PCOS and Me... A Little update

PCOS, polycystic ovary syndrome

As I've blogged about before, I have PCOS.  Lots of women do, apparently, it affects 1 in 5 women in the UK (source) and whilst many women are thought not to have any symptoms, I do and I've been struggling with them for a long time now.  I have a few niggling issues but those that have been bothering me the most are:

Lack of period
Continued weight gain
Hair loss

The lack of period has been particularly concerning to me as my last was in the summer and when I was first diagnosed, I was told that if there was no period for three months I would need medication to trigger a bleed, followed by a scan to check my womb lining had properly reduced (PCOS sufferers have an increased risk of endometrial cancer). 

Last week I finally went back to see the Doctors. Luckily for me, I saw a female Doctor as my Doctor has now retired - I never found him to be particularly sympathetic towards women's health issues, which is why it has taken me so long to go back to see them.  Initially, I came away from my appointment feeling quite 'meh' towards it all but I feel better having had the chance to reflect.  

Following my initial diagnosis, I felt very much as though I was being left to fend for myself with improving my health and PCOS symptoms.  I was told to lose weight and "... simply eat less and move more... it is not that difficult..." And so I went away and tried to lose weight. And failed.  I increased my activity levels and was careful with food and still failed. And so, when I went back to see the Doctor I told her I needed help and asked for metformin, which many PCOS sufferers seem to be prescribed as it helps to balance insulin levels. I was again denied it but this time was prescribed Orlistat. Whilst I agreed to give it a try, I was a little unhappy about it as the Doctor didn't tell me anything about the side effects which I later found out about when I did some reading up on it. 

I'm disappointed in myself for getting to this stage as obviously my entire weight gain over the years cannot be blamed solely on PCOS. I would have preferred not to have taken something to help but I clearly cannot do this on my own.  According to this article, the average Brit walks less than half a mile a day.  I do anywhere between 10,000 and 15,000 steps a day, with 10,000 being approximately 4 miles, so it is not as though I'm lazy.  I've been on it for just under a fortnight and already I've noticed a good loss, although I won't be going by my scales but rather the official weigh-in a monthly basis at the surgery.  Regardless, it gives me hope that this might be enough to help with regards to the weight issues, finger's crossed. Now, if we could just balance out my hormones so that I don't flit from rage to weeping at the drop of a hat and stop my hair from falling out everywhere, that would be GREAT... 

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