Monday, July 25, 2011


I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).

I was diagnosed 5-6 years ago, and I've been in treatment since.  PCOS (also known as Stein-Leventhal Syndrome) is a hormonal endocrine disorder that is rooted in insulin resistance.  It's not something that can be cured, but it is something that can and should be treated.  It manifests itself differently in every woman that has it, but for me, the main issues are insulin resistance, weight gain/inability to lose weight, hair loss, acne, and severe fatigue.  (I experienced pregnancy issues as well, but don't have to worry about those now.)

My doctor started me on 2 new medications and a host of supplements last week.  I'm taking Spironolactone (an anti-androgen medication to help regulate my hormone levels); Glumetza (an extended-release insulin medication); and calcium, B12, fish oil, and vitamin D.

There's one other part of my new health regimen that is going to take A LOT of getting used to, and that part started today, on my birthday of all days.  Today is Day 1 of my "28-Day Cleanse."  This program (a very strict diet along with a nutritional "shake") is a cold-turkey kinda way to be introduced to a lower-carb, lower-fat diet.  The list of restrictions is endless, and includes: red meat, deli meat, pork, seafood, all but 4 kinds of fish, salt, butter, wheat, anything containing gluten, eggs, anything dairy, sugar, corn, caffeine, nuts (except for 2 Tbsp of almond butter per day), strawberries...

The good part of the diet, besides the fact that after 28 days I'll be able to reintroduce normal foods into my diet, is that it really is going to teach me to eat better.  Since I'm insulin-resistant, I really should be eating smaller meals throughout the day (for example, 3 small meals with 2 snacks in between), and I've never been good about doing that.  I also have never had enough protein in my diet, and this diet really forces me to try to fit in protein more often.  I think I'll also find it easier, after these 28 days, to consume fewer carbs overall.

I had my first "shake" this morning, and it was VILE.  2 large scoops of the powder in 8 oz cold water, blended, then sucked up through a straw as quickly as I could do it.  I consider it a victory that it stayed down.  I popped 3 blueberries in my mouth right afterward to clear the taste a bit, and that seemed to help.

Say some prayers for me, that I can get through the next 28 days with grace.  It's going to be challenging!



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