Operation K.N.O.C.K.E.D. U.P. Week One: Part 2

Polycsystic Ovarian Syndrome.

That is the fairly common hormonal disorder that is wreacking havoc on my body that co-pays, appointments, lab-work(LOTS OF LABWORK), pap-smears, pelvic ultrasounds and a wonderful ob/gyn has helped discover.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is called that due to the look of the ovaries that most women with the disorder have which is enlarged ovaries with small cysts along the outer edge of the ovary.

However, not every person who has PCOS has cysts on their ovaries. I do not have cysts on my ovaries.

I do however, have the other symptoms.

Prolonged menstrual cycles. Heavy with clots, painful, long (lasting up to three weeks for me) menstrual cycles. The joy with these (please tell me you can feel the sarcasm saturating that line) is that they are only a week apart. So not only do they last a long time but I do not get a 28 day break in between, I typically only get 5-7 days in between the cycles. They are so heavy that I have to use both a tampon and a pad and change them very often. The feminine hygeine product people are loving me because I know I have given them a bonus becuase of my dedication to their products.

Excess androgen. It is a male hormone. For women, it shows on our faces with hirsutism or excess hair growth. I have it on my chin as well as my sideburns area and I hate it. I just thought it was something to deal with and never really thought of it being related to a hormone problem. The problem with this is though, even if you get lasered, waxed, shaved whatever--it will continue to grow, until the hormone issue is corrected.

Acne. Yes, I hate it but as an adult I still get it.

And the thing that really bugs me about that is I do not want to wear make-up to allow my face to be as free to breathe as possible, but then with the hirsutism, it makes me want to wear make up to hide the stubble.

Having PCOS does not only make it hard to conceive, but also has other possible ramifications such as diabetes, high blood pressure, liver inflammation due to fat accumulation in the liver, abnormal uterine bleeding, cancer of the uterine bleeding, gestational diabetes when you do get pregnant.

Now the fact that I am obese also compounds these issues. Extremely.

So.

I do not have high blood pressure. But recently I had some blood work that showed that I had elevated LFT's (liver fucntion enzymes). I had to get more blood work to make sure, I had to get an ultrasound, and had to get more blood work.

And the only thing they could tell me is that they believe it is probably a fatty liver.

Look above, where it says fat accumulating in the liver.

I have never had this problem before. I also have never been called borderline diabetic.

However, my new gynecologist, pulled all my lab work from the past few years and noted that I should have been on Metformin to help control sugar levels as I am prediabetic. I was recently put on it a couple months ago from my primary care provider to help with ovulation.

I could not explain what I wanted to say so I stole this from eHow to explain why my primary provider had put me on Metformin:

Though metformin has more commonly been used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, recent studies have demonstrated that it can help induce ovulation in some women with polycystic ovary syndrome. This is largely due to the fact that many women with this particular condition are actually insulin resistant, leading to an increased level of this hormone in the bloodstream. When insulin levels rise, it can cause an overproduction of androgens, or male hormones, in the female's body. This heightened level of male hormones in you system can greatly impede ovulation. Metformin decreases the level of insulin in your bloodstream thus causing ovulation, which increases chances of conception

However, the level I was on was too low and my gynecologist needed to raise it due to my sugar levels as well, but we will get to the medication module later.

Do we need a break? I feel like I have thrown a lot of information out there.

Let's all take five minutes, get up stretch, move those legs, get distracted by Facebook or something shiny on the wall and then come back to reading this blog.

Come back now, you guys have had enough time away.

Okay.

Feel better?

Back to blogging then!

It is a scary thing to realize your body is not working the way it should. It is an eye-opening expierence and discomforting feeling to know that you are contributing to the problem as well.

But it is amazing feeling to know that it can possibly be corrected, with medication, hard work, weight loss, and dedication.

It is a thrilling moment, to have hope, excitement, and happiness.

It is overwhelming to feel the love from friends and family who are cheering you on during your journey. They want to see you succeed and accept you for your flaws, some self-created others not.

What are you going to do then Jenn to possibly get a baby in that belly?

Glad you asked readers!

Taking Metformin. She has increased the dosage and bumped me up to taking it twice a day. And it will help keep me steer me away from diabetes.

Birth control. I know, that seems kind of against what we are shooting for right? Well, wrong!

We need to get my hormones regulated, my cycle normal. With a low dose of birth control it can help decrease androgen production and give mybody a break from the effects of continuous estrogen. It will help correct abnormal and excessive bleeding and decrease my risk of endometrial cancer.

Also birth control helps to reduce excessive hair growth because it decreases androgen production.

I will approximately be on it for 3-4 months and probably longer in reality.

And really my gynecologist does not want me to get pregnant at the weight I am right now.

It would be unhealthy for myself and the baby.

Drop Weight.

So I have to drop at least 50 pounds her challenge and expectation of me. It is kind of my moment to show her I am serious. She did suggest the gastric bypass surgery. That is my second provider that has done so.

There is nothing wrong with the surgery and I understand that it important for me to get done to a certain weight but I really want that to be my last resort.

I have already lost 24 poundsthis year. Now I have to shoot for an additional 50.

I thought it sounded unreasonable until I realized that if I was to lose 2 pounds a week (a healthy goal) for a year--that would total up to 96 pounds. So for the whole year of 2014 if I shoot for 75-ish pounds I do not think that is expecting too much from myself.

If I cannot reach my goal by the end of January 2015 (hey I can have a grace period) then I am going to seriously consider gastric bypass and sit down with a surgeon and go over my options.

Gluten Free Diet. Low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets may increase insulin levels. Increasing insulin levels causes increasing androgen levels and makes my hormones outta whack.

So. She has suggested Gluten Free diet. I was kind of leary. I thought it would be pretty expensive and recipes I would not like. But really, I have not had any issue with my diet so far. I kicked out my breads, my wheat and my ryes. I have gotten the gluten free pastas which do taste a little different. I have reduced my intake of snack foods drastically. I have increased my veggie and fruit intake.

There hasn't been a huge change to contend with just little things. And if it helps me on the road to baby, I'll try it friends.

So this is the beginning of my journey of Operation: K.N.O.C.K.E.D. U.P.

Any support from you would be more than appreciated, any stories you feel like sharing I would love to hear-and will not share if you do not want me to, and if you are just interested in seeing if I can do it, that is fine more than welcome.


Know what I am dealing with. Know my possibilities. Refuse to give up. I have a lot of issues going on right now that need to be resolved before I can get pregnant.
Know my options if all the above does not work out. Have my back up plan set-which I do but I hopefully will not have to fall-back to it.

Nuture my soul. Relax. Choose to be calm. Stress does no good to any situation.

O vulate. I kind of need my body to get with the program and do that so I can have a baby…

Commitment. Stay committed to myself. Do not give up when things get tough or seem like it is not going in my favor.

Kick negativity out. No more excuses, no more procrastination, no more listening to why I cannot do something. Remember that every long journey starts with one foot in front of the other.

Eat better. Exercise more. Earn the health I want instead of envying it in others. Sometimes health is bad genetically, and other times, you can improve your situation immensely. I am in the second category.

Deal with this one day at a time. Understand there are tons of other people going through life-shattering diagnoses, and this is something that can hopefully be corrected. Know Rome was not built in a day and changing my lifestyle, eating habits, exercise and regulating my hormones will not happen in a week.

Understand that I will fail. Probably a lot. But its not the failing that matters. It is the perseverance, the dedication, the continuation of choosing to try again that matters.

P regnant. Getting pregnant is the ultimate goal, but in the meantime I need to work on my health before I can bring another life into this world.

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