A Letter to the Newly Diagnosed with PCOS
Dear newly diagnosed cyster,
You probably just got slammed with the diagnosis of PCOS. Know that you're not alone!
One in ten women has this condition, so it isn’t as “rare” as these doctors make it out to be. You're probably confused, overwhelmed and not sure where to turn or what to do. Maybe you have heard of PCOS, or maybe it's something you've never heard of in your life. All you know is that the diagnosis has now become part of your journey.
You've probably been dealing with these symptoms and side effects for many years without any answers and started to lose hope that you would ever find out what was wrong. You are not crazy, these symptoms are not all in your head, there is a legitimate reason for them, something is wrong.
Once you finally were diagnosed by the doctor, they probably took away your hope by telling you there is no cure, and it's something that you are just going have to deal with. Don't become alarmed and fear the statistics. They are just that, statistics. You do not have to become one. Educate yourself on the condition and never stop learning.
It is okay to be upset, angry, confused, and sad. These are all normal emotions, and you have to grieve the process. But don’t let these emotions consume you. It won’t help you in the long run. You are going to be okay!
PCOS isn’t an ideal diagnosis, but at least now you have identified the underlying issue. How can you fix something if you don’t know what is wrong? Knowledge is power! Now you can take the steps to live a healthy and happy life. I firmly believe that Powerful women Can Overcome Symptoms, and you can adopt that motto too!
As you've begun to research PCOS on your own, you probably have come across a lot of conflicting information. It can be difficult to understand and decipher what's the right thing to be doing, especially since doctors don't really have a lot of knowledge or know how to steer you in the correct direction.
My best advice is to become your own advocate for you and your health. No one knows you and your body like YOU. You have to know what you're willing to do and try. You know if your body is responding positively or negatively (doctors only look at the results and will tell you if you are in the “normal range”). Don’t be afraid to question the doctors, to say NO, or to get another opinion. This is your life; you are the one who has to live it every day!
As I write this letter to you, I thought about what I wish someone had told me when I was diagnosed. I wish I had a better starting point. I felt like a lot of my time was spent going in circles. While I don’t have all the answers, and I am still figuring things out, I wanted to share this with you in hope that I can help you save time and get on the right track sooner. So I compiled some helpful tips for you.
Ways I have been successful in managing my PCOS:
1. Make sure you're seeing the right doctor. You will want to see an endocrinologist; they specialize in hormones and the metabolism. When working with a doctor, you need to have the same vision and goals to work efficiently together. If you need more information about choosing the right doctor, then read this.
2. Look into working with a good nutritionist. They can really help you and will be one of your best resources. Here is an article I wrote about what you can expect when working with a nutritionist. They most likely will put you on a low carb diet which will help you lose weight and stabilize blood sugars. In the meantime, sign-up and I will give you some of my favorite best low carb snacks to help get you started.
3. Exercise Daily. Find things that you like to do. Just make sure you are consistent and getting your heart rate up. Exercise will help with weight loss, regulating blood sugars, and improve your mood. It will also contribute to a better quality of sleep.
4. Research supplements. Most women with PCOS have deficiencies and can benefit from supplementation. You might want to start with Vitamin D, Magnesium, DHA, a probiotic, and a high-quality multivitamin (these are the ones I take). There are more options and supplements out there that aid specific functions, but it depends more on your particular needs and situation. The lab tests your endocrinologist runs will help you understand where your body can use some help.
5. Set your environment up for success. Get rid of the temptations in the house. Once they are removed, you will only have healthy choices to choose from. This is a small yet significant step to improving your health. While you can control your home environment, it can be more difficult when you are surrounded by everyday temptations. So here’s some help when you find yourself in temptation situations.
6. Remain positive. It is easy to get bogged down by the negative, but you will be more successful if you try to be positive. People that believe in themselves and are positive are more likely to achieve their goals and live healthier and happier lives.
7. When you have a down day, you need to do something to pick yourself up. Music is my therapy and comforts me, so I suggest you listen to the PCOS Playlist Vol. 1 & Vol. 2. It will lift your spirits and leave you feeling empowered and ready to tackle the day.
8. Take it one day at a time. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring so focus on the present. Be grateful for the opportunities that you have because someone else isn’t as lucky!
Above all, fight for you, fight for your health! You can be successful, and you can overcome your symptoms. Choose hope, choose you! Believe in yourself and what you are capable of! If you need advice or support, please feel free to reach out!
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