Polycystic ovary syndrome
Have you been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)? Me too! It's estimated that 5-10% of people with uteruses have PCOS, an endocrine disorder related to hormone changes, long cycles or missed periods, and usually the development of tiny follicles on the ovaries.
PCOS may cause you to notice facial hair, acne, hair thinning/loss on your head, infertility, and signs of insulin resistance (like weight gain or dark patches of skin in the creases of your elbows, knees, or back of the neck). Not everyone with PCOS has all of these symptoms, and some might be mild while others experience more noticeable symptoms.
Insulin resistance means your body is struggling to keep your blood sugars within a normal range. If you have PCOS you might notice weight gain, difficulty losing weight, and cravings for sugars/carbs because of high insulin levels. Your doctor might have already recommended you lose weight, but ummm did you read the last sentence? Difficulty losing weight + cravings are hallmark challenges with PCOS.
It is well-established that long-term weight loss is statistically improbable, and that intentional weight loss can have damaging and lasting emotional effects. But what do we keep hearing from our healthcare providers? "Just lose weight." This is not okay! Especially since disordered eating and EDs are extremely common with PCOS. Weight stigma is truly harmful to our health and wellbeing. This is why it's time for a change in PCOS management. It's important to work on a whole-person health solution, look at health outside of body weight/BMI, and consider a sustainable and enjoyable plan for gentle nutrition as first-line therapy in your overall plan.
Not only do I have professional experience in this area, but I have also been personally diagnosed with PCOS. So, I get it! I get the challenges with fertility, sleep quality, carb cravings, and skin/hair issues because I've had 'em too. I've heard and read every so-called nutritional treatment/cure/diet plan and know that spending your time and energy on weight loss is causing more harm than good (both physically and mentally). You're not failing at your diet: your diet is failing you.
It's time to shut down PCOS diet culture mentality. It's time to stop avoiding the foods you love, and find a balance that is both emotionally and physically nourishing.
Get in touch with me if you've had enough with the disappointments of dieting or weight-stigmatizing healthcare, and are ready to work online with someone supportive one-on-one to help you navigate a sustainable long-term plan for Intuitive Eating and gentle nutrition with PCOS.
I offer help with PCOS nutrition, exercise, supplements, sleep management, and more. Whether you're a teen with PCOS, battling PCOS infertility, approaching menopause, newly diagnosed or needing a new direction in your PCOS care - I'm here to support. Check out my Booking page for more information.