pangs like I was a savage and NEEDED FOOD NOW RIGHT AWAY lol...My hubby was very concerned and called an herbalist for a list of herbs to start taking.
- CRAZY SAVAGE LIKE HUNGER PAINS
- actually to this day now that I think about it.
- Cysts on your ovaries (You need an ultrasound to know)
- I have cysts on both sides of my ovaries. The cyst on the right is larger than the one on the left. The herbs and clean diet should help shrink them. I will be sure, on my next OBGYN ultrasound, to check n them.
- Trouble breathing deeply & and racing heart beat
- When I would lay to go to sleep, My heart would beat fast like I ran laps right before. Its almost like asthma.
- Extremely tired everyday
- I would take naps a lot during the day...I'm a stay at home wife/step-mom and entrepreneur. But now i'm able to stay up most of the day.
Not every woman have all the symptoms I had and still have, but please I beseech you sisters to get checked out. Get your blood work done and an ultrasound. Check on your thyroid as well.
If untreated it can become more serious like cancerous cysts or even diabetes (which runs in my family). You can also easily affect other things in your body like your thyroid.
Yep, my thyroid is jacked up now too.
I’ve been doing well considering the symptoms above. I mean me being 185 pounds with a 5”3 athletic body type, was not good for me.
Now I am 145 pounds (around the weight of my high school years, thats a plus) and eating better and organically to not spike my insulin. I also eat gluten free foods now too.
I love bicycling so I will be doing so with my new bike and hubby riding with me. We're gonna ride and get our blood pumping properly and circulating.
PCOS is picking up in awareness from my research and I want to be a part of that, but I just wish more sisters that look like me and have PCOS would speak up about it and share their stories and successes. I recently heard about the young actress/singer Keke Palmer speaking out about her diagnosis. I think that's wonderful! And I was so encouraged and moved to speak out about it!
I mean I am still learning myself, and learning my body over and over due to all the changes it's been going through.
I will not give up on changing my diet and lifestyle for good to stay healthy and be good to this temple the Heavenly Father has given me. It's been a struggle.
A lot of pain, a lot of tears, a lot of wanting to give up....but I will keep goin'.
In efforts to continue learning and to take better care of myself with this sickness, I dedicate my song "Champion" to bring about more awareness on the topic of PCOS.
"My Champion Cysters" is the name of the campaign attached to the "Champion" song. Feel free to tell a sister about it so that they can enter the campaign and win the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place prizes.
Thank you so much for reading this very personal blog and testimony of mine.
Peace again, much health, and blessing to you from the Father of the nation of Israel.
Zemira Israel 🕎 ✍🏾 🎶🎤