PCOS/Insulin Resistance

This is a support group for those women who are afflicted with the disease known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and insulin resistance, and also to provide awareness to those who are showing signs but don't know they have it.

What is PCOS?
* Is also known as Stein-Leventhal Syndrome or Polycystic Ovary Disease (PCOD).
* Affects an estimated 6-10% of all women and most don't even know they have it.
* Is treatable, but not curable, by medications, changes in diet and exercise.
* Is one of the leading causes of infertility in women.
* Has been identified for 75 years and they still aren't sure what causes it.
* Affects far more than just reproduction.
* IT IS NOT just a cosmetic problem.

Symptoms
* Insulin Resistance
* Irregular or absent menses
* Numerous cysts on the ovaries in many, but not all, cases
* High blood pressure
* Acne
* Elevated insulin levels, Insulin Resistance, or Diabetes
* Infertility
* Excess hair on the face and body
* Thinning of the scalp hair (alopecia)
* Weight Problems or obesity that is centered around your mid section
*Discoloration of the skin in areas where skin can crease
*Sudden increase in weight gain
*Sudden increase in cravings for carbohydrates
*Depression and mood swings

Causes of Symptoms
*If you have problems with auto-immune disorders, PCOS is directly related to it. For instance, asthma, bumps on your arms or forms of eczema, irritable bowel syndrome, goodpastures syndrome, type 1 diabetes, celiacs disease, etc. Basically autoimmune is the action of your body having an inappropriate immune response against its own tissues.
*PCOS also affects the level of progesterone in your system, and progesterone is a natural anti-depressant. So if you have mood swings, get depressed, etc, this is the reason why. It can be treated through birth control pills that have progesterone specifically in them (for instance YAZ, Yasmin, Ocella, and many others). It can also be treated through creams. I have yet to find another source of it via oral use other than the birth control.
*A lot of the things you're experiencing are the fact that we just have more testosterone in our system than most women, so we take on mens more attractive features as a result. For instance, the hair loss and the excess hair in places me dont want it.

Treatment
*For the high blood pressure/hair loss, the medication spironolactone is commonly used. Be careful if you take both Spironolactone and Metformin together, it may cause heart palpatations. Also, it may simply be the fact that you drink a lot of caffeine. I stopped drinking it & my heart palpitations stopped. If you have just started on this medication, be patient. You may notice that your hair has stopped falling out, but the hair growth has not necessarily increased. It took me over a year to realize that I finally had hair growing back and now I have regrown at least 20% of my hair, if not more (and I had lost 70% to begin with).
*Another good use for hair loss is Rogaine, use the 5% minoxidil. It says its for men, they just say that because they haven't taken the time to test it on women. My dermatologist and endocrinolygist both said it was safe to use it, they just can't advertise it for female use. That helps A LOT with the hair loss and it did help, for me anyways, with some peach fuzz regrowth around my forehead.
*Metformin is used to help with the diabetic tendancies and it is also easier to lose weight if you are on this medication since the insulin resistance REALLY does not help with the weight loss aspect. So if you're having trouble losing weight, the insulin resistance is the cause. It is recommended that at least 1000 mgs of Metformin is taken to help with the weight loss, any less and it doesn't really help. I personally am up to 1500mgs and it works wonderfully for me personally.
*Unfortunately the weight loss is really the key more than any of these medications to controlling the disease. I dropped the weight on my own without these medications and the skin discoloration went away, some of my autoimmune disorders (like the IBS) disappeared completely, and the facial hair stopped as well.

PLEASE REMEMBER THAT NEITHER LAUREN NOR I ARE DOCTORS AND PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE CONSULT A PHYSICIAN BEFORE CHANGING ANYTHING WITH REGARDS TO MEDICATION OR DIET HABITS, WHETHER IT IS INFORMATION LAUREN OR I SUGGEST, OR ANYONE ELSE ON THE WEBSITE FOR THAT MATTER.

*If anyone has questions or concerns please feel free to contact either Lauren or I at anytime. I personally live in the Georgia, USA area so if anyone needs face time I am more than willing to help out and Lauren is in Massachusetts, USA and is more than willing to help out as well. And remember this is a place of love and support so please treat your fellow sisters the way you wish to be treated. We're all here for the same reasons, xo