PCOS: How to explain what you are going through to those you love

As I work through PCOS and Insulin Resistance, my hope is that along with sharing my journey, I can compile some of the best articles I find to make my blog a one stop shop for others looking for comprehensive info on PCOS, IR, and healthy living.

I don’t know about you, but I feel like PCOS has caused such a big lifestyle change, I am constantly trying to explain what is going on with me. Typically, I explain it in a way that my body takes carbs, turns them into fat, and then stores them for longer periods of time than other people. If we were in a zombie apocalypse and food was scare, I would be set. But as a 30-something woman living in LA, fat storage is not nearly as desireable.

Here is an amazing article from one of my favorite resources, PCOS Diet Support. This POV is for your partner, family and significant other. Here is an explanation of PCOS for our partners and significant others..something that makes PCOS easy to understand.

WHAT IS PCOS?

I have PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I know that you think of it as “woman issues” but it’s important that you know what is happening with me and my body because it affects both of us and I’m really going to need your help in coming to terms with it, living with it and getting it under control.

So, I do have “woman issues”. Basically I don’t ovulate every month, which means that my cycle is very irregular. I also might have some cysts on or in my ovaries. The biggest thing, though, is that I don’t process carbohydrates properly and my body is over sensitive to insulin. This means that I produce too much insulin for the carbs that I eat. The insulin also makes my ovaries release too much testosterone (all women produce testosterone – I just have too much of it).

PCOS is pretty common. Every 1 in 10 women have it so I’m not abnormal or alone in it.

THE SYMPTOMS

The symptoms of PCOS are pretty rough for me to deal with and can make me feel unattractive. I sometimes struggle with my weight. It’s not for lack of trying, I promise! All of that insulin quickly stores my carbs as fat and makes it difficult for me to lose it.

I have hair where I really don’t want hair and I may lose some of my hair on my head. I also may have bad skin (think teenage boy acne). It’s that darn testosterone.

One of the hardest things about PCOS is that having babies might be a struggle. It’s not impossible by any means but might take longer than we’d like.

WHAT I NEED TO DO FOR ME

PCOS is not a death sentence and I’ve made a decision that although I have PCOS, it doesn’t have me. There are things that I can do to manage my PCOS and help with my symptoms.

The biggest thing I can do for me is to lead a healthy lifestyle, keep active and eat properly. This will make my symptoms easier to manage (exercise and diet are huge in dealing with the insulin which will help with the testosterone). The way I eat is not necessarily aimed at me losing weight (although it will help) but on getting healthy. So we can change the way we eat and get healthy together. There are also some supplements that I take regularly which have been really helpful in managing my symptoms.

I can get help from my doctor or endocrinologist (hormone doctor) and there are medications I can take.

If we’re not ready to think about a family, I can also take birth control, which will keep my symptoms in check for a while. As soon as I come off the pill, though, my symptoms will come back so birth control is a temporary fix and can have unpleasant side effects.

If we do decide to have a family and we’re struggling to, we can go to see a reproductive endocrinologist to look into fertility treatments. They’ll want to check you out too and treat both of us if need be.

WHAT I NEED YOU TO DO

The biggest thing I need from you is your love and support. There are times when living with PCOS is going to make me angry, depressed and feel unattractive. Please just love me through it.

I’m going to do everything I know to do to eat properly and exercise. Please help me by eating healthy too and being active with me. Let’s go for lots of long walks, take up mountain biking or ballroom dancing. If you do have treats (which you’re totally entitled to), please hide them from me so that I’m not tempted by them. Also, please share with them with me once in a blue moon because I also deserve a treat every now and then.

Bearing in mind what I said about feeling unattractive, when I’m having an “ugly” day (and they do happen), please remind me how beautiful I am. Encourage me to get my hair done, have a pedicure or a massage. Sometimes I get so caught up in the daily grind of work, keeping a home and our family, looking after my health, that I forget to take some time just for me. I need you to help me do that.

THANK YOU

It sounds a bit trite but thank you so much for taking the time to read this. It shows me that you want to understand what I am going through and want to support me and that means the world to me. Thank you for loving me in spite of my many faults (PCOS included) and thank you for choosing to walk this road with me. Having PCOS is not easy but with you by my side, it makes it a little more manageable!

You can find the full article here: http://www.pcosdietsupport.com/pcos-symptoms/pcos-explained-partner/

5 thoughts on “PCOS: How to explain what you are going through to those you love

  1. My Hubby is getting better with the support. We was diagnosed last year and to be honest at first I was just running around in the dark because I didn’t understand what this diagnosis meant. It had also taken me 2 years and 5 doctors to find one to help me, so it turns out that I had actually had PCOS from pretty much puberty. Which completely explains explains why I have been battling weight since that age. I am still stumbling around lifestyle wise, but am working towards finding my feet 🙂 Now that I have Hubby’s support we have recently had a chat about healthy lifestyles and what I need to do and have in order to combat my conditions. IR & PCOS is hard to live with, but not impossible and more and more I am discovering that you can greatly reduce the effects of the condition with medication and lifestyle change.

    Like

    • Something I have noticed is that no matter how long you have been with a partner, a new situation or challenge arises every year and you see your partner in a different light than before. You think you know everything there is to know about them, then they surprise you. I have found PCOS has helped my husband and I grow closer and appreciate each other’s strength more…it sounds like you guys are the same especially now that you have the right doctor to give you the best tools to fight PCOS. Medication and lifestyle are so important…I am glad to hear you are finding improvements, especially with the support of your husband. I am still struggling with the lifestyle every day…I am just hoping it becomes habit and 2nd nature.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think you are spot on using the word “habit”. I think the reason I am having so much trouble is because I have been with my current habits for so long that now they are difficult to break. I feel that with time the changes I am making will become habitual too. I can’t wait for that to happen. I believe a lot of it is education too. Knowing what is in certain foods etc. Nutrition education is key and it can be little things like Sunday nights used to be our toasted sandwich nights, but then I realised that whilst there was nothing too bad in what we were eating, we also were not getting much nutrient value out if it so I decided to make myself scrambled eggs with chopped up capsicum, onion and ham with Italian herbs and a touch of salt and pepper. next thing I know I am cooking it for my Mum and Dad too. So much better for us!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for following me. And, thank you for discussing this subject… In my case we’re talking about type 2 diabetes (be kind of weird for a a guy to have a PCOS diagnosis) but the concerns in dealing with a spouse (and other loved ones) are very real and very similar.

    Liked by 1 person

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