Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lifestyle Changes?

I had to go for a doctor appointment today as (I thought) a follow up to my surgery in December. Well, it wasn't a follow up appointment so much as a "let me show you the gigantic cyst you have in your left ovary" appointment - with full colour pictures. A little jarring to say the least. Now, it came as no surprise I had cysts. I've been told I have them in the past and the doctor did tell me after my surgery that she found them again. What was so jarring was the sheer size the one cyst made my left ovary compared to my right one. The right one, in the picture, looked to be about the size of my thumbnail while the left one was the size of an egg. A small egg, but still, an egg.

Another not quite surprise is that, by looking at my right ovary (as it was rather lumpy) it appears that I also have PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome. Basically, all kinds of fun where my body doesn't ovulate properly, produce enough progesterone, and is infertile. It also seems that weight gain (hey, that sounds familiar), irregular periods, insulin resistance, diabetes and androgenic hormone presence are also all signs of PCOS. I think the scariest parts of this is the fact that I'll never get over it, this is something that I'll have for the rest of my life. I have to treat it, manage it, but I'll never live life with out the PCOS being there.

The symptoms that worry me most are the weight gain (and subsequent difficulty in losing weight), insulin resistance, and the diabetes. Obesity and diabetes run rampant in my family history and I know I'm no feather-weight. Getting diabetes has scared me so much since I was 17 and visited my grandpa for the first time in 5 or 6 years to find out his leg had been amputated due to his diabetes. I do not want that; I am terrified of that. So that means I must make some pretty significant lifestyle changes in order to decrease my chances of a good many diseases and chronic problems due to the PCOS.

1. Change of diet. My diet needs to now reflect a low carbohydrate and low-glycemic index diet. Basically this means that I need to start eating things that break down slower over a longer period of time and get the carbs I need from foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

2. Exercise more. Sustained levels of physical activities over longer periods of time will help to reduce and manage my weight.

3. Monitor my body. Become more aware of what is going on with my body and note changes.

PCOS can lead to any of the following:
  • Heart disease
  • Insulin resistance/Type II Diabetes
  • Strokes
  • Depression/Anxiety
  • Endometrial Cancer, and
  • Weight Gain

I want to minimize my risks to these so I will work towards my goals. I will change my diet, exercise more, and monitor my body. I will not develop any of these diseases as a result of my negligence of my body. I will take take care of myself.


  1. Knowing is half the battle. Love yourself, and your body will love you back. One day at a time. You are worth it.

  2. Thank you so much! It is true, knowing is half the battle, I am going to win this!

  3. It sounds like you've got a good game plan for living with this. I know several women with PCOS and while it certainly complicates their lives, they are very happy and healthy. It can be done :)

  4. Thanks for the encouragement! I just need to stick to the plan now :)