PCOS Awareness: Meet Danielle

September is PCOS Awareness Month and I thought that this would be a wonderful opportunity to spread the word about PCOS and our experiences of it. PCOS impacts on every area of our lives and robs us of our femininity.

But, I have also come into contact with so many inspirational women who fight their PCOS on daily basis with such strength, courage and determination and it keeps me motivated to keep fighting my own battle with PCOS.

PCOS can also leave us feeling isolated and alone, particularly if we don’t know anybody else with it. So, for PCOS Awareness Month, I’d like to put a face to PCOS and introduce you to some of the amazing and inspirational women have PCOS as they share their PCOS story with you.

Meet Danielle

story-circle-danielleDanielle is 33 years old and lives in Oxford, England although she describes herself as an “all American girl”. She moved to the UK in June 2013 and lives with her British husband. Danielle has a Bachelors in Social work and is on the look out for a job in the UK. I’ll let her tell you the rest of her story….

When and how were you first diagnosed with PCOS?

Meet Danielle DoctorI was first diagnosed when I was 22. The only thing consistent about my body, was that it was inconsistent. I was having maybe one period a year. I knew, compared to my friends, something was wrong with me. I decided to pursue the issue and get an answer, so I went to my doctor. He completed a blood test, and from there I was diagnosed with PCOS. I began treatment, first only with Metformin. I really saw no change in my symptoms.  I did this for several years. My doctor did stress to me that I should change my diet at the start…but I refused. I was young and dumb and wanted to do what I wanted to do, and still wanted my body to work. I continued this way for a while. Then at age 26, I decided that with my ex-husband that we should try and start a family. We went through all the fertility hoops, and medications. Nothing worked…but again I refused to change my diet. Subsequently my marriage ended a few years later, so I am grateful to this condition in many ways.  Now that I am remarried, I have since changed my diet, still taking Metformin and many vitamins. I have seen 100% improvement. My body is working J So it is only a matter of time…

How did you react to getting the diagnosis?

The moment my doctor told me, I was not given a lot of information. It was basically put “ You are young, you have this, no worries”. So, in the doctor’s office I had a pretty bland reaction. But when I went home and did the research…I was devastated. I realized at that moment I was not going to be in the “club”, which is what I call womanhood/motherhood. I felt like an outsider. My looks changed, my hair fell out, I had gained a lot of weight, I had acne…this condition robbed me of my youth in many ways. I felt alone. No one in my family  truly understood it and to this day they still don’t.

What is your biggest frustration with PCOS?

My biggest frustration is fertility. In many ways PCOS was a blessing in my life, but it has also been a curse in the regard to fertility. I was married for 9 years, and we tried and tried but nothing to get pregnant. That marriage deteriorated and I divorced in 2010. I have since remarried to an amazing man, who is my everything. So, I am grateful in many ways that my body didn’t work for so many years. But currently, it is frustrating. Acne, weight gain, hair loss are all things I can deal with…it is the prospect of being childless that I cannot deal with so easily.

 How do you manage your PCOS? (Medication, diet, exercise, etc)

I currently manage my PCOS with Metformin, excerscise, vitamins and diet. In the last 3 months I have finally realized and accepted that changing my diet is truly key to managing my symptoms. I have been following the PCOS diet and have noticed amazing results.

What is your biggest success in terms of PCOS?

I have yet to achieve my biggest success, which to me is pregnancy but I am getting close. The change in my diet has caused my body to kick into gear and begin working. I look forward to my biggest success happening in the near future.

Who do you get emotional support from?

Meet Danielle friendsMy doctor mostly. I now have a female doctor, and from her I feel she gives me the most support. Second, my husband who is relentless in his positivity in creating a family. He is there to support me when I want to binge on sugar and reminds me of how devastating to my body it would be, he is there to remind me that I CAN do this. And of course the PCOS blog. Hearing other women’s stories has been a real help to me and a quiet supporter. Knowing other women are out there, and have kicked PCOS in the butt really fuels my fire and motivates me to take control of my own body.

What would you like to say to other women with PCOS or those who have just been diagnosed?

Do not live in denial. Own it. Accept it. Beat it. Follow your doctor’s advice but more importantly do the research for yourself. Follow the diet completely, exercise and take the medicine. NEVER GIVE UP! Fight this battle with vigor, positivity and determination and you will win in the end.

If you want to inspire others and have your own PCOS story to tell, please contact me here. I’d love to hear from you!

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Tarryn Poulton

Tarryn Poulton

Tarryn Poulton is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and PCOS expert who has been a leader in the online PCOS space for over 8 years. Tarryn has the support of leading clinicians from around the world who support her scientific approach to understanding and talking about PCOS this includes all medical journals and ongoing research. You can read more about Tarryn and the team here.

12 Responses

12 Responses

  1. Danielle,

    So you have been following the PCOS diet for 3 months? If you had carb cravings before following the diet, have you noticed any change? Have your sweet/carb cravings gone away or gotten better at all? That is my biggest struggle diet-wise.

  2. Thanks ladies. It’s also incredibly helpful that there is a place to talk to so many other women with PCOS to get advice and encouragement.

  3. I also forgot to say, stay as positive as you can. Manage stress well-because stress reeks such havoc on a PCOS body! Tarryn has so many helpful tips and recipes on this website that make the way we have to eat feel normal and the recipes are AMAZING! DO NOT LET PCOS rule you, you rule your PCOS!!!!!!! Only you have the control to change or improve your health and well being…took me years to figure that out. As long as you’re dedicated and patient with yourself, the results you desire will follow:)

  4. Hey Laura,

    It may be easier to say what I am not eating, lol. I am not eating anything dairy, no red meat, no refined sugars, and no carbohydrates. I do have my bad days where these foods will tempt me, everyone does. I also take many vitamins and they are vitamin D,Vitamin B, Vitamin E, pre-natal vitamins, Red rasberry, agnus castus, Red clover blossom, cinnamon and a pro-biotic. I take these with the Metformin. So far, I have had great success! Don’t give up!!!!! Keep working hard…I promise you it pays off in the end:) hope it helps:)

  5. Thanks for sharing. I too am trying to start a family. Have been married a year and got diagnosed 2 years ago. I did most of my own research, and am changing my diet. I am a little overwhelmed by just figuring it all out. Thanks for sharing this. It helped to read it.

    1. Hi Amanda,
      I also have just been married for a year and have been trying for a family since we been married but haven’t had any good news. I decided to go see my doctor and was diagnosed with PCOS about one month ago. I have always since I was 14 had hair growth on my face but never thought much of it and just got laser treatment to remove it but now its starting to make more sense to me!
      I started to read up more about PCOS diets and hopefully by sticking to a very strict diet it can be easier in the future. But it is all very overwhelming!

      1. Anndrea,
        I’m just glad I can talk to other women with PCOS on here. and not feel alone. I hope your journey as well as mine is a success. Praying we both can start families soon:-)

  6. Great story. I am currently ttc & just got a BFN today. A story like this gives me motivation & to continue on with my diet changes.
    What foods is Danielle eating now & what vitamins is she taking?

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