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PCOS and insulin resistance

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by Mimi's, May 20, 2016.

  1. Mimi's

    Mimi's Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi,
    I have recently been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovaries which I believe is related to insulin resistance or vice versa. I am now put on metformin 500 mg thrice a day. However, even on a sparse diet, I am unable to lose weight. I would like to know if the poly cystic ovaries are under control, will my system still be insulin resistant? I am worried as my food habits are good and I walk a lot every day and I don't want to suffer from this condition. Thanks
     
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  2. catherinecherub

    catherinecherub · Guest

    Hi @Mimi"s and welcome to the forum.
    I will tag @Brunneria who may be able to answer your queries.
     
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  3. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    Thanks @catherinecherub

    Hi and welcome @Mimi's

    You said

    And there is a lot in there :) so i will try and take things one at a time (although please remember that i am not a medical professional, just someone with PCOS!)

    Ok, so PCOS is a situation where your hormones are not working as normal - they are being produced on the wrong quantities - causing multiple cysts on the ovaries, with all those symptoms that we know and love, eh? Furriness, weight gain, insulin resistance, hunger, carb cravings, infertility, etc.

    The insulin resistance is a result of the hormones (it happens to type 2 diabetics), and quite a few PCOSers become type 2 by middle age. It sort of comes with the territory, I am afraid. :(

    The insulin resistance => hunger and carb cravings and (usually) weight gain.

    The fatter we get, the more insulin resistance we get, and the more symptoms of PCOS we get.

    As you can see, it is a vicious circle.

    But worry not! There are answers to each of the steps in the circle. :)

    You have been given metformin - that works to lower blood glucose a little, suppresses appetite a little, and reduces insulin resistance (this is key). What it doesn't do is work on the hormones themselves, or why your hormones are out of wack.

    Diet is the biggest weapon you have. PCOSers usually respond excellently to Low Carb diets - so you may want to think about that, if you havent started already. :)
    Low Carbing also helps reduce carb cravings (which is GREAT) and often enables weight loss. You have already discovered how difficult it is for us PCOSers to lose weight. I have the same problem. But orthodox low fat high carb diets and portion reduction make the carb cravings worse, and the weight loss well nigh impossible. I would starve myself until the cravings overwhelmed me, then binge. Now i low carb, i am never hungry, and i don't crave. It is bliss.

    So, can you see how it all fits together?
    High carb, low cal diet => cravings and weight gain => increased insulin resistance => escalating spiral.
    On the other hand
    Low carb diet + metformin => reduced insulin resistance, reduced cravings, hopefully weight loss => reduced insulin resistance.

    If we can get slim, our hormones tend to improve. The fatter we are, the worse all our symptoms seem to get.

    Hope that helps!
    And please, if there are any other PCOSers out there, let me know if you agree/disagree. :)
     
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    #3 Brunneria, May 20, 2016 at 11:12 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2016
  4. Mep

    Mep Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    welcome :) I have PCOS as well. I was diagnosed with both PCOS and Type 2 diabetes on the same day when I was 25yo. I've always had insulin resistance. But also I now have insulin deficiency and have been living with that I think for at least 8 years.. but was only put on insulin 6 years ago. I estimate 8 years as that is when things started not working at all for me and docs just kept changing up the doses and med types to try and get it to work. I finally put my foot down and insisted they do the diagnostic tests again. My weight has fluctuated over the years. I've been thin and I've been fat. I'm currently overweight again because I had a change in med last year and I've had sudden weight gain. The same med also has high sugar levels as a side effect too (baclofen). But I'm on a few meds that have weight gain as a side effect. So I seem to have everything working against me weight wise. My diet is restricted because of medical conditions. Well being honest, nothing I eat now actually is good for me... nothing. Everything I eat upsets something whether it's diabetes, stomach, oesophagus, bowel, bladder, etc. I have to watch textures too I can easily choke now and the wrong texture can cause me pain for days. But with PCOS itself I had a lot of trouble with cysts in my late 20's before the docs decided to place me on the pill in my early 30's to stop cysts from forming. I've been on that ever since and grateful no more problems with cysts. My hormone changes trigger migraines on me though which my docs still haven't managed to control too well... apparently it is one of the hardest migraine triggers to control. My situation is different to yours no doubt, but hopefully you find things that work for you.
     
