PCOS symptoms without PCOS?

hadtochangemynamehadtochangemyname Posts: 628Registered Users Curl Neophyte
So I have:

family history of diabetes
family and personal history of breast tumors (not cysts, they were fibroadenomas)
hair loss
acne
moodiness

irregular periods (well, only in that they used to be like clockwork without BC and now the start date can fluctuate by about 10 days)
weight gain in midsection

I've had all but the last 2 for about 10 years now. the last 2 in the last 2 years. in fact the weight gain is weird... I weigh the same, it has just "redistributed" itself from my chest and rear to my stomach. (wtf??? is that just because I'm old?? will I end up with a "mom-butt?" yikes!! I miss my curves :-()

I've been pregnant, so I don't think I have PCOS because it is difficult to get pregnant with it, right? and I got pregnant waaaaay too easily (and waaaay too young :confused1:). And I'm pretty sure my dr would have mentioned that I had it during a routine exam or even when I had my tubal ligation. So its fair to say I don't.

My question is: do you think that adding omega-3s, flax, and a PCOS-friendly diet will help alleviate these symptoms, even if the cause isn't the same? I've already started biotin and a multi, and have considered grapeseed extract as well, for the hair loss.

I have no health insurance so its not like I can go to a doctor, and honestly what would they do anyway? either tell me I have it or not, but nothing they can do so I'm just wondering if anyone here has treated the symptoms even if they didn't have the disease.
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Comments

  • nynaeve77nynaeve77 Posts: 7,135Registered Users Curl Novice
    PCOS can develop pretty much anytime after late adolescence. I started having symptoms in my early 20s. It also can vary in severity; my sis-in-law and I both have it. She conceived 4 children quite easily (she miscarried one) and I had to take infertility treatments, so the ease of getting pregnant isn't always a good indicator.

    Weight gain w/ PCOS can be very strange. I'll stay at the same weight for a while and then BAM! Out of nowhere I'll gain 5 lbs. I don't change anything about my diet and exercise, but there you have it. As for your doc mentioning it, it's not always obvious without doing an ultrasound or taking blood samples.

    I've found the best diet for me is South Beach. Eating carbs w/ a low glycemic index helps a LOT. I still let myself eat a little dark chocolate because I have a wicked sweet tooth, but I try to stay away from the processed carbs and really sweet fruits (oranges, pineapple, etc.). It's the ONLY diet where I've lost weight in the tummy area. In every other diet, I'll lost weight everywhere but my midsection.

    Good luck to you! I know it can be frustrating dealing w/ mystery weight gain and all the other symptoms. I hope that adjusting your diet and whatnot helps you! :) PM me if you ever need to vent, PCOS or not...I have lots of practice dealing with the symptoms!
    "Maybe Lucy's right. Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you're the Charlie Browniest."--Linus, A Charlie Brown Christmas


    My fotki: http://public.fotki.com/nynaeve77/
    Password: orphanannie
  • WurlyLoxWurlyLox Posts: 4,858Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I agree that the fact that you got pregnant is not really an indicator that you don't have PCOS. You can really only be sure if you have it if they can visualize it on ultrasound, MRI, or CT scan and if bloodwork indicates elevated insulin levels, often with elevated testosterone levels.

    Additional symptoms that may be indicators are
    • facial hair
    • a line of dark hair from your navel to your pubic area
    • skin tags
    • a brownish discoloration around your neck and/or around your underarms and/or sometimes in the groove between the top of your thighs and your groin
    • melasma -"mask of pregnancy" whether pregnant or not. This is usually sort of face-framing brown patches around either or both eyes, not just random brown spots from sun damage. A line of brown around your lips is also more indicative of it than just random spots on your face
    • high insulin and testosterone levels, the former causing it to be very difficult to lose weight
    All that being said, you could still have it with few or none of the usual symptoms. However, I've had a lot of symptoms since I was about 18, but was never officially diagnosed until I was over 40. I read a magazine article that described me to a T and took it to my next gynecologist's appointment. She just shrugged it off, saying there was nothing that could be done if I had it except to put me on birth control pills. Unfortunately, that used to be the attitude all too often, but basically it was just that until the past several years, people - even doctors - were just ill-informed about PCOS.

