During my late teenage years, I was diagnosed with what is called PolyCystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), and in honor of PCOS awareness month, I have finally decided to write about it to shed some light on what this actually is. PCOS is a disorder related to hormonal imbalance, in which cysts are present on the ovaries. In my case, these cysts are few and harmless, but in some people they can be cancerous tumors that can cause many complications. PCOS causes overproduction of the androgen hormone in women, which can lead to irregularities in the menstrual cycle, problems with fertility, and weight gain, as well as fatigue, mood swings, anxiety, and depression. It can also create insulin resistance which may lead to high blood sugar levels and increase the risk of getting diabetes. Other common symptoms include acne, hirsutism (extra hair on the face and body), thinning of hair on the head, and in more severe or rare cases, sleep apnea.
Although the cause is unknown, many studies show that PCOS may occur from a genetic disposition, and seems to have little to do with environmental factors. For this reason, there is no known cure; however, various methods of symptom management is available. The most common form of treatment is to maintain a healthy diet, regular exercise, and pharmacological measures to balance hormone levels and regulate menstruation and mood. Acne creams and hair removal and growth treatment options are available in a variety of forms to manage cosmetic symptoms. Although I am not taking any medications for my PCOS, I am constantly trying my best to eat healthy, exercise plenty, and use journaling and meditation to manage my mood swings. I also take measures to manage my hirsutism, but I luckily experience no other symptoms of PCOS. I have found that support groups for PCOS have been perhaps the most beneficial aspect of my treatment because they show you that you are not alone and there is hope for managing this disease.
Other than my own non pharmacological measures to manage my symptoms, I have found 2 very amazing websites with 90-day PCOS reversal plans and natural ways to lead a fulfilling life despite the problems that come with PCOS. The first one is Katie Humphrey and her natural plan to balance your hormones, lose weight, and live healthy, which you can check out on her Rebel University website. PCOS Diva is another great resource for those looking for inspiration, tips, and a series of paid online courses to naturally manage and reverse the symptoms of PCOS. These sites also have success stories of people who have reversed their PCOS symptoms naturally, so whether you use these resources or not, remember that the best solution for both PCOS and anything else you may develop or be at high risk for as a result of PCOS is simple: eat a healthy balanced diet with plenty of water, get lots of regular exercise, and engage in daily activities to reduce and manage stress. However, in most severe cases, pharmacological measures or surgery may be necessary.