Five Lifestyle Changes I’ve made with PCOS

With so much out of control these days, I decided to take charge of something I felt that I could somewhat control…my health. Long story short, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome fifteen years ago and ever since it’s been an up and down battle with my weight, fertility, and overall health.

As I’ve gotten older, I got tired of the constant bad news every time I went in to the doctor. If it wasn’t a non-existent cycle, it was developing hypothyroidism, IBS, being hospitalized for not tolerating Metformin, or sudden weight gain. It was something new every time I went to the doctor.

I’ve done a lot of research on PCOS and tips from other bloggers have helped. as well Overall, I decided it was time to make some small changes that I feel would benefit me in the long run.

  1. Walking—My doctor stressed the need to get moving. So I got a Fitbit and thanks to my competitive nature, it’s boosted me to move more. I don’t always get 10,000 steps a day (it’s much harder than it seems especially in the summer), but I’m moving much more than I have in years. As a result, I was able to lose a few pounds without changing my eating habits initially.

2. Stopped drinking soda—this is a huge one for me because I could buy stock in Dr. Pepper since I drank so many. I’ve traded in my Dr. Pepper for LaCroix’s. I can’t say that the transition has been the easiest. The first week was tough, but since then it’s become much better. I don’t keep sodas or juice in the house and allow myself one Dr. Pepper a month, typically at a social event.

3. Avoiding (some) dairy—there have been split opinions about dairy and PCOS. Some say it makes it worse, others think that it makes no difference. I’m usually a huge dairy person. Milk, cheese and ice cream are among my favorites. But if one of them had to go, it was definitely milk. I was having issues digesting it anyway so that made the decision easier. I’m currently making the transition to Almond Milk. This has been hard. The taste takes some getting used to but it’s for the best.

4. Taking vitamin supplements—Women with PCOS are known for having vitamin deficiencies, specifically Vitamin D. I’m taking those along with B12 and Biotin. It can get cumbersome to add more medications to your routine, especially if you are like me and on a lot of PCOS, insulin resistance related medications but it’s a necessity.

5. Limiting stress—yes I know this is much easier said than done, especially in this day and age. Most of my stress comes from work and I’ve made it a point to make sure that when it gets too much to go for a walk in the parking garage or read a book on my phone. Anything to take me out of the current situation and divert my focus. Anytime I feel the need to go off or lose my cool, I go for a walk instead. And now that I’ve recently joined a gym, I find that a strenuous workout has helped with dealing with the stress as well. It’s harder to be worked up when you are exhausted.

So far these tips are working for me and I continue to modify aspects of my lifestyle as time goes on. Some may work for you, others won’t but do the research, listen to your body and determine the best recipe for your health.

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