    I knew someone who had been recently diagnosed by a reproductive endocrinologist who's one of the leading experts on PCOS in the country, so I got in to see him, too. Put me on a low-glycemic index diet just as Nynaeve77 says, though not necessarily South Beach, and on metformin (glucophage) to lower insulin resistance due to the PCOS. Besides the diet and metformin, he says exercise is the next most important thing. That's the thing I've struggled with the most!

    Good luck - maybe even if you can't afford testing right now, just trying a low-glycemic diet and regular exercise can help.
    2C/3A/3B - modified CG - fairly fine now, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

    Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated or Aim2Health 'poos for scalp, Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite,CJ Pattern Pusha,, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

    HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing w/360o diffuser then clips/clamps & air dry. Newly gray - stopped my henna glosses!

    www.fotki.com/auntnett
  • curlygirlymecurlygirlyme Posts: 1,340Registered Users
    I totally agree with everything said. I've been pregnant 4 times. Before I had any signs of PCOS I miscarried my first child. Then I got pregnant with my son and things started to go very wrong. My weight got out of control and even with the healthiest diet in my entire life (no sweets, no caffine, etc.). My periods were terrible after I said my son. Not long after I got pregnant with my daughter and after I had her I had a couple of periods and then they stopped altogther. It took me months to find a doctor who actually helped me (all the other doctors wanted to do was give me birth control which didn't give me periods it just made my problem much worse). I finally got on prometrium and metformin and I lost 35 pounds and bamn I started having periods on my own again and got pregnant. Even my doctor was shocked.

    On the other hand, my husbands aunt has had PCOS since she was 16 and was told she would never have children. She was put on birth control until just now (she is 35) and she has never gained weight and it built like a very skinny guy. She demanded she have her glucose levels tested and bamn she was glucose intolerant. After all these years she got on metformin and got pregnant!!!!

    Moral of the story... everyone is so very different. PCOS is something most doctors simply chuck birth control at and don't look at the entire picture (I'm not saying it doesn't help some people but it doesn't help a lot of times either). She is skinny as a rail, I went from a size 10 to a size 20 in two years. It's a terrible thing and it takes a good doctor, good medicine, and you have to give a lot to get better. If you think you might have a problem see your doctor... if they won't help you check out soulcysters.com and the message board people talk about which doctors have helped others in your area. Good Luck
  • curlygirlymecurlygirlyme Posts: 1,340Registered Users
    P.S.

    Diet and exercise will do wonders. If you cannot afford to get to a doctor, I know a lot of women take cinnamon suppliments b/c they are really good for lowering blood sugar. Start off with a low dose and then increase it a little bit. Don't take too much b/c it can really lower your blood sugar too much. A really good place to read more is soulcysters.com
  • WurlyLoxWurlyLox Posts: 4,858Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Also Diachrome, a chromium/biotin supplement found in the diabetes section at Walgreen's and some other drugstores, has been found in studies (a lot of info on-line) to help regulate glucose levels. About $21 for a two-month supply. Cinnamon supplements can cause severe indigestion in some people, so Diachrome might be considered if that's a problem or if cinnamon doesn't lower levels enough.

    I am pre-diabetic and it's helped stabilize my levels.
    2C/3A/3B - modified CG - fairly fine now, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

    Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated or Aim2Health 'poos for scalp, Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite,CJ Pattern Pusha,, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

    HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing w/360o diffuser then clips/clamps & air dry. Newly gray - stopped my henna glosses!

    www.fotki.com/auntnett
  • dixcatdixcat Posts: 3Registered Users
    I have a related question (i hope it's related!) that I could use some advice on. I hope giving a list of my body's quirks isn't too much information, especially since this is my first post :).

