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What to do if you have been diagnosed with PCOS

Let’s be honest. Being diagnosed with PCOS is not easy. Whether you’ve suspected you’ve had it for a while or if its a complete surprise to you, being told that you have a chronic condition can be a tough pill to swallow (excuse the pun).

So, if you have been diagnosed with PCOS, here are some things that you need to know and do to manage it.

Find out all you can about PCOS

It’s really important that you find out all that you can about PCOS. You will never know how to deal with it if you don’t know what it is you’re dealing with. You could well have this step covered and maybe that is what brought you here in the first place.

Let’s go over some of the basics for you now.

PCOS is an endocrine disorder (that is, a hormone disorder). Nobody really knows what causes it but there is thought to be a genetic component.

It is often diagnosed via ultrasound, blood tests and medical history.

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According to the Rotterdam criteria (1), you need to have 2 out of these 3 symptoms:

  • An irregular menstrual cycle
  • Signs of hyperandrogenism (high testosterone levels)
  • Ovarian cysts

 

So, if you have 2 out of those 3, you have PCOS (I have 3 out of 3).

Get some support

What to do if you have been diagnosed with pcos supportHaving PCOS can be really isolating. Although at least 1 in 10 women have it, not many women talk about it. I think that’s down to a lot of the embarrassing symptoms. So, a lot of us feel isolated and alone.

Well, the truth is that you are really not alone and finding support from other women who have been there is really helpful and important.

So, where do you find that support?

Well here are a couple of ways:

 

  • Check out PCOS Foodies. It’s my monthly membership site where I provide regular Live Q and A’s, monthly PCOS friendly meal plans and give you motivation and loads of information to help you manage your PCOS.
  • There are loads of PCOS Facebook groups that can give you support and answer some of your questions.
  • Find a local support group. Charities like Verity (UK) and PCOS Awareness Association often have support groups so why not get in contact and find out if there is one local to you?

 

Look at the way that you eat

Now, if you’ve just been diagnosed, you may not know this yet but research has shown that diet and lifestyle changes should be the first line of treatment in managing PCOS (2).

And that is exactly what this whole site is dedicated to.

One of the things that I feel really strongly about is eating to manage your PCOS, not just to lose weight. A regular calorie restricted diet may help a little to lose weight but it’s unlikely to address all of the underlying hormonal imbalances. That means that your symptoms may well stay the same or even get worse.

Here are some key articles on the way that you eat to get you started:

 

Make sure that you’re taking key supplements

Supplements play a crucial role in managing your PCOS and women with PCOS tend to be deficient in some key vitamins and nutrients. Here is some more information of the key supplements I recommend for PCOS:

 

Find a good doctor

What to do if you have been diagnosed with pcos supportIt’s really important that you find a good doctor who will treat and monitor your PCOS, if necessary. It really depends on your current situation but an endocrinologist or reproductive endocrinologists are good options. In the UK, I have only been seen by my general practitioner so it also depends on where in the world you are based and what systems are in place.

PCOS does have long term health implications so it is important to have a regular medical review (my doctor recommended blood tests every 2 years to monitor my general health, including thyroid and cholesterol).

Take some time after being diagnosed with PCOS

As I said at the beginning of this post, being diagnosed with PCOS is not easy. There is a lot to come to terms with and wrap your head around. So, take the time you need to be mad and to grieve. And then, start picking up the pieces with a new sense of determination to go out and live your life to the fullest, in spite of PCOS!

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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.

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7 Responses

7 Responses

  1. Hello,

    I have been diagnosed with Pcos and I was prescribed Dianette. My symptoms are; irregular periods, ovarian cysts, hair loss and inability to lose weight around my waist plus burning feet at night.I am taking Dianette for a week now and I’m constantly bleeding, my skin was never as dry and I feel bloated and constipated. Was anyone here on Dianette for Pcos? Did it help? How to get back my hair and lose weight? Thank you for any information, Manya

  2. I have been diagnosed with PCOS and I think I have had it for a while now but just got diagnosed this month.. I have all of the symptoms but since my dr put me on medication I feel my skin is more dry and I am so freaking emotional 😭… I find myself crying about stupid stuff and I don’t like it… I don’t know how anyone is going to want to put up with that.. 😭 But I can’t stop, what do I do?

  3. I was diagnosed with pcos in November of 2016 since then I haven’t been able gain control over my exhaustion and mood swings. We have the menstral part in check and the pain most days but I have 6 kids and I am declining daily with energy I feel so helpless and I have tried so many things I losing hope horribly…

  4. Hello there, well I am back after many years. I actually added your site to the footer of my blog ‘Kelly Martin Speaks’ a long time ago when I was researching my symptoms. I finally, after many blood tests etc etc.. was told today I have PCOS. I have a scan booked in 3 months time, but she is pretty certain this is what it is. I am not depressed about it, more relieved to finally have an answer to so many symptoms. Thanks for this site and all your work you put into getting answers out.

  5. Hello! I’ve been recently diagnosed with PCOS last January and I’ve been trying to find websites that supports this issue. Not a lot of women understand this condition in my country. Actually, not all women understand this.

    Currently, I’ve been trying to lose weight and it’s definitely a struggle. The ‘what you put in your mouth’ is the most struggle part because my husband and sister-in-law doesn’t like to eat vegetable and I’m so confused about the meal prepping.

  6. Hi, I need help. I’ve recently been diagnosed with PCOS although I’ve had it for most likely over a decade. I was put on Metformin only been taking it about 2 weeks but then got THE WORST acne breakout that nothing seems to help. I’m also on dextroamphetamine so i don’t know if that could be a problem. I also have so many food allergies that finding the right food let alone good food is proving to be extremely stressful.

    1. Hello, I have it also. All you have to do is to regularly check with your OB, with regards acne. consult to any derma that fits to your skin.

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