I was doing my usual morning Twitter rounds last week when I spotted the tweet in that screenshot. As an ex-PCOS patient and current PCOS crusader, naturally I clicked on it.
The headline is “Female Hormone Disorder Linked To Numerous Health Conditions” and then it begins, “Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS ) are at increased risk for a number of serious health problems, new research suggests…”. Goes on to list every chronic metabolic, reproductive, and cardiovascular condition we all hope to never have and leaves it at that. For anyone who has recently been diagnosed with PCOS and is browsing the internet trying to find out what this means for them, this is NOT helpful information.
PCOS by it’s nature IS a metabolic + reproductive issue. In any person diagnosed with some version of the condition you will find some degree of metabolic and/or reproductive dysregulation. Long term unmanaged blood sugar leads to inflammation, which leads to cardiovascular health concerns and that’s how they get there. Not menstruating year after year increases a potential for endometrial cancer, and that’s how’s they got there.
But a DIAGNOSIS of PCOS? The diagnosis doesn’t necessarily predispose you to these health concerns. But chronically high blood sugar, dysregulated hormones, and amenorrhea, may.
If you have just been diagnosed with PCOS, or have been living with it for years, and have found this blog post in your frantic search to learn more about what it means for you, welcome! And chin up. You are not going to get heart disease, diabetes, and endometrial cancer just BECAUSE you have this diagnosis. Think of being diagnosed with this condition as a gift. Yup, seriously. A gift. It’s an opportunity to start listening to your body. Instead of getting a reality check 20 years from now once a chronic condition like diabetes or heart disease has taken hold, you are being given a chance to make some changes right now because you know for sure – something isn’t working! Your doctor may say the cause is ‘idiopathic’ or unknown, but I will tell you that deeper investigation almost always reveals something near to a cause that can be modified. Stress management and dietary support go an incredibly long way to bring people with PCOS back to a place of balance and out of that terrifying territory where you’re “at increased risk for a number of serious health problems”.
PCOS is NOT a life sentence. It’s possible to feel better. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns you might have. I love to talk PCOS and I’m totally here for you.