PCOS Diaries: What is PCOS?

Happy Saturday, Sweet Peas!

We are back after Blog A Day In May! And today we are kicking off our latest series, The PCOS Diaries. If you don’t know what PCOS is, don’t worry, this post is going to break it down for you.

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PCOS is the common abbreviation for Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome. In a nutshell, PCOS is a hormonal disorder in women which causes them to have elevated levels of the male hormone, testosterone. The higher levels of testosterone cause visible symptoms such as;

  • irregular periods (or even long periods of time without periods)
  • weight gain
  • acne and cystic acne
  • oily skin
  • thinning hair
  • abnormal body hair growth (Hirsutism)
  • dark patches on the skin.

But there are also invisible symptoms such as;

  • cysts on the ovaries
  • incredibly painful cramps
  • infertility
  • anxiety and depression
  • insulin resistance (pre-diabetes)
  • Food intolerances (lactose intolerance and gluten intolerance).

The condition can also lead to other conditions such as type two diabetes and heightens the chances of cervical and ovarian cancer.

This condition affects roughly one in ten women and is the number one cause of infertility in women in the UK and USA. Despite this, so many women don’t have an understanding of this condition.

I’ll be honest, until a few years ago I didn’t have any idea what this condition was! I started showing symptoms when I was 11 and started going through puberty, but I didn’t look into getting a diagnosis until I was in my early 20’s. I just thought it was something I had to live with. It wasn’t until I was in University that I had it mentioned to me by my roommate, a girl my age who suffers from Endometriosis. (Can check out my article on this condition here.) After confiding in her about my symptoms she brought it to my attention. A year later I was diagnosed.

So what causes PCOS? Well, we don’t know 100%. There has been a lot of research into finding out and there has been a recent breakthrough that indicated that it was linked to genetics. Unfortunately, because they don’t have a good grasp on what causes PCOS, there currently isn’t a cure for it either. But this condition is very manageable, through diet, exercise, and medication such as the contraceptive pill.

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In this series, I am going to be breaking down the condition into smaller chunks, from living with Hirtsuim (abnormal body hair growth) to what foods can both help and hinder the condition. I will also be discussing why I turned down the BBC when they asked to interview me about this condition. I would like to point out now that I am not a Doctor and everything that I am going to share is from my own experiences and research.

If you would like to see more of the PCOS Diaries, click that follow button and become a Sweet Pea! You can also follow my facebook support group for Hirtsuim and PCOS here.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns feel free to either leave me a comment or contact me through social media, links are below!

 

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