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    #4 Mep, May 21, 2016 at 9:50 AM
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  5. Finsky

    Finsky Prefer not to say · Well-Known Member

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    Hello....yep...another one here!
    I don't want to sound negative about our condition (I'm just having PCOC bad time right now..) ...just like you have already been told, you can improve all symptoms hugely by just dietary changes...it really is worth it! BUT..there comes times....just like I'm experiencing right now, that those **** fluctuating hormones will spoil it all and make everything **** difficult :banghead:
    You have come right place...when you have these..:banghead: moments...by reading about what you can do to help yourself, will calm you mind and help to battle on. You do your best and all will settle down again and it makes you feel like human again..;)
    I've had good few months recently..managed to get some weight down..improving my diabetes..GREAT!...but the insulin resistance, with me that eases off and comes back again...like a roller coaster:banghead:
    Sorry...this morning I find realty hard to find any 'up beat' attitude in me with my reply..I suppose I'm good example about how these things go..
    I've been diagnosed with both conditions for over 20 yrs. My PCOS in general is under control..'monhtly things' working and many other symptoms almost non-existing...insulin resistance is not giving up even after all these years, though getting better at times...weight loss is always been DIFFICULT but it is do-able, just frustratingly slow progress. (makes other people's easy weight loss sometimes painful to read/hear :rolleyes:) You get good times with you conditions and you get bad times...and if you are able to keep you diet suitable for you...those 'bad times' are less frequent.
    My 'bad time' has been creeping in last few days..I could see it in my scales and with my blood sugar numbers...and this morning I've been hit with 'hormonal hammer'....I'm hungry, angry, teary.. feeling anything and everything:(:mad::arghh::bigtears::mask::borg::spitoutdummy::sour::sorry:. So my 'treatment' for it is fasting session..(great :rolleyes:...last thing I need)...but if I can get my natural insulin levels settled a bit, that will make me feel whole lot better;) It is nothing drastic, just drinking plenty of fluids for the day until tummy says 'that's enough'..then something light to eat and into bed. Tommorrow I'm planning just 'normal' LCHF day..and fasting day again after that...and so on. Once I manage to drop a 'number or two' on scales...even if it is just 1/2lb..I know I'm winning side of the battle again.
    Do ask lots of questions what might come into your head. We all have our own PCOS related issues that might not apply to others, but just reading all the range possibilities might make you feel bit better "Oh I'm glad I don't have that!" ;) Maybe you recognize something that you didn't even realize was PCOS issue...and 'penny drops'...it makes some how easier to cope when you know it is not 'you' but your **** hormones :rolleyes:
    Anyway...this was unusually gloomy way from 'not feeling so normal me' to welcome you to the forum :angelic:
     
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    #5 Finsky, May 21, 2016 at 11:06 AM
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  6. ickihun

    ickihun Type 2 · Master

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    I too have Pcos and insulin resistance and underactive thyroid.
    Hormones, hormones, hormones.
    I see myself as fortunate. Metformin trials in London for Pcos just after private lazer treatment to aid fertility.
    Over a decade later 2 children healthy and without any diagnosed insulin resistance.
    Oh and still the only family member with diabetes.

