Hi Everyone! Happy Holidays! I know I’ve been a little MIA lately but it’s hard to find time to sit down and write with all the holiday activities. After all the support and feedback I got from my original post on my PCOS I decided to write more. However, it took this long to figure out what exactly what to write about. Although I could probably write an entire post about each of these points (and maybe someday I will) I figured a Tips for Managing PCOS would be a good start.
Once I started thinking through everything I’ve done to finally control all the PCOS symptoms I realized that these tips are good for most types of conditions/living a healthy life in general. I.e. trying to do something specific to manage PCOS won’t result in a negative side effect or issue for another condition.
However, obviously I am not a healthcare professional. What I’ll be discussing today is based on my experience based on discussions with my doctors so make sure you consult with yours before making any decisions!
7 Tips for Managing PCOS
+ Exercise regularly
Yes, if you aren’t an active person sometimes it sucks to hear this. But it’s the truth. Exercise helps control stress, blood sugar, cholesterol, insult, your weight, etc. The benefits are truly endless.
Start small. When I was diagnosed with PCOS I was so out of shape that I would only walk 20-30 minutes at a moderate pace. But after a few days and weeks I increased the intensity and duration. These days I have a Studiohop membership and take a class at least 4 times a week.
+ Control your carbs
The most likely reason for PCOS is insulin resistance. As such, it’s critical to control blood sugar & blood sugar spikes. To help with my diet I personally read this book. It explains in detail the connection between PCOS and your diet. It also helps you figure out around how many grams of carbs you should eat at each meal.
Although I don’t follow any specific, or even very strict diet plan, I am very conscious of my carb & sugar intake. Generally, I stick to a healthy diet 80% of the time.
+ Supplement as necessary
I literally take a cornucopia of supplements daily- Liver support, hormonal support, zinc, biotin, fish oil, blood sugar support, etc. I knew I wanted to deal with my PCOS in the most natural way possible so supplements help me get certain nutrients I wouldn’t get through my diet.
Supplements are controversial and they can certainly interact with other drugs so make sure to talk to your health care professional about what would be right for you.
+ Give alternative medicine & acupuncture a shot
I talked about this in my original post here. The first 4 months I did a session every 2-3 weeks. Now that everything is under control I’ve managed to space it out to every 4-5 weeks.
During each session we discuss everything from how I’m feeling & sleeping, what I’ve been eating to my exercise routine, etc. Amy, then gives me tips or recommendations on certain foods to add to my diet or other supplements to take.
After that she’ll apply the needles on my feet, legs, arms and sometimes even my ears. I’ll then rest with the needles in for about 20 min after which she’ll move them a little and then I’ll rest another 20.
What I like the most about these sessions is how comprehensive they are. The focus is truly overall wellness, not just managing PCOS. In one session we may deal with PCOS, my random shoulder pain and even getting over a cold. I’ve never felt that kind of support/help with western medicine.
+ Use a simple skin care routine
If there is one thing I’ve learned about skin the last year, it’s that skin doesn’t like change. I know it’s tempting when dealing with breakouts to go try a million products that claim to be a miracle. But I always find that going back to the basics is best. Think –> gentle cleanser, acne medication (if you have any) and moisturizer. Until you get your skin under control I would stay away from serums or other treatments.
+ Get regular facials (if you can)
If you are like me and your PCOS makes itself known on your skin this may be a life saver. I know facials can be expensive but they’ve made a huge difference for me so they are worth it. Plus, I was spending loads of money on ridiculous products that weren’t helping so to a certain extent, I’m saving money.
I did A TON of research on yelp and found someone with great reviews in a price point I could afford. Once I saw results, I also bought a package where I paid for 5 facials and got the 6th one free.
Even if you don’t think regular facials are within your budget, it may be worth going just once so you can get a professional to examine your skin and help suggest products.
+ Get enough sleep.
Yes, I’m sure I’m going to get a ton of eye rolls from this one. It’s so obvious, yet so many people don’t make this a priority. Since I’m not an expert, I’ll just leave you with a few Ted Talks on why sleep is so important: