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Hello, a health and food enthusiast! I love, love, love food, if you ask anyone I know, but I also try to better my health each and every day.
I will try to make this short and without boring you! I’m certain my friends are sick of me preaching to them my hippy ways, so I have come to try and annoy the rest of the world instead! I have struggled with a few health issues that I will go into detail in other posts to help others! Eventually, I learned that all these health issues were a part of a bigger problem, PCOS.
PCOS is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. This means there are too many cyst on my ovaries, therefore I do not have a regular period, prone to acne, hormonal imbalance, digestive issues, and the list goes on if I do not stick to a healthy diet. More complications can exist like hirsutism, weight gain, insulin resistance, thinning hair, infertility, prone to miscarriages, and diabetes. After being diagnosed with PCOS through an ultra sound, I began to research the heck out of this thing called PCOS. It was very upsetting to hear from the doctor that I may not be able to have kids, when all I have ever dreamed about is having a ton of babies! Yes, there are drugs out there to help with every woman with these side effects and to help with fertility. But, I was one not sold on the fact of taking a suitcase of pills my whole life, nor did I want “chemically” created twins, trips, or quad babies because of fertility drugs.
All of my problems started when I was 12. I was experience “irregular bleeding,” not to be confused with an irregular period and terrible acne. It wasn’t until 13 years later that I had found out that irregular bleeding is not a period. So, anyways, my mother took me to the doctor my acne. I specifically remember the doctor saying, well you have too much testosterone in your system, but birth control will help this. Being 12, knowing nothing, and hearing birth control will clear up my face, well halleluiah, give here! I went on to take birth control for the next 13 years because I would never ever dare to have another breakout again, how would I ever meet a boy if I wasn’t pretty. This birth control also helped to give me a “regular period” or what I like to say is forced bleeding. As for my acne and bleeding issue, a pill took care of me, but that was only the start of another issue.
As happy as I can be on birth control, in a couple of months, I would now be a freshman in high school! I lived in completely different town then where my school was, so I had to be dropped off early in order for my parents to get to work, which meant I was always at school before anyone else arrived. This was okay as sometimes I would go to a friend’s house and just hang out, other times I would go to school. Probably about once or twice a week in the morning usually, I would have digestion issues. The only way to cure this was usually by laying on my stomach for about 30 minutes and poof they were gone. I would see a doctor every now and again for this issue, but was getting nowhere. I was given IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) pills and told to take it 2 times a day, so I did. I found myself being completely lost, walking into a room and not knowing why, couldn’t find my own way home, etc. I decided to stop immediately taking these pills, and later researched, that pill should only be taken when you have symptoms. Another time when I had stomach pains, I decided to go to the doctor immediately. The doctor I saw, intensely questioned if I was sexually active, persisted I was lying, then gave me some other pills. I don’t even know what she gave me, but I decided not to take them considering how the last pill adventure went and how she treated me. Another time, I was told to take more fiber. Years have gone by and I am now in my 20’s, stomach pains occurring almost daily at this point, but I figured that was my life and nothing I can do about it. A friend mentioned the birth control she had gave her an upset stomach so she switched to the IUD. Attaching something to the inside of my vagina??? No way! Who knows, that will be the next lawsuit commercial you see on tv. At this point in my life I was weary of doctors, pills, and procedures. They give you this medication and stick things into your vagina, but no one knows the long term effects. I chalked it up to oh well, I will have stomach aches the rest of my life, by now I was getting used of them anyways. When I saw my family doctor, he had mentioned I should write a dairy of everything I ate, considering I might be lactose intolerant, but testing is expensive so we could rule it out this way.
When I was about 23, I found an article someone had written about candida. This person had the same exact experience as me when it came to an upset stomach. They stated that they take a probiotic, which has helped tremendously! I did some more research and picked me up a bottle of probiotics. Oh boy, was I excited! These probiotics seemed to help quite a bit, except on weekends. I usually brought the bottle to work with me, forgot to take it home, or forgot to take them at home. If I missed a couple of days, my body was reacting the opposite of what it should be doing when taking them consistently so I stopped taking them and did some more research. I researched candida, probiotics, what where these things, what do they do to me, etc. Eventually, it was brought to my attention that carbs, gluten, and processed foods basically are the problem. This made sense because I loved my pasta and ice cream, that I ate almost every day! My butt and thighs seemed to love it, but I didn’t. So I decided I needed to change some food habits and exercise because Dad always said “one day you can’t just eat everything you want without gaining a pound.” In my food dairy I then started to add how many calories, sodium, sugar, etc. was in each food. I quickly realized what I needed to let go of in life or try another version. Then I researched how much the typical woman should eat in calories, sodium, carbs, and protein and decided to follow that for a while.
My best friend was in town from Poland and she ended up staying with me for about a week. We would go out eat dinner, have drinks, come home sleep, and repeat. After she left I weighed myself and I was sad and ashamed! I had gained quite a bit of weight in just a week. Typically, I would check my weight once a week and if I gained a pound or two, I would be extremely strict with myself until I got back down to 135 pounds. But now after my friend left, I am way too much over, that I need a major change! At this time in my life, my sister was on some health craze. She’s a new mom, found her new love of exercising and working out and loved sharing it all on Facebook. My sister was the one to post every dish she made online, annoying to most, but jealous to me! She had started following the Paleo diet. I secretly started to research this diet and what it meant for me, printing off some delicious recipes and watching my weight get back to normal. At the same time, I noticed that I wasn’t having stomach aches, hooray for me, so I went on to follow this diet, despite the fact I was always hangry even if I just ate a huge meal 10 minutes ago. People said well just eat protein or eggs, sorry all, but that never once helped.
