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.

 

How to Feel Younger

feel younger

My Dad has a saying: You have to grow old, you don’t have to grow up. A wise man, my Father! There are times though when you feel the clock is moving just a little bit too fast and wanting to reclaim some of your lost youthfulness is not a bad thing. 

Sometimes, we’re all guilty of feeling a little tired and sluggish, or wishing we could catch up on all those missed hours of sleep, but our busy lives mean that we’ve got more chance of winning the lottery, right? It seems that just a few years ago, we could go out all night and be bright and breezy for work for 9am, no problem! Now, I struggle to make it past 9pm some evenings.

Feeling tired and looking a little worse for wear is perfectly normal. The idea of looking a million dollars every single day is just exhausting and not achievable. But, if you’re worried that your tiredness is beginning to show, and you’re wondering how you can look and feel a little younger – and by that we mean have more energy – then you’ve come to the right place. Read on for some handy tips of how to look and feel younger.

Get More Moisture

You might have the best eye cream on the market, that’s full of vitamins and hydrating properties however you sometimes need to go back to basics. You need to get more moisture into your skin to keep it looking smooth, hydrated and healthy. It’s the only way to get that gorgeously natural glow we’re all so desperate to achieve. Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated is key and a decadent moisturiser that’s applied day and night will certainly help. Just make sure you exfoliate so it has a chance to soak into your skin and work its magic. This is something I’m terrible at, staying hydrated.

Increase Your Exercise to Feel Younger

Sorry to break it to you but exercise really will make you look and feel younger. Why? Because exercise gets the blood pumping and the oxygen flowing which make your skin look smoother and more radiant. Exercise also improves your posture making you look younger and more confident and because exercise helps to reduce stress, it might mean fewer grey hairs. When you maintain your muscles and a healthy body weight, it means that your skin won’t start to sag, and your body fat will be in check which will, of course, give you a confidence boost too.

Have More Sex

I’m not blushing. You’re blushing! Seriously though, research has indicated that having sex 2-3 times a week will keep you looking and feeling younger, it naturally releases growth hormones and endorphins – it’s great for boosting your confidence and your relationship as well. So, get your partner involved!

 

Get Whiter Teeth

Teeth become yellow and discoloured as we age, so keeping those pearly whites, pearly white is a sure fire way to keep yourself looking younger. The first step? Get yourself to your dentist and get a good clean and polish. Keeping on top of your dental hygiene and looking after your teeth is the most basic step toward a whiter smile. If you’re still unhappy, then look at getting your teeth whitened professionally. Always have this done at a dental practice though that way you know it’s safe and you’ll get the results you want. We’re lucky that our local dental surgery is able to fit us in as in some areas finding a place with a dentist isn’t as easy as it may sound.

In Summary

If you want to feel younger you need to look after yourself from both within and without. Yes, you can feel younger with whiter teeth and maybe dyed hair, however, laughter, fun and enjoyment are key elements to the stay young recipe too.

 

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