Last month I shared with you all how I am trying hard to reverse the symptoms of PCOS. Mainly by controlling what I eat. As it would be, since I wrote that post I’ve learned a little more and have changed my attack plan. Again.
With going from zero kids to three kids in under two and a half years, I felt like I was at the doctor all the time. Between the fertility treatments, the OB appointments, and then all the doctor visits for the kids, it seemed like I was always arranging our schedule to accommodate another appointment. As it would be, I completely neglected any kind of wellness visit for myself. So about six years after my last routine checkup with my primary doctor, I scheduled another one.
My real motivation for scheduling the appointment was to have a bunch of blood work completed. There were two things I really wanted to know. 1 – How is my cholesterol/triglycerides? (About 50% of my calories comes from fat. Not all of it is saturated, but I just wanted to make sure that everything is a-ok.) 2 – What does my blood say about my PCOS diagnosis?
I was happy to discover the results from the lipid panel were excellent. No need to cut back on coconut oil just yet. I was also surprised to learn that my fasting glucose level was normal. There is no apparent sign of insulin resistance, a primary cause for concern for many women with PCOS. Yay! As expected, I do have excess androgens. This indicates that my problem may lie particularly with the adrenals. That part is not such a surprise since cortisol is one of the hormones controlled by the adrenals and I’ve always believed that chronic stress played a major role in my development of PCOS.
I asked my doctor if there were any lifestyle or dietary factors I could manage to reverse the condition and she said no. That, however, is something I am not willing to give up on just yet. Without requesting several more blood tests, I really can’t know everything, but there are a few things I can try.
- Make sleep a priority. It seems like one child or another is always interrupting my sleep, so a solid 8 hours in one night is a rare thing. Still, I can go to bed earlier, even if I already go to bed early by most people’s standards.
- Keep blood sugar stable. Though insulin resistance may not be a concern, I did learn that when your blood sugar drops, your cortisol rises. I still don’t eat a lot of carbs, but I’m learning that timing matters. By eating healthy carbs in the evenings, I can help ensure that my blood sugar stays stable while I sleep.
- Try to relax. Sitting still is hard for me. I like to challenge myself physically so there’s that,
but I also have a hard time letting things sit. Laundry buzzed? Gotta fold it and put it away right away. Dirt on the floor? Better pull out the vacuum cleaner right now. (I hate dirty floors!) I don’t care to be lazy or messy, and yes the kids do help clean up after themselves, but I do see the value in not always pushing myself to do things right now. Perhaps resting doesn’t mean I’m lazy. Perhaps resting is not a sign of weakness.
Sometimes, you can pride yourself on something that is not actually good. Maybe it’s a clean house or well rounded meals or an active schedule. But even good things in excess can have a negative effect on you. Sometimes those things become an obsession that actually take away from the quality of your life instead of adding to it.
So I did something that I haven’t done in months, maybe even a year. I ate pancakes. With syrup. (Gasp!) No, this doesn’t mean I’ve changed my views about food or that I’m going to start pounding carbs and sugar. It simply means that the occasional indulgence or pleasure is something I want to embrace. Because if I stress myself out about a food that is offered to me that I don’t “approve” of, doesn’t it defeat the purpose of everything I’m trying to do?
I know there’s a balance and I’m determined to find it. And I’m actually OK with not having the perfect formula right now. Maybe, for once, I can be OK with taking it one day at a time.