Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I have a diagnosis!

I met with the Dr. on Friday to discuss the outcome of my recent blood tests. I'd gone in originally for advice on a bit of a prolapse problem and when she told me my problem would be greatly improved by losing weight, I told her about my 4 year campaign to get fit and lose weight. I told her about being able to run a 5K, having excellent muscle tone and weight lifting but that the fat won't shift.

Results are, everything was fine except my androstenone levels were high. That's a male hormone, and it indicates polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS. I don't have any of the other symptoms that are associated with this disease which is very common - 1 in 5 women have PCOS. Dr thinks I've been undiagnosed for many, many years. Probably because I don't have the other symptoms like acne, thinning hair, excessive body hair, infertility, erratic periods or pelvic pains.

PCOS also tends to run in families; my Mom had fertility issues, thinning hair. My sister had pelvic pain and endometriosis. I've got the leanings toward metabolic syndrome, another adverse side effect. I take after the side of the family that gets obese and diabetic. I've been aware of my diet and exercise for long enough now that I may have stopped the PCOS tipping me over the edge into type II. That was rewarding to hear.

What this means is I have an answer. Doesn't change my problem much, but I have a Why as to why I'm always struggling with my weight and it's not because I'm weak and lack willpower. There is no way to reduce my androstenone levels. My diet must be satisfactory because my glucose and cholesterol were all normal, which was a relief. So it's purely down to calorie intake/expenditure. Lately I've just been eating when my stomach growls, ignore non-growling cravings and eat smaller portions. No comfort eating. If I'm still hungry 20 minutes later, I'll eat more. I tell myself there's absolutely no deprivation going on here - if I want a sticky sweet thing, I'll eat a sticky sweet thing. If I want the seasoned, crispy chicken skin, I'll eat the seasoned crispy chicken skin! And now, I'm losing weight, and not slogging my guts out in the gym two hours a day, four days a week.

To be honest - I've been feeling much better. Sure that's on the back of three weeks of stomach bugs and a coughing cold. I'm getting about six hours sleep a night and not feeling tired in the morning, in fact I wake up a half hour to hour before the alarm goes off at 6:30. Not sluggish, but alert and ready to start my day. Just got my period today, and I didn't have anywhere near the crazy PMS I went through last month, which was unusual for me.

Long term outlook for me is calorie restriction, exercise and regular check ups/bloodwork to be sure my levels are in control. Lose weight, be low carb. If the other symptoms start to manifest, I may have to take medication or go back on the birth control pill to boost my female hormones. Menopause will be fun, I can tell.

I told Husband. He was very supportive and empathic, "Don't worry darling, we'll keep you a ready supply of hair wax." I love being reminded I married the right man.

I started back to learning Japanese and yesterday I started my first knitting project since I was 14. I'm using youtube videos as coaches.

So there are a lot of bright sides this morning. Also, I've lost 6kgs in a month. Not bad. Aiming for 72kgs/160lbs. Dr. says she'll be happy when I'm at 80kgs/176lbs.


Brook said...

Great news! On all fronts a big YAY! Knowledge is power and now you know. And knowing is half the battle so you are ahead of the curve. Go ahead and laugh, I can't think of a single original thing tonight. Seriously, I'm glad to hear that you received encouraging news and feel good to boot.

phonakins said...

Sometimes just having a name for it helps. I got my digestive problems labelled as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (also on Friday!) which means I have a name, so I can go from there. Still means I have the legwork to do in finding my triggers etc, but at least I have something to start with.

Take care.

Maja said...

Wow, 6kg in a month! You rock!! Well done. And that's on top of the polycystic thing, well done times ten. My friend suffered really badly from that a few years ago, but we haven't talked about it for a while so I assume she doesn't suffer much from it now. She didn't have the weight gain or hirsutism but had really bad periods.

jomamma said...

That's great! I was going to suggest the YouTube knitting lessons, that's great way too go.

Badger said...

Good on you for the weight loss, Lyvvie! And I agree that sometimes just having a diagnosis helps. Lets you know there are external forces at work, so you are fighting against THEM and not beating yourself up, you know?

trinity67 said...

Good For You!

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you have a good doctor on your side, so that's awesome news! I'm glad you know what you're dealing with now, it must be a relief!

I think my problem is too much the other way...too much estrogen. Of course, I've self-diagnosed so who knows, I could totally be wrong. Ah well, denial, she is a wonderful thing.

You're probably in better shape than half the skinny minnies of the world so cut yourself some slack.

Nej said...

I admit, I had to go online and find a calculator to do the kg to lbs thing. Way to go on the 6 kgs, that's awesome!

And, horray to finding out what is going on. Knowledge and information is power, or so they say.

Anonymous said...

Having a name helps, doesn't it? It helps get rid of the guilt (which we know is unreasonable but we can't help but make ourselves feel bad) over things that are happening to you.

And I don't know why, but the phrase "sticky sweet" makes me smile.