Weight Loss, Insulin Resistance and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

This is my story about gaining 60 pounds, being diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), developing insulin resistance and celebrating my weight loss four years later.

About four years ago I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which is the growth of small cysts in the ovaries. Because of these growths, my hormone levels were amuck with higher than normal levels of androgens (male hormones). This caused a number of unpleasant effects on my monthly cycle, my mood and how my body burned calories.

Prior to diagnosis I gained 60 pounds in one year without changing my diet. I had never been slim, but certainly not fat either. I ate well, for the most part. But because of PCOS my body began to store fat, particularly around my mid section. My unusual and rapid weight gain, combined with other health troubles prompted me to visit my doctor, who quickly diagnosed me with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

My doctor prescribed medication for treating the PCOS and my hormonal levels began to go back to normal, however my weight stayed high and I couldn’t lose. I would exercise and eat very little and my weight would just stay the same. I was very frustrated.

I went back to my doctor who ran a myriad of tests. As it turns out, due to my weight gain because of polycystic ovarian syndrome my insulin levels were always high and as a result I had developed Insulin Resistance.

Insulin resistance is a common condition, particularly in overweight and obese people. No matter how much you exercise or how little you eat you will not lose weight. In fact, someone with insulin resistance may have a lot of body fat, but be starving. Read this for more info about Insulin Resistance.

Once I was placed on medication for both PCOS and insulin resistance I finally started to lose weight. It took three years for me to lose the initial 60 to 70 pounds that I gained because of PCOS just with a healthy diet and low to moderate exercise.

Over the last year I have continued to work towards a healthy body weight. The good news is that my insulin levels are almost back to normal. Yes, you can reverse insulin resistance by losing weight ! I have been given the green light from my doctor to stop taking the medication for insulin resistance. I finally feel like I am taking control of my life again.

I think the most important lessons from my experience are these:

  • If you experience a large and sudden amount of weight gain for no apparent reason go to your doctor. This can represent any number of health conditions.
  • Trust your body. If you feel your doctor has missed something go back and ask to have more tests done.
  • Insulin resistance is very common in overweight and obese people and can seriously interfere with weight loss efforts. If you are doing all the right things for weight loss and just can’t lose, visit your doctor and insist they check you for insulin resistance.

I hope that my story will help any others who are coping with polycystic ovarian syndrome or insulin resistance.

6 comments to Weight Loss, Insulin Resistance and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

  • RB

    Hi … thanks for the sharing. I have a question for you: what medication were you given to treat insulin resistance? Because you say that you need to lose weight to control it, but at the same time if you are insulin resistant then it’s impossible to lose weight?

  • Beatrice Tijerina

    I was told by my doctor that the insulin resistance came first, it causes the PCOS. I was put on Metformin HCL – the weight came off and I was fertile again!

  • Dellary

    Thanks for posting your story, but it sounds like you’ve got the causality wrong. Insulin resistance causes both weight gain and PCOS. The ovaries are highly sensitive to insulin, which causes your body to produce more male hormones than usual (hence hairy face, male pattern baldness, infertility). When muscles are insulin resistant, then they don’t receive the glucose they need because insulin is the vehicle that “shuttles” glucose into muscles cells. Fat cells are usually less insulin resistant, so that’s why you end up getting fat. When you cure the insulin resistance, you cure infertility AND obesity.

  • michelle gray

    Hi, ive just read your story and it sounds a bit like me. Im really fed up feeling the way i feel all the time tired, bad temper,down in the dumps,bloated and so over wait i dont want to go out. I am fed up going to the docs and them not listening i feel like im going nuts. I have my mid yr check up soon and im going in with my questions writen down, i feel i have no support from my health service and have decided to go private. when i wake up in the morning i have to be careful when i stretch as i feel my ovaries are about to burst and it hurts. Even when i cough or sneeze it hurts, could this be telling me i have a problem? How do you get the help you need? HELP.

  • Antionette

    I have read all the comments. I have PCOS and insulin resistance. I was given metformin and glucophase for treating the inculin resistance but both have maid me so sick that i have stop taking them. Both ways taking or not taking them make me feel sick and i do not know what to do anymore. Anybody have any advice. We would like to get pregnant in the near future have been trying for 5 years already.

  • karen

    try juicing your fruits especially berries blueberry blackberry strawberry raspberry. Y ou can put these fruits already packaged in the supermarket in the frozen section put it in your blender and add a half cup of water drink it right away. you will notice weight coming off within weeks.Do this first thing in the morning before your breakfast and have a glass of water after it. Be creative with your fruits and berries and you will notice a difference in how you look and feel because berries and fruit are full of antioxidants and they help to speed up a slow metabolism it worked for me. good Luck

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