What to do after a PCOS Diagnosis

” May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

-Romans 15:13 (NIV)

What to do after a PCOS DiagnosisWhen I was first diagnosed with PCOS, I was fifteen and lacked any knowledge whatsoever on the topic. All I knew was my aunt had the same thing and it caused her to to go into premature labor with her first baby and lose her second baby. Knowing this scared me. After all, the idea of losing a child or being unable to have one was (and is) the worst possible scenario I could run through my head.

After I calmed down, I began to take the necessary steps towards making myself more knowledgeable on the topic of PCOS.

DO Your research

Being the good high school student I was, I already knew how to research the things I was interested in. So, with my health and future in mind, I began to do research on PCOS. I even did a presentation in my biology class on PCOS. I became so well aware of my PCOS that I could understand exactly what was going on inside of me.

I highly recommend every woman with PCOS does her own research. There are many great sources out there in order to easily understand this issue. One great site is pcosfoundation.org. This website provides resources and factual information regarding what we go through everyday.

Get a support system going!

I believe it is the most important thing for a woman with PCOS to have someone to turn to in the tough times. For me, it is my mom. She was there when I was diagnosed and she continues to be there every moment I feel down. When I have questions regarding my symptoms, I like to turn to women who know what I am talking about.

As a member of the Facebook group “PCOS Talk” I can ask the intimate questions and also lend a helping hand to other women with questions. Often times, it is as simple as asking which medication works best. Knowing that there is a group of women out there who can answer my burning questions makes me confident that I am not going to be in the dark.

Soulcysters.com is another great resource to get in touch with women, hear their stories and share yours!

Talk to your doctor

It may sound cliche, but talking to a doctor that you trust to help you and make the right decisions is the best thing you can do for yourself. No matter how much research you do on the topic of PCOS, no better resource is at your hands than the very knowledgeable doctor just one phone call away. When I was first diagnosed, I saw my Endocrinologist twice a year. Now I only see her once a year but every time I do I feel encouraged to keep fighting for my health.

Here is a great article on which doctors best treat PCOS!

Sources:

http://www.pcosfoundation.org

http://www.pcosjournal.com/who-treats-polycystic-ovarian-syndrome/

http://soulcysters.com

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Three Reasons why you should be Honest about your PCOS

Three Reasons Why you Should be Honest about your PCOS

Telling those closest to you (and those not so close to you) about any health condition can be awkward. You question whether or not they want to know. Maybe you are divulging too much information for their liking? Perhaps they just do not care. But there are several reasons why sharing your PCOS and any other health condition may just be the best thing you can do for yourself and for others.

1.Those close to you become your support system

It should be easy to do. Sharing your deepest fears and worries with those you love and who love you back? But many may fear rejection when they open themselves up. Telling anyone about your faults allows them to analyze you and see you in a far different light than they may have seen you before. But not opening up to those closest to you can ultimately breed distrust and contempt. When someone truly loves you, whether it is a parent, best friend or significant other, they want to know everything about you- even your faults.

With that in mind, telling family and friends that you have PCOS helps them help you. My mother is my greatest support (closely followed by my grandmother) when it comes to dealing with my health condition. She was there when I was diagnosed at the age of 15 and continues to encourage me from 2,500 miles away now that I am in college. Our phone conversations typically end up with her asking me if I am keeping up on my medication and whether I need a refill or not. It may be a silly little question but it reminds me that she cares enough about my health to ask.

I have a whole army of friends and family members who hold my hand through the tough moments. They encourage me so much that I know that they will continue to be there when things become even harder.

If you do not have anyone to help you through the tough times, there are many great resources for women with PCOS. One of my favorites is pcosdietsupport.com. Not only does this site help with finding the right diet plan for you, it helps battle mental health issues as well.

2. You crush stereotypes and preconceived notions about yourself

One defining factor for PCOS is weight gain. Not every situation is defined by weight but it is true that women with PCOS have a much harder time losing weight than a woman who does not have it. That being said, I am sure I am not the only one who has gotten the stares that just ooze judgement.

According to myfertilitycare.com, “the disease can cause obesity because many PCOS patients also become resistant to insulin, the hormone that orchestrates the body’s storage of food as fat.”

