In November 2017, I was officially made a ‘cyster’. If you haven’t read part 1 of my story make sure you head over to my intro post here.
That day changed my life forever!
Not only was I diagnosed with PCOS but, I was also told I had insulin resistance (IR). If you don’t know what IR is make sure you head over to my blog post over here that discusses the importance of insulin, how our body regulates its insulin levels and signs that you may have IR too.
The biggest shock for me wasn’t the PCOS, it was the IR diagnosis and the threat that this could turn into diabetes in the future. Diabetes runs in both sides of my family, so it was always in the back of my head that I needed to do everything I could to make sure I didn’t get it either. Unfortunately, it was starting to look like I hadn’t done enough.
I know that sounds weird but being told “you will struggle to have children” didn’t hit me as hard as “if you’re not careful this will turn into Diabetes”. As I reflect, I think it was because, I had endless stories of amazing miracle babies being born, so I knew when my own time would come, with faith I would have my miracle too. I think the IR diagnosis hit me the hardest because I ate really well and exercised a three to four times a week, yet my body still failed me.
I left the doctor’s office that day, with a label and a prescription for Metformin.
Now I’m not one to stick to the labels that people place over me. Oh heck no!
So, I went home, had a five-minute pity party and jumped on the laptop to research the shizzzz out of PCOS.
A little determination never hurt nobody…
I came across so much amazing research and personal stories that I too, was determined to beat this.
The next day I completely overhauled my diet. Now in saying that, for the first six weeks, I took the Metformin because in all honestly – I really didn’t know any better. However, I would not wish those six weeks upon my worst enemy. As a result, I completely changed my diet to a keto based way of eating – but what little I could eat, went straight through me because of the Metformin. Most of my time was spent on the couch, nauseated. I had very severe side effects on 250gm, which my doctor really didn’t care about as she continued to try and up my dosage, which resulted in me getting sicker and sicker.
I couldn’t live like this. So, I threw away my prescription – please note that I do not advise you togo against your doctor’s orders. I had done extensive research on the subject and was given the ok to do so by a naturopath and dietitian.
It took about 2 weeks for my body to adjust to no medication and during this time I stuck to a wholefoods keto based diet. Now, hear me when I say this. My keto diet did not consist of what the media portrays as the typical keto diet which includes loads of bacon, meat, dairy, cheese and animal fats.
No, mine consisted of good quality sources of fats such as unrefined coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds and salmon. I also included lots of vegetables with my favourite being green beans as well as good quality red meat, chicken and fish with a small amount of fruit mainly in the form of berries.
Please hear me when I say that this way of eating does not suit everyone, however it suited me and my goal at that particular point in time.
I also started seeing a naturopath during this time and she is AMAZING!
2018 was a rollercoaster ride.
With the diet changes I made at the start of the year I did manage to lose weight, however that wasn’t my intention. My intention was to regulate my period, get my PCOS under control and reverse my insulin resistance.
After working with my naturopath for 4 months, she wanted me to go and get a whole new set of blood tests to see what my hormone levels were and what the next steps in our plan of attack would be.
So off I went to a different GP at my clinic as my regular one was on holidays. Well, I was made to feel like a complete idiot! Without knowing my history, I got an eyeroll when I told her my ‘naturopath’ wanted me to get new blood tests, I got reprimanded for not taking my metformin ‘because it’s very important’ and finally I was told that there was no point in getting the blood tests because in 12 months (November2017 to November 2018) nothing at all would have changed!
Let’s just say I left that meeting more deflated than I did when I walked out some 12 months earlier with a diagnosis of PCOS. However, I didn’t let that stop me. I booked an appointment for the next day at another local clinic. Funnily enough, the doctor I saw that day was also an acupuncturist so appreciated the fact that I tried the conventional approach and once I realised it was not for me went with the guidance of a naturopath.
She ordered the blood tests for me and by the end of the week I had the results and my gosh were these results a complete shock! Not only were my vitamin levels back to normal ranges (you can read part 1 here) you’d know I had both Vitamin D and B12 deficiencies), I had regulated my periods from 60+ days down to 28-32 days, and most of all I had managed to completely REVERSE my insulin resistance! Thank you Jesus!
2018 was a lot of hard work, but it was all worth it.
It was a year that taught me that I didn’t need to wear a label of infertility or diabetes.
However, I am proud to wear the label ‘cyster’. It makes me part of an exclusive club of women who are experiencing the same yet different life trials as I am.
Finally, 2018 was the year that I stepped out of my comfort zone to finally do the one thing I had wanted to do for a very long time but always disqualified myself. It was the year I went back to university to become a Nutritionist so that I can help other women who are experiencing PCOS win the fight by using food as medicine.
As someone who loves food and cooking 2018 was an amazing journey for me as I experienced exploring new ways to cook my favourite foods that not only tasted amazing but were healing my body in the process. I can’t wait to share all these amazing recipes with you!
If you got this far, I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for spending your day reading about me and my story. It means so much to me that you want to get to know me better. I hope in some way, shape or form this has inspired you to keep going and know that you are not your diagnosis, and for those of you that are trying for a baby, please know that it is possible to conceive naturally. Just this year, I have heard countless stories from women in various PCOS forums that I am apart of share their amazing news. I hope one day I get to share mine too!
In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you. Whether you’re a ‘cyster’ or not share your story in the comments below. I will reply to them all and as always, my inbox is always open so please say hello.
P.S If you do havePCOS, let me know if you’d like a list of PCOS friendly foods and foods that you should avoid, and I will put one together for you. Otherwise, make sure you check my recipes because so many of them are PCOS friendly so your hormones will have a little happy dance!
Have the best day,