PCOS: The Beast That Is…

flower, pcos

Have you ever heard of PCOS? Its full name is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and the best estimate is that one in five women in the UK may have it. Being the lucky lass that I am, I’m one of those women. 

Despite PCOS being more common than you might think it is not as well known or as understood as you might think. I’ve had to explain what it is to a number of healthcare providers in the past for example. This is something I live with every day and while sometimes it’s just something that ticks along in the background, sometimes it can be a pain in the backside. There is some great information on PCOS on the NHS website.

My PCOS 

PCOS affects different women differently. My particularly fun afflictions include excess weight that is incredibly difficult to shift (even though most of the time I eat like a blumming rabbit), fertility issues (more on this below), raging hormones (no, I’m not just a cowbag), oily skin and insulin issues. I’m type two diabetic and have to work very hard to control it. I’m not saying that PCOS made me diabetic, but it won’t have helped. Many women with polycystic ovary syndrome find that they are what is called insulin resistant.

Where Does it Come From

No-one really knows where PCOS comes from and why some have it and others don’t. Some women with PCOS struggle constantly with weight gain, some don’t. Some may have thinning hair, some don’t. There’s no rhyme or reason to it. Some experts think that there may be a family link, however, this is far from having been proven.  Right now, it simply seems to be the luck of the draw.

Managing PCOS

From a healthcare point of view, (from our experience and many others) the main medical support you get for PCOS tends to only happen when you are having fertility issues. We were told at one point that it would be very unlikely that Roy and I would be able to have children without artificial help such as IVF. I don’t ovulate regularly. At one point I was releasing the odd egg here and there about every six months or so, and regular periods have never been something I’ve had. Sheer bloodymindedness and an ounce or three of luck gave us two sons after years of trying. The fertility team we were under were great but their hands were tied at the time by the postcode lottery that exists around IVF. Thankfully we eventually conceived successfully without that level of help.

There are numerous other ways to manage PCOS, natural supplements work for many, such as those from Nature’s Best, a healthy diet, exercise and checking in with your GP every now and then to keep an eye on blood glucose levels if this is a thing for you.  There are some fabulous online support group set-ups too. Verity is well worth looking up for those looking for better understanding and peer to peer support.

Moving Forward

Above all,  I would like to see more work go into PCOS understanding and general awareness, for women and for healthcare providers. One woman’s experience of PCOS may be very different to another’s. From hormone issues to physical issues, it really can feel like the luck of the draw. If you feel some of these symptoms match up with what you are experiencing, speak to your GP for further advice.

 

This post was sponsored by Nature’s Best to raise awareness of PCOS.

 

Loneliness

loneliness

Today is World Mental Health Day and I want to talk about loneliness. New research has shown that loneliness is no longer just a problem that only impacts older people, it can also impact younger people too. What this new research highlights is the fact that a large percentage of adults are reporting feeling loneliness for one reason or another, which is a rather sad concept – no one should feel lonely. Loneliness is something that many experience every day.

I’m not going to lie, loneliness can be difficult to deal with and can have a huge impact on your mental health and happiness, which is why it’s essential that if you are struggling with loneliness that you take steps to change that.

The fact is that while it’s not always easy to improve the social life that you have and step out of leading a lonely life, it is possible to do so. Are you wondering what it takes to lead a more sociable life and stop feeling lonely? Have a read of the tips below and implement them in terms of how you lead your life.

Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone

One of the number one reasons that people suffer from loneliness is because they struggle to step outside of their comfort zone. If you are the kind of person who struggles with anxiety, stepping outside of your comfort zone might not be as easy as you would think. It’s hard to be brave but worth the effort. You need to find the courage to take that leap of faith, a great way to do that is to set an incentive for yourself if you manage to do something that you wouldn’t normally do. You might find that despite wanting to that you just can’t, and in that case, it could be time to ask for

Set Aside Time for Socialising

With the hectic work schedules that many of us have, it’s not always easy to make time for seeing friends or making new friends. However, unless you want to be lonely, it’s essential that you set aside time each week for seeing your friends or for making new ones. Take a look at your weekly schedule and determine when and where you can fit time in to socialise. By making time for this you can ensure that you actually have time to see your friends. It’s all about prioritising your self-care.

Try Something New

Sometimes, it can feel impossible to make new friends. Meeting new people is easy when you’re younger; when you’re mixing with lots of people at school or university, but as you get older it can become extremely difficult to meet new people. One of the best ways to meet someone new is by trying out new things.

The first step to take when it comes to finding something new to do is to Google activities in your local area. You will be amazed at the wide range of options that are available for you to try, from tango classes to sign language classes. You will also find that there are various socials arranged, such as walks, *pub crawls, and sports match watching events that anyone can attend. It’s not always easy making new friends, but trying out new things can make the process far easier, particularly if you attend a wide number of different local activities and events.

Not sure what to try out? Think about what you enjoy doing and look for local events and activities that might fit your interests. For instance, say you enjoy playing sports, perhaps you could find a local sports club to join, or if you’re someone who loves to cook, perhaps you could opt to join a local cooking class.

Loneliness is a serious problem and can have a serious impact on your general health and happiness, which is why it’s so important that you find a way to combat loneliness and improve your social life in a positive way. Hopefully, the tips and ideas above will help you to do that, so that you can prevent lonliness and associated problems from occuring in your life.

If you are struggling with any physical or mental health issues please see your GP who will be able to offer tailored support to meet your individual needs and also signpost you to other sources of help.

*Always drink responsibly.

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