    Metformin is brilliant for pcos although now I cannot use due to the common side affect. I'm on mixed insulin which controls my bgs but nothing else.
    What we pcos suffers need is either metformin with no side effect or the pill without risk of thrombosis.
    Ultimately insulin resistance is the common enemy so weight loss is needed.
    Now there are many arguements about men going bald being hormonal. We get pcos they go bald?
    I've always wondered why us woman only suffered so thought oh must be female hormones! No. Pcos causes more testosterone to be produced hense hairy face/body and interuption of periods/fertility.
    Hormones, hormones, hormones.
    In the past I found ginseng to help before metformin helping enormously.
    I'll go back on ginseng soon and let you know my findings.
    I'm currently taking lipoic acid for insulin to be channelled correctly but pcos is still out of control so ginseng it will be.
    My periods returned after trials but only once I was looking to get pregnant in a new relationship did I continue with metformin long term.with activity and metformin I fell pregnant. (Maybe I found my fat threshold at 17st)
    I'm 2 stone heavier so maybe if I can get back to 17st or less my insulin resistance might relax and symptoms might apease.
    @Mimi's you need to lose weight and use metformin to your advantage. Let aging problems sort themselves out when you have to face them. There might be a cure by then?
    I laugh to myself and dream of a grease busting washing up liquid to eat to disperse our fat cells which prevent hormones finding there correct paths. The fat cell sends them off in the wrong direction I feel.
     
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    #6 ickihun, May 21, 2016 at 11:56 AM
    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2016
  7. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    Well, I am sorry @Mep and @Finsky I have to disagree.

    I don't think either of your posts are helpful to a newbie PCOSer like @Mimi's

    My experience of PCOS is nothing like either of you describe. And I don't think your experiences are typical. Plus I think posting so negatively is not helpful when it is addressed to someone who is just diagnosed and who has openly asked for help in coping.

    As I explained above, there are lots of things we can do - primarily looking at diet, and an understanding of the process gives us a great advantage in dealing with it. Metformin is an excellent tool in the toolkit. :)
     
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  8. Mep

    Mep Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I was simply sharing my own experience, sorry if you think that is negative. That's the truth of my story and no sugar coating I'm afraid. You obviously have a different experience altogether. I think it is important for people to be able to share their own experience without the judgment. I wouldn't dare judge someone because they had a tough time. You have a different experience with things and that is great. At least the poster gets to see what everyone goes through. :)
     
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  9. Mep

    Mep Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    ps... unfortunately I can't tolerate metformin either. It did nothing for me but made me ill. Although given I know others can tolerate it and that's great... certainly give it a go. :)
     
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  10. Finsky

    Finsky Prefer not to say · Well-Known Member

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    Well...I'm sorry I cannot always provide post to your friendly standards.
    I've had enough of this forum...no more unhelpful post from me ...thank you for all the help and bye.
     
  11. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    @Mimi's

    I am sooooo sorry you have experienced some of the posts on this thread. This place is usually a kind, helpful and supportive place, where new and first time posters are helped.

    I hope you will stick around and get to know what the place is like at its best.
     
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  12. Mep

    Mep Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    @Brunneria - I hope you're not suggesting I wasn't helpful? Why is it that only positive experiences can be shared? I've never seen that written anywhere. My life isn't a walk in the park I'm afraid. I'm offended that you find my experience to be negative to be honest. I wouldn't dare judge someone or say that to anyone about their own experience... it's disrespectful. You seem to have totally taken my original reply the wrong way. I mentioned what is helping my PCOS. I talked about my own diet which is difficult. I can't eat a PCOS diet or whatever. Please consider things before jumping the gun with people.
     
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  13. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    Oh, I considered very carefully before I wrote,

    I considered that this is a newbie thread, by someone who is obviously struggling and who came here asking for help and advice. Someone who was looking for a way to cope with something which they are finding pretty much overwhelming. Which is what newbie threads are all about.

    And what happened? Two experienced posters, with multiple health problems, many of which are not related to PCOS at all, thought it was appropriate to lay all that on a newbie. Not very supportive or helpful.

    This forum has many threads where your posts would be encouraged and welcomed. In another thread I would not have spoken as I have, and I would be there, supporting you, just as I am here, supporting Mimi's.

    And on that note, my part of this discussion is over. Bad enough that this thread has gone this route. Even worse that it has now been derailed by continued discussion of it.
     
