Living with PCOS and Hypothyroidism
Back in 2009, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, and in 2010 I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Both were sort of a shock to me, even though I was highly symptomatic of both conditions. In fact, it was only during an annual wellness screening through my work that my high TSH levels prompted me to see my physician, and then it was confirmed I did indeed have an underactive thyroid.
I had a lot of fairly typical hypothyroid symptoms, such as being inclined to weight gain, my hair was falling out and my nails were peeling off and I was cold all of the time. Even in the heat of summer, I wore a sweater. None of this was probably helped by the fact that I had a secondary issue going on with PCOS, which included many of the common symptoms as well.
I looked at the diagnosis of these things as an answer, and as an opportunity. I had been a housewife for a two year period when my husband and I had to relocate and during that time, I was incredibly active. I easily got two hours of cardio exercise a day, and we always ate at home because we were on a tight budget. Despite this, I was struggling to keep weight off and I was glad to finally have an answer to that perplexing riddle.
I was also fortunate to have the most wonderful endocrinologist to work with to help resolve and manage these issues. I understood that both of these conditions would have lifelong effects on me, but she was so empowering. These conditions did not become my excuses for me to give up. Maybe I would have to work twice as hard to be healthy, but I was not going to allow them to be the reason I just quit trying.
While I have had setbacks in my health – as I have previously discussed, in 2016 I gained a substantial amount of weight and then got back on track and lost it all and then some – I have never used my conditions as the justification. I am absolutely certain that a lot of my weight gain was caused by eating too much ice cream!
If there is one thing I could do it would be to empower those with either one of these conditions to not give up. Everyone experiences these things in varying degrees, and the medications I take work very well for me. If anything, because of these things and the conditions they can ultimately lead to – such as diabetes – I am more determined than ever to take care of myself.
It’s not just me, either. I know several people with one or both of these conditions and they have found great medications that work for them to help them battle the symptoms. One of my sisters has PCOS and the other has hypothyroidism, and both are of a healthy weight and fairly committed to preventative health measures.
It may be hard when the battle is all uphill, but it is doubly worth it then! Whether our motivation is to be there for our families and children, or to be able to be around for our grandchildren, or to travel the world, write a best seller someday, make a difference on this planet, whatever it is, it is worth it to wake up every day and recommit to the idea of taking care of this one body we have.
Investing in your own health and wellness is one of the best and most selfless things you can do in the eyes of the people who love you. We should all feel empowered to be proactive about it!