The Battle I


I promised I would blog after seeing the dietician and well here it is, you may think this post is oddly named especially with a roman numeral, HOWEVER there is method to my madness! I need to learn to get my PCOS under control and make it learn to live with my under MY conditions so we are going into battle, one step at a time.

So, Wednesday was interesting with the dietitian, she was very softly spoken and to begin with I felt like it was a big waste of my time as she confirmed everything I was doing was right, so all I could think was


Then we discussed a GI diet and exercise and yes, its not my favourite past time (its hard to believed I had a love affair with the gym only 2 years ago!) but both her and I agreed its time I found my mojo again and did something as diet is not enough on its own. Then she asked me how my GP & I have been managing my PCOS for the last almost 11 years, I told her it was simple they told me lose weight and my symptoms would improve. She looked a bit taken aback by my bold statement and proceeded to ask me about medication and consultants, both of which I advised that to my knowledge I had never been offered.

I came out of my appointment feeling liked I have been let down by my GP but eager to get things moving to improve my quality of life.
It wasn’t until the next day that I think it really hit me that I shouldn’t of had to have to struggled with this for the last 11 years or at least the last 3 when I have been struggling with my weight and I will be honest I CRIED – Buckets, but Matt picked me up, gave me a kick up the arse and made me book a GP appointment.
Well, I have been doing a bit of research since my appointment and wanted to share with you what I was recommended and what information I have found. I am expecting you ladies perhaps are already aware or maybe even have some more experience than myself, I would be so grateful if you could share your experiences with me – your support is invaluable.
I have read a lot about Metformin online, so when my dietitian spoke with me about it, I said I was aware of it, but wasn’t sure what it did for women with PCOS? She explained that it helps our bodies deal with Insulin and in turn helps with weight loss which can then aide all other symptoms. This sounded like something I am definitely interested in learning more about, so I will for sure be asking my GP about this. However, before I do that I wanted to read up about it so I did what everyone does nowadays and went to google for help!
So what are the Pros & Cons about Metformin?
  • Metformin aides the body in regulating the level of Glucose in your blood and makes your body more sensitive to Insulin.
  • Some studies have shown that women with PCOS who are overweight and take Metformin alongside a healthy lifestyle (diet AND exercise) were able to a significant amount of weight when not able to previously.
  • Metformin is know to stimulate fertility & encourage regular monthly periods as well as lowering the risk of miscarriage.
  • Some people who are take Metformin have reported side effects of nausea, diarrhoea, gas, and loss of appetite.
  • Metformin can lower your body’s natural  ability to absorb B12. Most things I have read on line is that women who take Metformin will also take a B Vitamin to reduce this happening.
  • Metformin isn’t a licensed drug in the UK to treat PCOS, however it is used “off label” to control the symptoms of PCOS. 
When reading up on Metformin, I also read a lot about Co-cyprindiol which is available to treat severe acne and moderately severe hirsutism but isn’t known for treatment for PCOS. However, when I was looking on the NICE website it compared the effects of Metformin against Co-cyprindiol for Hirsutism.
A study carried out found a significant reduction in hirsutism with metformin compared to co-cyprindiol. 

I think I need to get on Metformin.
GI Diet
I have read before about a GI diet, the GI Index and GI Load but if I am honest I don’t fully understand it! It has taken me longer to read about and understand the GI Diet, Index & Load than it did Metformin, but I think I am finally there and knowledgeable enough to share the info I do have with you!
What is a GI Diet??

When following a GI diet you are selecting foods with a low Glycaemic Index as opposed to a high Glycaemic Index meaning you are left fuller for longer.

What is the Glycaemic Index??

The Glycaemic Index is a way to measure foods that contain carbohydrates and what impact they have on your blood sugar. Most GI diets will show foods in the below groups: 

Medium/Low – foods within this group have a GI value of 55 or less, this is because the body slowly digests & absorbs these. Due to slowness that they are metabolised they cause a slower rise in blood sugar levels which then has a reduced impact on insulin levels.

High foods in this group are a struggle for the body to digest and absorb, which then causes our blood sugar levels to rise rapidly having a negative impact on our insulin levels.

Why should you use the GI method with PCOS??

One of the contributing factors of PCOS is insulin resistance, so by following a low GI diet you are not only eating foods that not on fill you up for longer periods, your insulin levels are rising slowly meaning they wont spike and wont have an impact on the testosterone levels in your body. The only negative about us following a GI diet is that it doesn’t take into account how much you are eating, so if you eat a low GI food but a lot of it, it will still cause a peak in your sugar levels.

So what is the Glycaemic Load??
The GL measures the GI within the food and the amount of it you are eating and possibly gives you a better indication of the impact of what the effect will be on your blood sugar levels.

If you are anything like me you will be a bit bamboozled by all this GI information and how to work it into your diet. For me I am going to need more time researching into this and get some buy in from Matt to it as I will need his full support, but I am sure once I understand it I will be able to follow it!

So that is it from me, I am signing off for today, I have a GP appointment in approx. 3 weeks time, so I will keep you updated once I come back from there. However, please if you are reading this and have experience of Metformin or are doing a GI diet please comment below and give me and advice you have!

Emma xxx

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