“Just lose weight”
“Just stop eating carbs”
These are the first words of advice that most newly diagnosed PCOS sufferers hear. And most of them will try it. And most of them won’t be able to sustain it for long. And most of them will blame themselves.
This reason alone may explain why those with a PCOS diagnosis are also more likely to have unrecognized disordered eating behaviours or worse, a full blown eating disorder, than those without a PCOS diagnosis.
Birth control is another common first line therapy for PCOS. I don’t have any objection to birth control, especially if you’re trying to prevent pregnancy. But what if you do want to become pregnant? Or the contraceptives give you life interfering side effects?
I don’t mean to bum you out here. In fact, I hope to have the opposite effect. It’s just that most women who come to me with PCOS feel so defeated because they’ve done the low-carb/no-carb diet cycle so many times that they just can’t face it again but they also just can’t tolerate their symptoms anymore.
Or it’s a mother coming in saying that they think their daughter has PCOS and they’re terrified that they’ll end up on the same cycle but they have no idea what to do.
That hope that I was mentioning? PCOS can be treated without giving up carbs or going on another diet.
Step 1: History and Testing
Firstly, we need to see all of what’s going on. PCOS is a condition that comes with all kinds of potential challenges. We need to know what’s happening for YOU. We need to screen you for other conditions that tend to show up alongside PCOS like Binge Eating, Anxiety, Depression, Insulin Resistance, Vitamin D insufficiency and Inflammation.
Only once we have YOUR PCOS picture can we customize the PCOS Process to YOU.
Step 2: Nutritional Therapy
You didn’t think that nutrition would be left out just because I said no dieting did you? There are many ways to experiment with different ways of eating to help address your PCOS. We only do this if it’s safe to do so. In my experience those fresh out of diet culture can turn any nutritional recommendations into a new diet. We’ll take a look at your current relationship with food first and then proceed with caution. Intuitive Eating support may be just the nutritional therapy that you need.
Step 3: Supplement Therapy
Supplements are used to adjust the biochemistry of your PCOS and lessen symptoms over the long term. Which supplements and in what does will depend on what we discovered in Step 1. Don’t worry – you won’t have to swallow buckets of pills each day. I’ve never practiced like that. Typically it takes a 3-6 months to see any significant changes on your labs so we’ll keep working on other therapies in the meantime.
Step 4: Movement Therapy
We know that exercise is good for us right? But most people who’ve been living in diet land for years only know exercise to be punishing – either earning their treat or burning it off. Not to mention, some of the biochemistry of PCOS makes exercise painful and exhausting. So, we’re going to talk about movement. In the same way that we’re working on healing your relationship with food, so too will we be healing your relationship with your body and movement.
Step 5: Stress Reduction Therapy
This step is one that we all like to skip over isn’t it? I can hear you “Kerri, we all have stress, I just deal with it”. Yes AND we need to assess your sleep (HUGE influence on hormones, appetite and cravings), rest (your body is sick and needs to be cared for), and mindset (having PCOS puts more stress on you than you’re even aware of). Don’t worry, I’m all about small changes made over the long-term. I promise that I won’t turn your life upside it’s head.
If you’re ready to try a anti-diet approach to PCOS, or if you think that you may have PCOS and don’t want to start down the diet cycle, then I invite you to book a Connection Call. We can chat, free of charge. If we discover that I’m not the right fit for you, that’s cool. I’m sure that I can point you in the direction that is a good fit for you.
Until next time,