My past few months have been at times frustrating and stressful, albeit I’m still positive. I’ve been dealing with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) symptoms and related health issues for the first time in many years. Honestly, I’d almost forgotten I even had PCOS as it’s laid dormant for a number of years without symptoms because I manage it well through a healthy diet, exercise and lifestyle. So I’ve now been trying to piece together the puzzle that is PCOS and find the underlying causes and triggers that’s sent my body and hormones haywire again, and trying to figure out the right natural solutions to manage it and bring my body back into a healthy balance (including re-thinking and overhauling my diet – even though it was already well balanced and healthy).
PCOS is a largely misunderstood disease, and as complex as it sounds, ultimately its just imbalanced hormones (but left untreated can cause a host of health issues and risks). Most importantly it CAN be fixed (so please don’t listen to your Dr telling you your infertile and just to go on the pill to “regulate” your cycle – this is FAR from the truth!). It all starts with us and our choices. Yes that means putting in extra effort than most to look after our hormonal health and overall well being. But that doesn’t mean it needs to be difficult. It means having a holistic approach to nourishing our body with good (and specific) nutrition, the right type of exercise, rest, and de-stressing. Health must be our priority!
Anyone living with any chronic health issue/diseases will understand the frustration and angst it can cause. The feelings of hopelessness and failure when your trying to do everything right and treat your body well only to find it not responding the way you want it to. The worry when your not really sure what’s going on inside your body or how your going to feel on any given day or how it will effect your future health. Trust me, I’ve felt it to. I’ve been that girl sitting in the Dr’s office with absolute fear. It doesn’t have to be this way, let me tell you that you are worrying far more than what it’s worth!
Finding what works and doesn’t work for my body has been a roller coaster and constant learning curve over the past 8 years, but I’m also grateful for it as its played a big part in sending me down the path I am currently on. I’m grateful that it’s lead me to research, learn and discover how the body works and how everything in our life from the food we eat, our movement and exercise, what we put in and on our bodies, our thoughts, our lifestyles, our support network, literally every single thing impacts our health – for better or worse.
I’ve discovered how fascinating our bodies are and how well they are designed to heal so long as we provide it the right environment (and a little persistence). Educating myself about my health was the best thing I’ve ever done. This journey has taught me to respect, nourish and love my body, and discover new sides to myself. Because if for nothing else, isn’t life about discovering and experiencing? Mostly it’s inspired me to want to help others to be well, feel great again and live a healthy full life. And boy, I can’t wait to finish my degree and start helping people!!
So my advice to any woman with PCOS, Endo or hormonal/fertility issues is:
- Take responsibility for your own health.
- Educate yourself and learn about your body, hormones, and menstrual cycle. What they taught us in school is far from what we need to know. This knowledge will help you understand and most importantly treat it.
- Take your nutrition seriously – we are what we eat. And on that note, if you find something you eat doesn’t agree with you DON’T eat it! That’s your body giving you a sign.
- Get to know your body very well, listen to it and be in tune with its needs. Often imbalances are caused because we are missing something in our body, often nutrients!
- Get help from a HOLISTIC health practitioner – Nutritionists, Naturopaths, Chinese Medicine etc. I have nothing against modern medicine but it lacks the most important ingredient in our health – looking at us as individuals from a holistic perspective and finding out the underlying causes of health issues (this is the focus of holistic health practitioners).
- TRUST yourself and your body that everything will be ok!
To be continued…
Photo credits: Photographer Tony Ryan.
June 2015 (unretouched, raw image)