This PCOS success story is one of my favorites because this is my beautiful baby sister!
For years she has battled PCOS (poly-cystic ovarian syndrome) which makes it incredibly difficult to manage weight, regulate hormones, predict menstrual cycles, and so many other things the endocrine system regulates in the body. No matter how well you eat, how strictly you count calories, or how hard you exercise, dropping pounds is a slow and frustrating process with this disease. Not to mention the serious roller coaster of emotions! On top of the PCOS, she has dealt with the pain of RA (rheumatoid arthritis – the same autoimmune disease I struggled with for years) and hypothyroidism with frequent, inexplicable instances of thyroiditis.
Did her doctors think food could help with any of this? Nope! I sat in appointments with her where they (like my own doctors years before) practically laughed at the idea. But food changed everything for me and we believed it could change things for her.
She decided to make some really serious changes in her nutrition, despite the doctors saying it would do no good. Mind you, she had already been eating extremely healthy – lots of fruits and vegetables, no processed foods, and she was watching her portion sizes. She was on a great nutritional supplement. She was drinking tons of water.
It wasn’t until she decided to adopt a paleo eating plan that she began to see the difference in how her body functions.
I want to mention here that paleo is not the plan I used on my healing journey. Food is fuel but we have to learn to listen to our bodies and make nutrition decisions based on our own needs. We have to get out of the this-diet-is-best-for-this-type-of-illness mentality. Diets are not disease-specific. They are PEOPLE specific. All of us are created uniquely and what is medicine to one might be “poison” to another. My sister learned that her body functions best when she focuses on eliminating dairy, consuming lean meats, fresh fruits, and lots of vegetables.
In addition to adjusting her nutrition, she made a few other changes to stop the episodes of thyroiditis, drop 75 pounds, and completely regulate her cycles which made it possible to have baby #2 after contending with secondary infertility. She stopped using cleaning & hygiene products that contain parabens, phthalates, or fragrance. (These are all MAJOR disruptors to your endocrine system. You can learn more about that here.)
She did all this WITHOUT counting calories or spending crazy amounts of time at the gym. Her focus everyday, at every meal, was to fuel her body well. Can you see the energy and vitality in her smile?? Healthy, happiness, and a life full of energy are possible for everyone – even those with thyroid or endocrine disease. We just have to want it bad enough to believe that better is possible and then make the decision to DO SOMETHING about it!
What about you? Have you dealt with thyroid or endocrine dysfunction? So many people don’t understand how it truly impacts your day to day life. Let’s talk in the comments about changes you’ve made, or want to make, and what you hope to see happen as a result of those changes.