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  14. catherinecherub

    catherinecherub · Guest

    If you can offer support then please do so but if you want to make personal judgements about other people's posts then please use the PM facility.
    The OP must be wondering where the support is that this forum usually offers and disagreements within a newbie thread is not doing anyone any favours.
     
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  15. Mimi's

    Mimi's Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much for your prompt reply!
    Thanks a lot for your prompt reply, I have seen similar results with low carb diets....your post reinforces what I believe too. Just worried that all this counting of carbs can get complicated as I am a student living in a dorm and not having functioning kitchen After all proteins too have carbs so can't rely on them too much as my B12 is extremely high too!
     
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  16. Mimi's

    Mimi's Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, you are a very positive person and felt happy reading your post!
     
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  17. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    Don't worry about low carb being complicated. I mean, it CAN be. But it doesn't HAVE to be.
    This link explains it much better than i ever could (and there is no counting carbs unless you want to). :)
    http://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/60-seconds

    I can't really comment on the b12 though. Do they know why it is so high?
     
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  18. ickihun

    ickihun Type 2 · Master

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    I'm finding reducing my protein intake on relaxed lchf I'm losing weight very slowly, no matter how much insulin i take. I love fish/seafood and most meats more than veg but I've managed to push the veggies in. But under duress.
    Its a fine line between losing and gaining for me.
    I'm easily distracted which this week has been a huge distraction.... but that's life.
    In the past any distraction was enough of an excuse but not now. I struggle some days but nothing can distract me from taking measures to lose weight in a safe way for me. I'm on a mission, again.
     
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  19. ClaireH88

    ClaireH88 Type 2 · Member

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    Hi Mimi. I am also new to the forum, I signed up a long time ago but this is my first ever post. I, like yourself, have been diagnosed with PCOS and this led to me developing Type 2 Diabetes last year. My experiences have been varied since my diagnosis of the PCOS & T2, and I have struggled to lose weight. The strange thing is that it was actually losing weight on Slimming World that caused the symptoms of PCOS to show themselves! I wouldn't consider my diet to be bad, but I know that it could be better. I am relatively active like yourself, I do quite a bit of walking. I've found with both PCOS and T2 Diabetes, everyone seems to have different stories and different takes on things. For example, my best friend also has PCOS but the only symptom she has is no periods. My periods were erratic and I have quite a lot of cysts on my ovaries. T2 Diabetes runs in my family, and different diets works for different people. My Aunt swears by the Mediterranean Diet and keeps trying to persuade me to follow that and not to go on any medication. I think you just need to find what works for you. I tried Metformin and it didn't work for me, I have IBS and even the slow release type of Metformin just didn't agree with me. I am currently on Canagliflozin, which has helped me bring my HBA1C down quite a lot in a short space of time (I can't remember the exact numbers but it was a lot) Sorry this is a bit of a ramble reply to you, but I just wanted to say you are not alone. I'm of the view that if the doctors tackled my PCOS/cyst problems, things might get better, however my GP isn't willing to do anything about it. They just keep saying lose weight and don't offer any help in doing so. They do say if I lose weight it will make both my PCOS and T2 better. I even paid £100 to go private for a specialist to say to me my problems will not get better until I lose weight, but I won't be able to lose weight because of my problems. It will feel demoralising only losing half a pound or 1 pound a week, but slow and steady wins the race as they say. It may take a long time but with determination and support, and some dietary changes to suit YOU and what YOU need, you will get there :)
    At least that is what I have to tell myself every day!
     
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  20. Mimi's

    Mimi's Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Claire for your reply! Many of my friends with PCOS have the same story as you. What I have figured out of my research on this topic is that weight plays a major role in this scenario. Every time I lose weight, I get my periods and it stops when I put it all back. Maintaing weight loss is very tough while studying and trying to cook on your own! I am wary of trying out high fat no grain only protein diet as I feel any thing extreme cannot be good for the body. I am sure with the support in this forum, I will be able to stick to my diet plans and exercise!
     
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