The truth of the matter is that women with PCOS tend to look different. Whether you have acne or are overweight, society perceives you as being responsible for the way you look. But that is not the truth! I will be the first to admit that I am not the healthiest eater but even after eating healthy and trying to lose weight it becomes really difficult to shed the pounds. That just seems to be how it is with PCOS.

When people know that you actually suffer from a medical condition, they may start to see you as the strong woman you actually are rather than someone who is too lazy to try to live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Someone else may just have it too

Last semester, I sat next to two amazing women in my English class. We hit it off so fast and I began to open up to both of them about my PCOS. After telling my story to them, my friend Claire looked at me and mentioned that she had some of the same symptoms I had just described to her. After encouraging her to speak with a doctor on the matter she came to me and said she had been diagnosed with PCOS. I was in no way excited that she had it, but knowing I played a role in her figuring out what was going on with her body felt pretty amazing!

“Unfortunately, women with PCOS often don’t know they have it. To complicate matters, there’s no one simple blood test or scan that produces a PCOS diagnosis.” according to diabetesstopshere.org.

Because diagnosis is hard, doctors tend to overlook the symptoms. By making someone aware of their symptoms, they are more likely to ask the right questions to lead to a proper diagnosis.

I doubt that I am the main cause of her figuring out she has PCOS, but I know I played a role. Claire has been treating her PCOS since September and says she is already seeing improvement. Why would you not share if you could change someone’s life like I did?

Sources:

http://www.pcosdietsupport.com

http://www.myfertilitycare.com/drT_pcoArticle.asp

http://diabetesstopshere.org/2012/09/11/pcos-the-cousin-of-diabetes/

Gluten Free Buffalo Chicken Recipes

When the Frank’s  Red Hot commercial states, “I put that **** on everything,” I tend to take it very seriously. Growing up in a family that values spicy food, there is always an opportunity to add a little kick to my meals.

When I was younger my dad really enjoyed mixing Frank’s buffalo sauce with cream cheese and chicken on the stove. He would then smother it between two slabs of white bread. Even though I always thought he put a bit too much hot sauce into the mixture, it was good. Really good!

Now that I am a bit more aware of what I can and cannot eat, there are no more buffalo chicken sandwiches to be had. But it does not stop me from enjoying things very similar on occasion. Being creative in the kitchen and relying heavily on Pinterest inspiration, I have learned to reinvent the wheel and create some really delicious buffalo chicken recipes.

Buffalo Ranch Tacos

Gluten Free Buffalo Ranch Chicken Tacos with Frank's Red Hot

The first is a great lunch or dinner! Easy to put together and delicious to eat, if you like spicy I highly recommend you try this one. Although it is not necessary, sprinkling a little bit of sharp cheddar cheese on these tacos adds even more flavor to an already amazing dish.

Here’s the recipe:

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken (or canned chicken if you are in a hurry)
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s Red Hot buffalo sauce
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • Ranch dressing to taste (I use Newman’s Own, cause it is delicious and gluten free)
  • Corn tortillas

Directions

1. In a saucepan, comine chicken, butter and buffalo sauce. Heat through.

2. Microwave tortillas for approximately 20 seconds to soften.

3. Spoon filling into tortillas then drizzle with ranch dressing. Enjoy!

Buffalo Chicken dip

Buffalo Chicken Dip with Frank's Red Hot

This recipe is a great snack at parties! Paired with tortilla chips, you cannot go wrong.

Ingredients

  • 2 (13 oz.) cans chicken (or the equivalent in fresh shredded chicken)
  • 3/4 cup Frank’s buffalo sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • tortilla chips

Directions

1. In a saucepan, combine chicken, buffalo sauce, cheese, cream cheese and sour cream. Heat through. Mix in scallions.

2. Spoon dip into a serving bowl and pair with tortilla chips. Enjoy!

It is literally that easy! I hope you enjoyed these recipes and that you find a way to make them your own.

Special thanks to these guys for their recipe inspiration:

http://onceamonthmeals.com/gluten-free-dairy-free-buffalo-ranch-chicken-wraps/

http://www.bombshellbling.com/buffalo-chicken-dip/

Other sources:

http://www.franksredhot.com

http://www.newmansown.com/products/newmans-own-ranch-dressing/