Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Community
Please can anybody advise me on diet and supplements? I'm so confus...
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This patient support community is for discussions relating to PCOS including anxiety, baldness or thinning hair, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression, type 2 diabetes, genetics, heart problems, increased hair growth (hirsuitism), infertility, menstruation (periods), obesity, ovarian cysts, pelvic pain, pregnancy, skin problems, sleep disorders, and weight gain.

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Please can anybody advise me on diet and supplements? I'm so confused!

I am 29 years old and have suffered from acne and painful/irregular periods since I was 15. I've been on Dianette pretty much ever since but after worsening skin problems and subsequently finding out that I have very high cholesterol, I have now been diagnosed with PCOS. In addition to the above I have the following symptoms:

*High cholesterol
*Symptoms of Insulin Resistance
*Mood swings
*Peaks and troughs in tiredness
*Severe sugar cravings - I’ve developed a really horrible relationship with food which results in me binge eating on sweet things when I feel sad (on the same scale as a bulimic binge eats and even doing things like hiding the evidence)
*Bad circulation in my legs (I'm not sure if this is related but it's causing the start of varicose veins which are unsightly and embarrassing plus I’m getting a lot of pain/heaviness in my legs

I have a fairly healthy diet and am working to improve this but would love to hear any help or advice - particularily anything that could help with the emotional side of things as I really struggle with this.
Are there any supplements that anyone can recommend or particular foods that work well?
As I said, I'm not sure if the bad circulation is related, so if anyone knows or can offer any suggestions to improve this I'd really appreciate it.

Many thaks in advance!
3 Comments Post a Comment
1000480 tn?1266596199
Hi. I recently found out that I have PCOS after over a year of very strange hormonal and other symptoms (many of the ones listed above in your post). Last month I started p90x and at the end of my first month I had actually gained a body fat percentage! I called a dietician and she seemed to have no explanation for me until she heard me say I had PCOS. She immediately mentioned the insulin resistance. You can get meds to regulate it or do it naturally. I am trying it naturally. I eat 170-180g of carbs a day. I have to watch everything that I eat. The good news, I lost 5lbs in 4days of watching my carbs and I only lost 2lbs in one month of counting calories and doing p90x! I am still doing p90x and I still monitor my calories, but carbs are the key.

Also, as far as helping with the anxiety... my doctor informed me at one visit that you have panic or anxiety often times when something is off with your body... sometimes even from something silly like gas pain. She said that your body senses something wrong and sends a surge or adrenaline. I recently proved to myself that mine would get worse when I was eating too many carbs and my blood sugar was elevated. I hate hate hate meds, so I keep mine under control on my own. The main thing is not to freak out when they start... you probably know what it feels like when one is coming on. I have to talk myself down. I am only 24... no reason for me to be having a heart attack. Everyone is different, but I think that if you can manage your sugar, diet, and weight you can minimize your symptoms.

Another tip when eating is to always eat a protein with a carb (and yes fruit counts as carbs). So if I have strawberries I have a string cheese too, or an apple and peanut butter. The dietician informed me that your body can better absorb/digest the sugars from carbs when you eat protein with the carbs.

If you were talking about "emotional" eating... I have been telling myself that if I don't control the insulin resistance now, I will get diabetes in later years. That thought really kicks me when I'm looking at that piece of cake that I really don't need but my mind tells me I do. I definitely crave carbs, but I am learning to keep it at bay to stay healthy for my kids.

Hope some of this helps. lol. I am a rambler. Any questions feel free to email me as well. Good luck!
Avatar m tn
suggest plant based diet....look at the work by Dr Neil Barnard, Dr Joel Fuhrman, and others who work with patients ans use food to vastly improve their health status.   Dr Furhrman's book, eat to live, is a good resource.  Dr Esselsty of the Cleveland Clinic is another who focuses on heart disease and diet.  They can all be found on Youtube and book stores.   And the Forks Over Knifes documentary.  Try no animal products for 30 to 60 days and then have blood work done to see for yourself   A plantt based diet will have global health benefits.  I had a heart attack early Sept and after 2 months of no animal products at all in my diet my Total chol is 110, and LDL is 55.   some of this huge drop is due to low dose statin drug but at least half is due to diet according to cardiologist.   I eat as much as I want otherwise.

good luck.
Avatar f tn
I was on dianette too for years and Ive had all of your symptoms in the past. No longer though. Not any of them. I'm doing brilliantly through diet and a herbal supplement. I recommend the PCOS diet book for good advice on how to tailor diet for individual symptoms.

Eating proteins with or before carbs definitely helps reduce sugar cravings for me. I was vegetarian but now eat all kinds of protein, mostly fish and turkey and red meat once a week and this has improved my hair no end.

Also I don't buy rubbish ever to eat at home. Even if I buy chocolate I eat it in a pub with tea. It's a funny rule but it keeps me from binging. It also helps me never feel deprived. I know I can eat cake any time I want but I also have to pay more for it and leave the house to get it. Try the 3 fat chicks on a diet site for support and suggestions for sticking with a diet. I go on their when I'm feeling weak or need emotional support before breaking a diet. Don't give up looking for a way to limit your sugar. My sister cuts it out completely. I reduced it. Find a way that works for you. Maybe only eating sugar at the weekends would work. Maybe you need to cut it out completely. It is a craving that goes quickly I've found. It's the emotional need of sugar that I find hard to break.

Mood swings and insulin resistance went with a low gl, lower calorie diet (about 1400 a day). I also eat some protein with almost every meal. cinnamon helps with insulin resistance. I eat about half a teaspoon in breakfast daily. This also helps with cholesterol as does a little exercise daily. I walk for about an hour per day. Lemon juice over food helps lower the gl. I also eat loads of garlic, partly for my heart and also because I love it.I take vitamins and omega 3 fish oils daily.

Emotionally I find cognitive behavioural therapy great as well as diet and exercise. I have a list of things to do when I start to feel low and this helps me hugely. If I do something about my moods when I see my warning signs then I don't sink too far. I take omega 3 fish oils for mood as well. I take saw palmetto to control the hair problems.

Circulation problems were linked with dianette for me. When I stopped taking it it was no longer a problem.

I was diagnosed 20 years ago. At my fattest I was too ashamed to weigh myself but was just fitting in to a size 22. Now I take a twelve and have done consistently for about fifteen years.

It has taken me years to find delicious, filling, fast to prepare meals that fit this but it's absolutely worth it. If a meal isn't all these things I don't tend to stick with it. Splitting lunch in two and eating half a few hours later works great for me. As does a bit of chocolate (three after eights) in the afernoon so that i don't feel deprived. I never have rubbish foods in the house to resist temptation. I firmly believe that building up healthy habits works. When you don't have to think about something it's so easy to stick to it. I have one of three breakfasts and stock up on foods so I'm never stuck. I eat a small variety of meals. Three different breakfasts, dinners etc but this works for me. I don't have to think loads about everything that I eat.

Don't give in a the plateaus or when you fall off the wagon. Or let it get you down. Everyone breaks a diet now and then. I couldn't telly you how many times I broke my diet. Maybe hundreds of times. Just start again , and then start again and then start again. I went off the diet around Christmas and am now starting again. It'll still work.

I found acupuncture and qi kung very helpful also. I don't need it now but if your symptoms feel overwhelming it might be worth doing to help.

Good luck and keep positive. Everything that you described can be helped and when you persevere you will find the best diet for you and eliminate all these symptoms. If I did it, and my sister then I'm sure you can too.

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