Saturday, September 4, 2010

Pickin' Myself up by the Bootstraps

So now that I’ve had my pitty party, it was time to be a little more proactive. I had Googled the heck out of PCOS. I learned some important things. But my amazing husband came up with the idea of a Friday date night. We would go to dinner and then to the bookstore where we could look for books about PCOS so we could be better informed. (What a great idea!?!)

After a yummy dinner we went to Borders where I found just what I was looking for. Surprisingly, quite a few books on the topic. While skimming through A Patient's Guide to PCOS I was shocked to find that PCOS is directly related to insulin resistance!

Back up 7 or so years. During high school I thought something was wrong with me. I would get faint real easily. Being as small as I was (bout a hundred pounder), I thought maybe I had anemia. But that was disproved. Then, in college, I started having more symptoms. (dizziness, faintness, rapid heart beat, chest pain, panic attacks, etc.) In anatomy class I learned about Mitral Valve Prolapse and just knew that was my problem. I was checked out by a cardiologist and sure enough, I had it. I didn’t need to take any medication, but it gave me peace of mind to know why I was having the symptoms. Then, as time went on, some of my symptoms got worse. This time it seemed directly linked to eating. If I didn’t eat every 1-2 hours I would get shaky and, occasionally, blackout (no biggie). I finally went to the doctor (Per Jeff’s orders) and they checked everything. Nothing. The doctor couldn’t explain my symptoms. Feeling like I was delusional, I left it at that.

So a year later, here I am reading about insulin resistance and I’m oddly excited to learn that this may in fact be what I have! I’m not delusional! (Jeff may argue this point at times)

Insulin resistance (to put it simply): a condition in which the body produces insulin but does not use it properly. Since the body doesn't process the insulin as needed, it continues to produce more and more insulin. The increased insulin levels in the blood causes excess levels of male hormones (i.e. testosterone), which heightens the PCOS symptoms.
There is peace in understanding. Just being properly informed of what is going on, especially with your own body, is liberating!

And, the next great piece of info I learned was that one of the prescriptions my doctor had prescribed, Metformin, is a medication used to treat Type II Diabetes and Insulin Resistance. Basically, by treating the Insulin Resistance, you minimize the affects of PCOS.

Dinner: $25, Book: $16; Understanding just what the heck is going on with you: PRICELESS

1 comment:

  1. You are so strong! I'm so proud of you. Way to get informed and remain positive. You learned you probably had Type II diabetes (to most people a bad thing) and you were excited and almost relieved. I think all our "Being Positive" email really helped you.

    (as a chant like I'm your cheerleader)
    Go Katie, Go! You're #1!Give me a K - K, Give me an A - A, and so on until we get to the Give me an E - E! What does that spell, "Katie"!