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PCOS is a genetic, hormonal, metabolic and reproductive disorder that affects up to 15% of women.

  • PCOS is the leading cause of infertility and the most common endocrine disorder in younger women.

  • Most common side effects include depression and anxiety, irregular menstruation, weight gain, facial and body hair, acne and alopecia,

  • Women with PCOS constitute the largest group of women at risk for developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

  • Studies have found women with PCOS to be at higher risk for suicide, endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer and breast cancer, stroke and miscarriage.

  • Pre-teens and teens can develop PCOS. Early diagnosis provides the opportunity to understand and manage the emotional, internal, physical effects of PCOS.

  • Early detection also helps prevent early onset of more serious illnesses related to PCOS.

  • Despite affecting millions women and life-threatening health consequences, PCOS is unknown to most.

  • It is estimated 50% of the women living with PCOS are undiagnosed.

I suffer all the symptoms of PCOS, which is why I consider Edward my miracle baby - I was barren Karen, infertile as they come and docs early on told me not to hang hopes on having kids. They literally had to remove cysts the size of oranges during my EMC to take Edward out.

Edward's first year, we were in an out of hospital with upper respiratory tract infections, acute brochitis - the hospital actually gave us a nebuliser to take home on a number of occaisions. I was really unhappy with the amount of medicines we were given so I sought the help of a specialist who completely changed my outlook on food and medicine.

He quizzed me on my Edward's diet: breakfast is cereal with milk? toast? some fruit like banana? Yes, yes, yes. And he's just sitting there shaking his head going no, no, no. He said you westerners have it all wrong. Milk? Dairy? Probably the worst thing you can put into your son in the morning. It's an irritant causing phlegm. Cut it out altogether - yoghurt if you must but not every day. Banana? Mango? Full of sugar, might as well give him sweets. An occaisional treat, not a daily snack.

Cereals? Overprocessed carbs and sugars. Swap to oats. Low gi and filled with protein instead of carbs to give a sustained energy release. Finely milled and cooked in water will still taste creamy without any dairy. Flavour with fruits high in vitamin like berries, granny smith apples and kiwifruit.

Stop frying and roasting. Cooking foods over 100 degrees celsius denatures most nutrients and alters the molecular structure of foods making them harder to break down and less healthy. Eat raw or steam only. Avoid gluten. Not because it is bad but because it is not good. Choose food with health benefits and avoid empty calories in refined sugars and carbs.

He told me to follow his diet advice strictly for 3 days, then come back and see him. If Edward was still sick, his fees were waived. Sure enough, his cough, the constant runny nose and irritability were gone in 72hs. Crazy thing is, in prepping all his meals for the last few years, I've now realised following his diet has allowed me to live relatively symptom free of PCOS.

SInce Edward started having nocturnal seizures this year, my hormones have gone haywire. I've gone from being underweight at the time I left my husband to now having gained 10kg out of nowhere. In my line of work, I can't really afford to have a random attack of weight gain. I think a combination of hospital food, total sleep deprivation for months on end, generalised anxiety and zero opportunities for exercise have not helped.

So right now I am again trying to manage mysymptoms through diet, nutrition and excercise and a hefty regime of hormones.

(which I hate.)

Trying to go all natural... but shit scared of the symptoms and how crazy they make me feel on the inside and how wackadoodle they make me look on the outside. But given my current state of un-health, I have to go back to basics.

When I'm feeling brave, I'll post some blogs and pics of the ugly side of PCOS and how it really affects me behind the scenes mentally and physically on the daily.

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