Screaming (Louder) to be Heard


There is a book that we carry here at Green Mountain called “Screaming to be Heard: Hormonal Connections Women Suspect, and Doctors Still Ignore” by Elizabeth Vliet, MD.  The title pretty much says it all, and it’s for those women that have repeatedly heard “it’s all in your head” from their doctors.

One of those syndromes that are often not recognized is called “polycystic ovarian syndrome” with a couple of aka’s – PCOS, metabolic syndrome or Syndrome X, which is the name for the collection of symptoms that is caused by insulin resistance.

While I know personally the desire to have your doctor listen and help you, I’ve also come the realization that the help that they can provide can be limited, especially with lifestyle related issues. Let me explain.

Since a car accident a number of years ago, I’ve suffered with soft tissue pain and a bulging spinal disc that has hindered my ability to maintain the level of exercise I need to manage my diabetes and general health. I finally got a referral to a “back specialist” who had me bend over and touch my toes – which I could easily do, but as I did it I told him that he wouldn’t be around at midnight when I would be writhing on the floor in pain (classic bulging disc behavior, the pain comes much after the action). He told me that at “my age” (I was 36 at the time) I had to expect some “aches and pains.”

So I had to figure this thing out on my own, especially after I realized that this fellow couldn’t offer me any kind of solution that was acceptable to me anyway! I’ve limped along (pun intended) for several years now, having to “baby” my back, and never being able to get to the fitness level that I wanted. Part of “babying” was to go to the chiropractor whenever I had some aches and pains, and to cut back on any movement. As I’ve learned to listen more to my body, I realized that moving – even if there was some soreness – was more helpful to me than a chiropractic adjustment or therapeutic massage.

In the same way, when I got PCOS  diagnosis – after 25 years of problems – I kept wanting someone to listen and help…then I figured out that the best help would come from me. I found that small changes make a big difference in my quality of life – and there are studies that say I’m right.

From Green Mountain’s PCOS information page,
“According to many studies, women with polycystic ovarian syndrome can improve their insulin resistance just with moderate activity. Even if you exercise and don’t lose weight, you are still reaping very important health benefits. Exercise has been shown to improve use of insulin and can support dietary interventions to promote weight loss; it is important that the exercise program chosen is enjoyable.”

If you think you may have PCOS, take a look at this remarkable video that aired on the Discovery Channel about a woman’s quest to have her symptoms be taken seriously.

Mystery Diagnosis – PCOS – 1
Mystery Diagnosis – PCOS – 2
Mystery Diagnosis – PCOS – 3

2 responses to “Screaming (Louder) to be Heard”

  1. The website pcosfund collects charitable donations towards the ‘fund’. The fund pays for laser treatment for women with PCOS with the hopes of permanently getting rid of their facial hair, and restoring their dignity!

    If you know somebody with PCOS who can benefit from the laser treatment, please contact us

    Thank you for the honor!

  2. peter says:

    Hi everyone, if you’re taking Avandia to reduce insulin resistance, treat diabetes or restore a normal cycle, you may have a problem. Not only did the New England Journal of Medicine suggest that it increases your risk of heart problems, but an earlier study also showed that women who took Avandia were more likely to have bone fractures.

    Unfortunately, metformin, another insulin-sensitizing drug, has its own set of side effects. What to do?

    Dr. Nancy Dunne says improving the composition of your diet, getting more exercise and controlling chronic stress can go a long ways toward solving your insulin resistance problems. You can read her article for more details about Avandia and PCOS.

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