At eighteen I was diagnosed with a Hormone Imbalance, which honestly didn’t mean much for me other than the odd mood swings and being emotionally stunted!
Approaching the Summer of 2014, where I would graduate, I found that when nearing the end of University I was in terrible cramps, feeling moody and generally upset all the time. I soon went through the horrible ordeal of being on my menstrual cycle for three months, which was unpleasant to say the least. Graduating whilst feeling weak and horrible is the worst way to end that particular chapter of your life, let me tell you!
I was soon diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome after having an Ultrasound, which was the weirdest experience of my life. And so very cold!
PCOS tends to be triggered by a many number of things, but for me it seems that it was simply genetics. I’m not, nor was I, overweight. My health has always been fine, my only crux being Anaemic and having Nephritic Syndrome.
I ended up having to take the pill, which let me tell you gave me more of the symptoms that PCOS was supposedly meant to give! My only symptoms beforehand were my issues with my menstrual cycle, being on the pill gave me acne, my hair started to thin, I gained so much weight and I felt numb all the time. Not that my body felt numb, but I felt so emotionally detached and like a robot just floating on through.
I decided to scrap the medication after a year, which ultimately turned out a lot better for me! Some women I’ve talked to say that taking the pill helped them, but I seem to find doing without medication and it seems to work wonders for me.
In order to combat my apparent mood swings, sort out my menstrual cycle and generally not gain weight and suffer from acne I have to work very hard to stay on top and not slip up.
I’m eating a lot healthier, no snacks and chocolate – unless it’s a cheat day (which is once a month now!). If I don’t eat fruit and veg, exercise regularly and drink water, I immediately break out and it looks like the early stages of acne.
I’m gaining weight quicker, my metabolism seems to be slowing down exponentially, I have to exercise four times a week to combat this. Simply running on the treadmill for fifteen minutes, doing stretches, push ups and sit ups helps a lot. I also find that exercising and eating healthier has helped with my mood swings a lot more.
My only worry is the future. Most women diagnosed with PCOS tend to have trouble getting pregnant – they are either able to have children easily, miscarry or can’t conceive. I never thought I’d be so worried about this at my age, I always thought that having a family of my own was such a distant thing to look forward to in the future, but I’m not entirely sure I’d be able to look forward to that.
With PCOS there tends to be a higher risk of diabetes, stroke and heart disease. I have to work very hard to maintain my body and ensure I’m healthy to avoid a future where I could likely suffer from the above.
I do wish that if any young girl is out there reading this, I’d like for you to know; you’re not alone, there is plenty of time in the world to get back on track and become healthy. It sounds easier said than done, believe me I know, but remember to not let people and your environment rush you.
Those things can wait whilst you try to recover and get back on your feet.