Day: January 29, 2011

PCOS vol II

So here’s an update on my condition.  Its actually quite exciting. On Thursday I finally went to a different endocrinologist named Dr. Falahati.  Due to my injury I had early in the month I had  to reschedule the appointment twice.  This gave me lots of time to think and pray about the visit in hopes I would gain knowledge in regards to my PCOS and its treatment.

My hopes were fully realized in an awesome doctor experience- quite the contrast to the crazy doctor.  Dr. Falahati listened to my life-story and symptoms.  As I said in my last PCOS post it was amazing how many of the symptoms I am experiencing.  Without getting too personal it was as if there was a PCOS checklist and I could check off every item. He then explained his over 10 year experience with PCOS patients and their treatment.  I guess it can vary from a woman with a full beard to marathon runners who find out they have PCOS when trying to have children.  Thankfully I am somewhere in-between.

The interesting thing (and I will try to explain this adequately) is he said the problem with PCOS patient’s isn’t actually the cysts- the cysts are a symptom of, not the cause, of the condition.  He also said when women do have cysts they are microscopic and can’t be seen in an ultra sound and cause little to no pain.

Dr.  Falahati said the main problem with PCOS patients is they are insulin resistant.  This is different then being high in insulin.  I asked him why my blood sugar levels are never high and he said the insulin resistance does cause elevated insulin but it does not always cause high blood sugar levels.  Who knew right?  He also said my body doesn’t absorb sugars the way it is supposed to, digesting food quickly- particularly high sugar, high fat foods.  The muscles in particular in PCOS patients are terrible in absorbing and burning off sugars.  This is why I experience so much pain and fatigue while exercising- even after doing it regularly for months and months.  (I thought it was just because my body was resisting getting in shape- little did I know my muscles were actually resisting!)

In order to conquer the insulin resistance he quadrupled my metformin prescription, lowered my spironolactone, and has changed my exercise routine.  He recommends doing 2/3rds cardio and 1/3 weights.  I have already spoken with my trainer and she agrees- she was actually as excited as me. I love her!  Once the insulin is more regulated I may be able to move to 50/50 weights/cardio.

The doctor also wants me to focus even more on eating foods low on the glycemic index.  That means ultra strict on white flours, pastas, white rice, sugar, etc.  I was already working on this, but I am definitely kicking it up another notch.

The doctor took a ton of blood work and we will meet again in 3 months to discuss the results and how my new diet/exercise/medicine is going.  Another thing Dr. Falahati said is usually PCOS starts at puberty and makes it tough to lose weight from that point on.  I felt so validated by this statement.  I always knew there was something wrong with my body but to have a doctor say it meant a lot to me.  I got in the car and cried.  All those days of frustration for 20 years and I’m finally getting answers.

I have almost no memories of being skinny.  Everything is heavy.  I have a feeling that with Dr.  Falahati’s treatments and my continued hard work perhaps I will create new memories- a new me?  Its almost hard to believe.  Almost too overwhelming.  Makes me want to cry.  The old me was great, and I will always love her but to think of new potential is exciting!  The doctor also said that to have lost any weight with these conditions is commendable.  This made me feel much better about the 35-40 lbs I lost last year.

Its hard to explain why this makes me so emotional but it feels like I’m giving a big hug to my 10 year old self- over weight, confused, different with no answers but to be spunky and creative.  Now I have answers!  There will be much more to come and I will keep the updates flying.  The only thing I regret is taking over 20 years to figure this out but oh well!  Better late then never!

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