    What I know:

    I have cysts all over my body, MANY in my breasts.
    I get extremely high anxiety after meals, especially after lunch at work.
    I naturally crave high-protein, low-sugar foods.
    I have random cravings for vinegar.
    I have some hair on my chest and chin. Not a whole lot, but other parts of my body are very hairy, like my feet.
    I have restless leg syndrome (but it only flares up for about a month a year).
    I have acne.
    I'm very thin.

    I do, however, have regular periods, I exercise about 4-5 days a week, and am otherwise healthy. None of these symptoms are enough to present a huge problem (except the anxiety), but the relation to sugar spikes worries me. Do I have a metabolic or hormonal problem in the making or am I just too worried about what's probably nothing?

    Thanks so much for letting me vent!
    Cathy
  • cperl3cperl3 Posts: 89Registered Users
    you could have a thryroid issue. Have you had bloodwork done?
    Orlando FL

    trying various aubrey products currently.
  • WurlyLoxWurlyLox Posts: 4,858Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    dixcat wrote: »
    I have a related question (i hope it's related!) that I could use some advice on. I hope giving a list of my body's quirks isn't too much information, especially since this is my first post :).

    What I know:

    I have cysts all over my body, MANY in my breasts.
    I get extremely high anxiety after meals, especially after lunch at work.
    I naturally crave high-protein, low-sugar foods.
    I have random cravings for vinegar.
    I have some hair on my chest and chin. Not a whole lot, but other parts of my body are very hairy, like my feet.
    I have restless leg syndrome (but it only flares up for about a month a year).
    I have acne.
    I'm very thin.

    I do, however, have regular periods, I exercise about 4-5 days a week, and am otherwise healthy. None of these symptoms are enough to present a huge problem (except the anxiety), but the relation to sugar spikes worries me. Do I have a metabolic or hormonal problem in the making or am I just too worried about what's probably nothing?

    Thanks so much for letting me vent!
    Cathy

    I also have breast cysts, but that's not necessarily related to PCOS - most women have them at least some of the time. Soft drinks, especially caffeinated soft drinks, can make them worse. My gynecologist has me on 400 IU natural vitamin E to help control cysts and fibrous breast tissue. Less common, I also have scalp cysts and one in my wrist, a totally different type, and, again, these likely have nothing to do with PCOS.

    I would think if you crave protein and low sugar foods that blood sugar spikes would be of no concern at all for you. If it were high sugar foods you were eating, then you'd probably be having spikes - it causes it to shoot way high then fall precipitously, causing you to crave more and more sugar. Being very thin could be in part related to a high metabolism and very stable blood sugar levels - something most of us would give anything for :)

    Can't think of anything the vinegar craving would relate to unless you have pica, where you crave odd foods or even non-foods like paper, soap, ice, or even dirt! Certainly have never heard it related to PCOS.

    Are you dark haired? Most of us have hair on our feet, it's just noticeable on dark haired women, like me - I've always had to shave my feet and toes, LOL. A slight hormone imbalance unrelated to PCOS could cause the other hair growth.

    I have restless legs syndrome, but I've never heard PCOS mentioned in relation to it.

    Many, many people have acne without PCOS, even as they get older - in fact, some have it worse as they get older.

    Overall, I'd agree that these symptoms sound more thyroid related than like PCOS, especially the thinness and maybe the anxiety after meals.

    If hyperthyroidism (my guess in your case) is ruled out, I can simply tell you that you'll find that you just have more and more little tics and "issues" that come and sometimes go as you age, and that they're usually unrelated - just a part of life!
    2C/3A/3B - modified CG - fairly fine now, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

    Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated or Aim2Health 'poos for scalp, Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite,CJ Pattern Pusha,, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

    HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing w/360o diffuser then clips/clamps & air dry. Newly gray - stopped my henna glosses!

    www.fotki.com/auntnett
  • dixcatdixcat Posts: 3Registered Users
    Thanks for your thorough reply...I kind of figured they were unrelated quirks, but the first poster's list of symptoms had got me thinking and alarmed me a bit. I am getting bloodwork done so I guess soon I'll know!

    Thanks again!
    Cathy

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