Saturday, September 1, 2012


Antioxidants beneficial for PCOS

Recent studies show that women with PCOS are at a much risk of experiencing oxidative stress, than women without the condition. Oxidative stress is defined as a condition of increased oxidant production in cells caused by the release of free radicals which results in cellular degeneration. These free radicals cause a NUMBER of diseases and conditions (including cancer) as well as premature aging.
Oxidative stress can be caused my many things such as poor diet, pollution, alcohol, medications, or inflammation. Women with PCOS often have chronic inflammation, usually due to being overweight thanks to insulin resistance. Most also have a poor diet, which likely led to the IR. Yet again, a vicious circle.
Other than eating right, exercising and supplemting to control insulin resistance, one should include a powerful antioxidant to her regime as well. Antioxidants protect body cells from the damaging effects of oxidation.  PCOSInfo recommends Reservatrol.
Reservatrol is a a compound found in red grapes, peanuts, and mulberries. It is the key ingredient in red wine that makes it so “heart healthy”. Its an exceptional antioxidant however it also provides other benefits that are extremely important to PCOS’ers:
  • Cancer prevention
  • Reduction of coronary risk – increases good cholesterol and provides protection for your arteries, as well as help to prevent blood clots. This is extremely beneficial to PCOS’ers since we’re at a much higher risk of getting heart disease AND stroke !
  • Boosts immune system
  • Improves brain activity, significantly reducing the likelihood of neurodegenerative diseases
  • Radiation exposure reduction
  • Increases metabolic rate which helps increase weight loss and energy levels


Q: Isn't PCOS something to only worry about when you're trying to have a baby? Why do you still advocate for "cysters" when you have Elliot now?

A: PCOS is lifelong. It doesn't go away. It makes getting pregnant extremely difficult. For some women, pregnancy itself is exceptionally challenging. While trying for Elliot, I had people ask me why I wouldn't just quit and adopt. This question was insulting to me because regardless of fertility abilities, PCOS is still a problem in my body - no matter how I chose to become a parent. Once pregnancy is achieved, and security is assured - it is not uncommon for a PCOS woman to feel the healthiest they've ever felt. Elliot is our lucky number seven. Having him has helped some of my PCOS issues, minus the thyroid. I advocate for cysters everywhere because I've been there.... and I'll be there again. 

What labs should I have done if I suspect I have PCOS?

PCOS is a lifelong condition. It can be controlled but it can NEVER be cured. So, just like any other health issue, it needs watching.   Transvaginal ultrasounds in addition to bloodwork help determine whats what.
If you have been diagnosed with PCOS you should be getting a yearly checkup. This should include a visit to your OB/GYN for an annual exam, as well as a visit to your primary for a physical and lab tests.
The purpose of these labs are to watch your PCOS and what its doing to your body. Even if you feel your condition is being controlled, either by medications or supplements, you should still have these labs done — just to be sure. PCOS can wreck havoc on your body, causing a number of serious health issues. Take the time to get these values checked, every year.
The following is a list of labs every PCOS’er should have done yearly:
  • Fasting glucose
  • Glucose tolerance test (GTT) *remember, even if these tests come back within normal limits, you can still have insulin resistance*
  • LH (luteinizing hormone)
  • FSH (follicle stimulating hormone)
  • LH/FSH ratio
  • Testosterone – total and free
  • DHEAS (dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate)
  • SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin)
  • Prolactin
  • TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) *this is also an important value as many with PCOS have thyroid issues that go undetected for quite some time. Thyroid conditions tend to have many of the same symptoms as PCOS*
  • Lipid profile (cholesterol, triglycerides) *extremely important. These values are often high in PCOS’ers and they are what lead to our increased risk of heart disease, and stroke*
This list may seem a bit overwhelming, but many of these tests are done in groups, meaning they don’t need a vial for each individual test. Hormone levels are often grouped together when they’re sent to the lab, as are glucose tests, requiring less blood or individual vials.

Healthy images

Lots of health images

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10 Tips to get more active

In honor of PCOS awareness month I'll be getting this blog up and running again!

1.  Plan ahead - Schedule physical activity into your daily routine and do your best to stick to it. A 
commitment to being active needs to be long-term, and should become a normal part of your 
everyday lifestyle. If time is limited, try getting up earlier or walking during your lunch break. 

2.  Equipment - You do not need expensive equipment to begin exercising. Start with a good pair of training shoes and comfortable clothes. Take a water bottle and don’t forget to wear sunscreen and a hat when exercising outside in summer. 

3.  Get support - You are more likely to succeed if you have the support and encouragement of 
family or friends. Surveys show that women prefer walking over all other activities and when they 
walk with friends they walk longer and report walking is more enjoyable.  Group activities are more social and you can encourage each other to keep going.

4.  Choose an activity that is right for you - When choosing a new activity, take time to consider what would best suit you. Think about convenience, budget, pre-existing medical conditions and whether or not you will enjoy the activity. You shouldn’t take up water-skiing if you can’t afford it, have to travel for hours and don’t like getting wet!

5.  Be creative - Try something different – let your imagination run wild. Vary the places you go 
walking or try line dancing or water aerobics - there’s bound to be something out there that’s perfect for you.

6.  Keep at it - Occasionally there may be periods of time where you lose focus and go off track. Do your best to get back to doing some physical activity when you can – try to think positive, plan ahead and always keep the benefits in mind.  

7.  Set goals - Set both short and long-term goals so you have something to work towards. Be 
realistic – you won’t be able to run a marathon in two weeks time; but you might be able to walk every day for a week. Keep track of your achievements.

8.  Reward yourself - It’s important to reward yourself when you achieve your goals. Having an 
added incentive can also help you to get going when you don’t feel motivated. A reward could be 
anything from buying your favourite magazine, getting a manicure or going away for the weekend.

9.  Listen to your body - Exercising is not about ‘no pain, no gain’. If an activity causes you pain 
either slow down or stop altogether. Pain is a sign that something might be wrong. If you are worried, see your health practitioner before continuing.

10. Have fun - Enjoyment is essential for maintaining a long-term commitment to being more 
physically active. Be selective in the activities that you choose, get in involved in group activities and stay positive – you’re worth the effort. 

Thank you, Fitbit!

My Fitbit Charge HR broke.   I took it off and it just ... broke.    I got in contact with FitBit customer service and even though my...