Sunday, October 30, 2005

PCOS and Weight Loss/Gain

Recently had a comment from amka, who has a very interesting blog! She asked if PCOS was affecting my weight loss.

Absolutely. Not only is it the cause for my weight gain, it definitely poses a challenge where weight loss is concerned. The main sticking point, if you will, is that traditional dieting with PCOS does not work, at least for me. I should preface this by saying that I am NOT a Doctor, Nutritionist, or anything in the medical field. I can really only speak from my own personal experience and that is what this blog is really about.

For years I wondered why I could ONLY lose weight if I went on a low-carb diet. Now I know... I have insulin restistence - counting calories alone will not do it for me. Believe, I starved myself on the "Points" system for months with NO result whatsoever. I started on a Low Carb diet and the weight just melted off, it was almost like magic.

Staying away from sugar for so long now let's me see how terrible it makes me feel when I do have it. I feel like I have ingested some form of poison if I eat very much. I feel sluggish and sick. No wonder I spent so long being uncomfortable and miserable. Still... don't think I don't crave sugar... I do... but I find other types of substitutes or I indulge just a little not enough to make me sick.

I recently read an article online that I found extremely interesting. It would almost appear that the medical community is beginning to catch up on this serious health problem we call PCOS. I won't get into the fact that the name itself is WRONG (why are we labeling a disease by one of its' symptoms? "Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome").

Rather than focusing on relieving specific symptoms, the newer treatments aim at what may be the root cause of PCOS, ie insulin resistance. Many of these new therapies are designed to lower insulin levels and, thus, reduce production of testosterone.

Investigational Therapies
New evidence suggests that using medications which lower insulin levels in the blood may be effective in restoring menstruation and reducing some of the health risks associated with PCOS. Lowering insulin levels also helps to reduce the production of testosterone, thus diminishing many of the symptoms associated with excess testosterone: hair growth on body, alopecia (hair loss), acne, obesity and cardiovascular risk."

(taken from link above)

Up until quite recently most doctors treated PCOS based on whether or not the patient wanted to get pregnant. It's mainly seen as an infertility problem. Which is an absolute tragedy given that PCOS regardless of fertility or desire to achieve pregnancy, puts patients at SERIOUS risk for endometrial cancer, uterine cancer, fibroid tumors, endometriosis, type II Diabetes, and most importantly Cardiovascular disease... not to mention that chronic insulin spikes cause serious damage to other organs.

Gee, I wonder if there might be a connection to heart disease being the number 1 killer of women and PCOS? Am I the ONLY one seeing a possible connection here?

The article above points out that there are now studies going on to evaluate the use of insulin controlling medications and their effects on patients with PCOS.

Metformin (Glucophage) to regulate blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity
Many of the women I have read about on different PCOS message boards are on this medication already. Many had to fight their doctors or change doctors just to get a prescription for it.

I have not gone that far yet. I'm a firm believer that I can control this with diet (low carb, no sugar), exercise, and vitamins. Although, I am on Lexapro for Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Depression - which is another offshoot problem of PCOS.

I recently read some very interesting information on vinegar and its' effect on blood sugar. I'll post about that tomorrow!

Post Lapse, W2W and Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper

It's been quite a while since I posted here. I haven't had anything new to report... which is to say that I haven't lost more weight. ;o)

I didn't realize that people were actually reading this blog. The last few comments I've received have been of the "spam" nature, so I apologize, sincerely to those of you who have stopped by and were met with old posts. Many thanks to Joyce, who brought this to my attention by posting a comment/question on my other blog.

Joyce asked if I was still using the W2W (Women to Women) system. I am still using it and wouldn't give it up for anything. I have noticed a definite improvement in my energy level and the way I feel in general. I hate getting too graphic (even if my blog title implies otherwise) - but within 3 weeks my cycle returned and followed on time the month after that as well.

I've been a little less than aggressive in dieting recently. Although, I have managed to maintain the weight loss and am still happily sitting at 157. I have not been as diligent in persuing the time to workout regularly. Life gets in the way and if I'm not careful the holiday menus will as well. ;o)

In other news, while I have sworn off sodas with 99% success - I have to admit to developing a strong liking for Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper. I think it's the very first diet soda I've ever had that I didn't have to tolerate the icky "diet" aftertaste. It's actually really good!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Back On Track - Finally!

Two more pounds down and that much closer to my goal of 140! This has not been easy... but it hasn't been quite as hard as I once imagined. It's funny how when you get going and start creating new habits it just isn't the giant undertaking that was once too overwhelming to consider attempting.

I'm far more than half way to my goal. Now, I just hope I can get the rest of this off by Thanksgiving. I know I have major temptations coming up in November and December. I'll be making fudge, toffee, and cream cheese mints... just to name a few treats. I won't allow myself to be sunk... but I don't plan on depriving myself during my favorite time of year either.

I know it will be impossible for me to over indulge - I can't handle too much sugar without getting REALLY sick ... which is a great thing, actually.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

No Such Thing As A Sleepy Dieter...

I admit to a momentary lapse of sanity when I chose to go off caffeine cold turkey. By 9pm I had a ear-bleeding headache and I don't have the attention span to even attempt to ride something like that out. It's just not going to happen.

I figure I've dropped about 26 pounds WITH caffeine - I can manage another 20... I just have to buckle down and get to business. No big deal.

That being said, I'm happily caffeinated today... coffee and tea.

I'm also off the freaking Shwarzbein principal diet. I'm sure it's a great diet... and perhaps I'll use it as a maintenance program when I've lost the last 20 - until then... I'm sticking to low-carb because I know it works.
Well, it works when I stick to it anyway... which as of today - I am 100% on board.

Breakfast - steak and eggs

Lunch - leftover steak, string cheese, and a salad.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Mourning The Loss Of A Dear Friend...


Caffeine... my friend, my supporter, my comfort...

Today, I give you up...

But, I will keep in close touch with your friend, decaf, while not as flavorful or inspiring as you... I hope it will make the hole that you will undoubtedly leave, just a bit smaller.

That's right, I'm turning over a new leaf (no autumn pun intended here). I've decided to quit caffeine cold-turkey. And, today marks my first day on the Shwarzbein principal. I've decided to go gung-ho and eliminate these last 20 pounds.

So, pardon the sleepy posts that will undoubtedly follow. I have my concerns over the lack of stimulants in my system... will I be able to hold a conversation? Drive? Remember to pick up the kids? Can I live without my beloved iced tea? What exactly will I order when I take the kids through Sonic?

So many questions... and the answers will come in time, I'm sure.

Until then, I bid a fair adieu to my beloved caffeine. We'll be together again... someday.