What is PCOS

When I created this blog, I wanted to reach out to those who are like me. I wanted to encourage those with PCOS to continue to fight on despite having an incurable disorder. While the desire is still there, it does seem like I’ve discussed everything else but Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) multiple times. It’s true but here’s why: September is PCOS Awareness Month. No. I don’t need a month to explain it and I refuse to limit myself to only a month to discuss it. However, it’s nice to know that there is a month for its awareness out there.

PCOS is rather hard to diagnose. Many of the common signs and symptoms are found in other illnesses as well, so it can be easily mistaken for something else. Often times, it takes about another two symptoms before a diagnosis can be made. Usually, that determination is made by an endocrinologist. Why? Because it’s a metabolic and hormonal disorder and endocrinologists specialize in those areas. This is another reason why PCOS Awareness month is important. Did you know that PCOS has been around a long time but many doctors (other than endocrinologists) are still clueless about it? I don’t know how your insurance works but mine says that I must see my Primary Care Physician (PCP) who will then refer me out to a specialist (in my case, the endocrinologist) if they see fit to do so. This means that I may not get to see an endocrinologist if my PCP believes something else may be the issue. As I previously stated, it’s hard to diagnose because many of the symptoms are found in other illnesses as well.  This creates a long and arduous cycle for the woman who has to endure all of the symptoms until something gives.

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PCOS is not only hard to diagnose, it’s dangerous because there is no cure. There is only treatment and managing the symptoms we already have. Eating right, exercise and no smoking and limiting alcohol is our treatment. Sadly, we could do all of this and still not lose a pound or certainly much, much, much slower than a woman without it.  Sometimes, what hurts most is knowing that you’re doing everything possible to lose the weight and then your partner, in love and solidarity, joins you and loses enough weight for the both of you while you’re struggling to lose a pound a week. Sometimes, it makes you regret every morsel of food you’ve put in your body. It makes every infomercial sound even better and your wallet even lighter.

If you’re anything like me, you’re trying to find a cure yourself since the doctors and scientists who are paid to find one can’t seem to develop one. You read all of the books, watch scientific films about metabolic disorders and you repeat the cycle until you can spout the medicinal lingo yourself. You research the right foods and before you enter the store to get them, you pray that the prices are in line and agreement with your wallet. You join gyms, you get personal trainers, you get a support system together and you believe you’re ready. But not today because you’re tired. Tomorrow. Tomorrow becomes the new motto and one by one things start to return to the way things were before. Then it all starts again with something striking up hope just to go back to the way things were before the hope started.

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The point of this post today is to inform the world of PCOS and that some of us have it.  We are women who strive to be ordinary in some way but have been built to be anything but. Some of us embrace it, some of us are embarrassed by it. Some of us question ourselves and what we have been told about ourselves, some of us choose to be different because we believe what has been told to us is wrong. In whatever position we’re in, we’re women dealing with all of these internal issues while trying to live in a society that encourages women to look and act a certain way. It’s exhausting. At times, it takes all we have to get out of bed and be productive for the day and in a country that takes having a mental health day as a joke rather than a serious introspective look on how things are done, one can feel at the end of their rope although they may very well be in the middle.

 

Until next time, I hope you have a little more insight on PCOS. For more information, check out the following website: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Fact Sheet. If you want to read more of how I am determined to love myself through this, check out this blog post: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome & Me. If you have it and want to share your story of hope, please let me know in the Talk To Me section below.

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