Anyone with PCOS knows the emotional roller coaster that we are on. One day you're feeling great, the next day you feel like nothing is working. It has definitely been this way for me in the last few months.
First of all, I am on summer vacation, which is a huge stress relief for awhile. That's the good part, the bad part is I've become a bit obsessive about trying to get to the bottom of this PCOS. I've been researching constantly on diet, exercise, supplements, pregnancy, and the experience of others.
However, I have come across some great references that everyone should check out:
http://www.pcoschallenge.com This website is amazing, but even more amazing is the radio show. I have downloaded it to my ipod and listen to it almost daily during my exercise. Sasha is so good at having shows with the top names and leading researchers in PCOS. It really has given me comfort to try new things that have been working!
I also have started the Insulite system (http://www.insulitelabs.com. Yes, it is expensive, and yes, it is a lot of pills (18 pills a day), however I am very hopeful that this will work. I've read some great things about this program. I'm currently on month 2 and showed signs of ovulation this past week. I would suggest looking through the website, but I'll give you an overview:
1/2 before breakfast I take PCOS + that has the following ingredients:
Saw Palmetto (berries) - a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor impedes testosterone conversion and reduces circulating testosterone (androgens).
Vitex Agnus Castus (Chaste tree berry) - Improves menstrual regularity, supports luteal phase of menstrual cycle and addresses hyperprolactinemia.
Stinging Nettle (root) - Increases sex hormone-binding globulin.
Flax Seed - Supports estrogen metabolism, which increases the production of protective estrogen metabolites and increases sex hormone-binding globulin.
Milk Thistle (seed, powdered extract) - Supports liver function (phase 1 detoxification.
With breakfast I take Insulx and Rejuvenx that has the following ingredients
Vanadium (Sulfate) - Restores blood glucose, lowers cholesterol, increases insulin sensitivity, improves glucose tolerance and metabolism, decreases body fat and reduces appetite naturally.
Chromium (GTF Niacinate) - Supports insulin binding to cells and decreases cholesterol and insulin levels. Boosts insulin response to glucose.
Alpha Lipoic Acid - Increases insulin sensitivity and lowers glucose levels. Provides antioxidant activity, scavenges free radicals, supports glucose transport and extends the functional capacity of Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Co Q 10.
Magnesium (Amino Acid Chelate) - Positively affects insulin secretion/action and improves cholesterol profile. (Lower than normal levels of Magnesium Glycinate are associated with Insulin Resistance, glucose intolerance and hyperinsulinemia.)
Zinc (Picolinate) - Lowers insulin concentration and improves insulin sensitivity.
L-Carnitine (Tartrate) - Improves insulin sensitivity.
Copper (Citrate) - Balances zinc and supports its ability to lower insulin concentration.
Calcium (Citrate/Malate) - Reduces fasting insulin levels, increases insulin sensitivity and regulates fat tissue.
Biotin USP - Involved in the manufacture and release of insulin; a cofactor required for the synthesis and oxidation of fatty acids.
Manganese (Citrate) - Reverses glucose intolerance, a deficiency associated with Diabetes.
Pancreatic Tissue - Contains specific amino acids in the correct proportions to supply growth, balance and repair factors of the pancreas.
Adrenal Tissue - Contains specific amino acids to supply growth, balance and repair factors of the adrenals.
Protease and Amylase - Improve absorption and digestion of proteins and nutrient absorption
Vitamin C from calcium ascorbate - Balances Vitamin C deficiency that induces disordered glucose regulation, improves glucose tolerance and scavenges free radicals. Reduces damage to arteries and arterioles and reduces glycosylation.
CoQ10 (Ubiquinone) - Lowers glucose and insulin levels and plays a major role in carbohydrate metabolism. Aids peripheral glucose utilization while lowering fasting blood sugar.
Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin) - Reduces neuropathy associated with Diabetes, sorbitol accumulation, muscle weakness and tingling.
Folic Acid (Calcium Folinate) - Ensures sufficient folate status to aid in the prevention of many chronic diseases (e.g. atherosclerosis, anemia, heart disease) and reverses homocysteine levels.
Quercitin - Contains antioxidant, anticarcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties to inhibit free radical production. Reduces intracellular accumulation of sorbitol that is implicated in the pathogenesis of cataracts, retinopathies, neuropathies and other disorders.