Okay, so now I am 25, on birth control, I am thin, and no stomach aches! At work, I liked to scroll Facebook and I came across a couple of articles against birth control. At this point in my life, I am now running to google anytime I have some sort of health issue. I have nothing against Doctors, I think in a lot of cases they are great and do a lot of awesome research, but I don’t agree that they reach for pills to put a band aide on every health issue. I feel a great doctor would educate their patients on the underlaying issues of their health instead of take this pill. A while ago, I was watching my aunt take her morning medications, she went through every 7 pills and said, “I take this one for this, this one to help the side effects of that pill, this one for that, and this one to counter act this pill.” Pffft the interesting thing is many of her issues can be fixed by changing her daily habits! Okay, back on track! So I researched the whole birth control and what it does to your body long term and I was upset. Womaning up, I was single, afraid to break out, but I made the decision to quit birth control. To my surprise, no breakouts! But no period either? It wasn’t until 6 months later, I had my first irregular bleeding, which I thought was a period.
After waiting another 6 months for another irregular period, I decided I should see a doctor. I was in an out of the office of one gyno for a couple of months, when I decided to take my own hormone test. When I received the results, they made sense, but didn’t scare me, and I went to the gyno again to present the results. The doctor gave me a little bit of information, but told me to get an ultra sound. So I scheduled an appoint on my Christmas break and to another surprise I was diagnosed with PCOS. I was devastated and cried because all I could think of was, no babies? The doctor didn’t give me much information on what I should do now except take birth control and when I am ready to have kids, then get fertility drugs. Sorry, bye, I am not taking any more pills and I will research what I need to do. The internet is filled with tons of information these days and I rather trial and error natural remedies versus some pills.
So back to doctor google I went! I obsessed over this PCOS thing and what it was, how to fix it, and so on. Changing every bad habit I could and learn to pick up some new ones. This meant finding alternatives for some of the food I ate, like dairy, I found non-dairy versions like coconut milk or almond milk. Bake or cook with honey or maple syrup instead of sugar (I am not convinced the sweeteners out there are very safe). Or like ordering a burger without the bun. It wasn’t too terribly changing my diet as I was already following the Paleo one, not to a tee, because well I still loved ice cream, yogurt and cheese! Exercising is also a huge part of PCOS, cardio, strength training, resistance training are all great for women with PCOS. Shortly after I made these changes, I was having a period every other month. That is better than every 6 months so I tried not too obsess too much on the internet anymore. There was only one problem I was having finding on doctor google…..a majority of women with PCOS are overweight, once they lose this weight, they lose the side effects! My problem, I am 5’7 and 135 pounds, I am not overweight. There is very little information on what they call “lean type PCOS.” But the article I finally came across from made so much sense, so I decided to trial a new diet. This was the Ketogenic diet, increasing fat and extremely lowering carbs
It actually easy a pretty easy diet to follow, but scary because you need to lower your carb intake extremely and increase your healthy fat intake. Increase my fat intake? Will I faint? Am I going to gain weight? Will I break out again? Those were all my thoughts because everything we are taught is fat is bad, you need about 250 carbohydrates a day for a normal woman, and I shouldn’t eat dairy because I will break out. Dairy has a lot of good fat, so this was the only struggle around this diet, is how to increase my fat intake without eating too much dairy. I found that cooking with and making salads using olive oil was the best way! I noticed by extremely reducing my carb intake that I was no longer hangry after every time I ate! By following the Keto diet, mixed with Paleo, I was no longer breaking out, no more stomach aches, and getting a period every month to every other month! It’s all what you put in your body!
When searching for any product to eat, for whatever diet, be sure to check the backs of labels, and different brands. For example, my favorite “green goddess” comes in a low-fat, organic, original, and low-sodium versions. They each have different contents to meet whatever diet it may be.
Not having a steady period was not good enough for me. I have settled down with an amazing man, that potentially will be my husband and I wanted to get my fertility issues figured out. To my hesitation, I went to see a Holistic doctor. They took all sorts of blood work and tests, sending them off to the lab. I went back in so we could discuss my results and she provided me with an abundance of data for what was going on in my body and what I needed to do! They sell trusted supplements at the office so I purchased zinc and literally the first month, I got my period. I have been regular for almost a year now. This sounds expensive, but actually, seeing this doctor, getting my paaps there, and other tests has all been cheaper than the doctors my insurance covers.
Now, I am 28 and still trying to learn new ways to cut out the chemicals from my life and from my pets life. I eat much cleaner, meal prep, prepare food for vacations, use essential oils, and work out regularly. Eating healthier is not more expensive like most think! Making your own household products is cheaper in the long run and safer for your health.
Lesson here is to listen to your body! Do your own research! And do what is best for your body!
All these common problems are easily diagnosed, but so many are missing this awesome knowledge! This is why I wanted to pass on my life journey with everyone.
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