Bilberry Extract - Improves microcirculation and protects the vessels of the eyes in particular with potent antioxidants.
Grape Seed Extract - Reduces free radicals and possesses vital antibacterial, antiviral, anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and antiallergic effects. (Its antioxidant properties are 20 to 50 times stronger than Vitamins C and E.) Lowers cholesterol levels and prevents damage to the artery from elevated glucose and insulin levels.
Thiamin - Thiamin (Vitamin B1) (as thiamin hcl) May help convert carbohydrates into energy. Thiamin is important for several body functions of the heart, muscles, and the nervous system.
Vitamin D - Vitamin D (as cholecalciferol) Vitamin D plays a role in bone health and has an important role in immunity, wound healing, and hypertension. Vitamin D may also be known to affect insulin secretion and glucose tolerance in Type 2 diabetes.
Cinnamon Extract - A recent controlled trial (1), comparing a placebo against cinnamon, demonstrated that doses of cassia cinnamomum ranging from 1-6 grams a day provided in divided daily doses all produced some significant reductions in blood sugar levels, total cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels and finally even lower levels of LDL lipoproteins. Rejuvenx provides 1.2 grams cinnamon per dose.
About and hour after breakfast I take GlucX which has the following ingredients:
Guar Gum - Decreases cholesterol, triglycerides and systolic blood pressure. Increases insulin sensitivity and regulates appetite.
Apple Pectin & Beet Powder - Slow the absorption of glucose into the blood stream which reduces insulin response.
Fenugreek - Reduces blood sugar and insulin following a meal, lowers cholesterol levels (LDL, TG and total Cholesterol), increases HDL and improves insulin response and glucose tolerance.
Milk Thistle - Diminishes fasting blood glucose, mean daily glucose and fasting insulin levels.
I then take InsulX and RejuvenX again with lunch, PCOS + mid-afternoon, and then GlucX after supper.
In the first month I did have some weight gain, but the great thing about Insulite is they have Drs to answer any questions you might have. The Dr. said that sometimes people experience weight gain as hormones are balancing out. Now in month 2 I'm starting to see the scale go back down and as I said, I ovulated for the first time in a few months so that means something must be working!
A few weeks after I ordered Insulite I heard about d-chiro-inositol (DCI). You can check out more about it through the PCOS challenge or at http://www.chiralbalance.com I've read a couple posts where the combination of the DCI and Insulite System has helped pregnancy.
I've had no side effects from either supplement. With Insulite I have had more bowel movements, but they have been healthy and I look at it as detox. It sure beats the heck out of Metformin, which I have stopped, and stopping that may also account for some weight gain.
Basically my goal is to eat as cleanly as possible. Although I'm still watching carbs, I'm eat more whole foods. I've taken a lot of recipes off of http://www.wholefoods.com I'm limiting dairy and gluten. I'm using a lot of almond milk or coconut milk. I've read and heard several people say that eliminating those two product, though difficult, can really help with PCOS.
Exercise wise, since I've been out of school I've gotten back into exercise again. I'm doing 2 days of interval cardio (walk/run), 2 days of strength training (check out Nike Women's fitness..they have an awesome app for strength training), and 2 days of steady cardio (walking, rollerblading, or biking). It's been 2 weeks and I feel stronger and noticing some of those flabby spots are starting to firm up. I've also been doing fertility yoga, daily, that corresponds with my cycle: http://www.restoringfertility.com
Outside of the insulite program and DCI I am still taking Wheatgrass, Fish oil, evening primrose, B6 (200mg), L-argenine, Royal Jelly, and I just added some Calcium supplements.
Am I cured? Nope, not yet, but I have noticed improvements. My acne has made huge improvement, my energy is better, and most importantly I'm seeing signs that my menstrual cycle is getting back on track.
Even though I'm taking a lot of supplements I feel a million times better about putting those into my body as opposed to the other crazy meds that I've been put on that have had horrible side effects. I'm still taking progesterone at the end of my cycle, but it is a natural progesterone.
The hardest thing for me is simply patience. I read Freedom from PCOS by Katie Humphery (who I love!) and that really made me realize that I need to be patient and not let PCOS ruin my life. I need to stay positive, keep faith, and know that God has a plan for me. No matter what happens we have to stay positive!!