#pcos, Mental Health, Self Love

How Kicking Coffee Out Of My Diet Improved My Acne | PCOS

I struggled with acne a lot when I hit puberty. It was truly horrible. Wait let me see if I can find a picture. I had this particular picture in mind and finding it meant deep diving on my old external hard drive. It was bad. Really bad. I’ve seen things.

Here is a picture of my mom and I when I was about twelve or thirteen. As you can see my entire face is covered with acne. I felt so self conscious about it, we went to the doctor and I was placed on the pill which I stayed on all the way till I turned nineteen. It helped with my acne a lot. I was in no way perfectly clean skin but outside an occasional acne pop up here and there my worries was behind me. Of course I scratched at my acne like crazy and now have scars on my chin that really comes out when I’m getting hot. They’re a nightmare in the summer. Is this even making sense? Anyway my point is I’ve had my fair share of acne problems that didn’t go away even when I was on the pill. Wait before I continue here is the picture.

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When I came abroad as au pair I had to go onto a new pill and  my body just didn’t respond well to the pill at all. My periods were all over the show and really bad. My acne was flaring up like crazy and after about three months I decided to stop taking the pill all together. At this point my logic was well like I’m single and my hormones should be all together now that I’m older so let’s see how it goes without the pill. The acne was a bit better without the new pill and my periods took two months to return to normal but otherwise it felt like the best choice. I was regularly washing my face and never slept with my make up on (I only started to wear make up around this time anyway). The acne wasn’t as bad. I could handle it. Anyway I met my now husband and went back onto the pill for two months before I just couldn’t take it anymore. My body responded horribly to this pill (why I didn’t go to the doctor and asked for a different kind is beyond me). There is a point to this. You need to know my back story with acne. Also I’m too far in to go back now. To get to the point though, I always had acne on my face but once I went off the pill I had a little more here and there. It was controllable and I didn’t mind it too much. Flash forward to a few months and suddenly my acne was just ten times worse. I was basically two pimples away from my thirteen year old self but throw in back acne in the mix. I was still in South Africa at the time without a medical aid so I figured I can wait till I’m in the Netherlands.

Once I got here and returned to my healthier lifestyle, some of the acne approved but not all of it. When I started to gain weight like crazy out of the blue, my acne flared up again. This time it was horrible. I felt so self conscious and dirty about it and I tried everything. I started using face masks once a week (which made a difference) and a face scrub and cleanser everyday but the back acne, boy that girl was here to stay. No amount of greens and products changed that.

After I was diagnosed with PCOS, I did a lot of research. Some of my research showed that coffee (or well caffeine in general) is horrible for our hormones and can make our acne worse. At this point I was desperate to feel more like myself and just feel attractive again in any shape or form I can, so I kicked all coffee out of my diet. I immediately saw a response. My back acne completely disappeared and my face cleared up. Now I do have to add that around a month after I stopped drinking coffee, I started drinking supplements for my PCOS which also cleared up the last bit of lingering pimples. I now only get pimples when I’m on my period or when I eat too much junk food.

For those who would be interested in why coffee is so bad for those with PCOS here is a section from the main PCOS book I follow, Natural Solutions to PCOS by Marilyn Glenville (—https://www.marilynglenville.com/books/natural-solutions-to-pcos-book/ — ).

*If you have, by now, made the switch to unrefined carbohydrates, you will already be working hard to keep your blood-sugar levels on an even keel. It is the energy dips and troughs and long gaps between meals that trigger the adrenal glands into action, encouraging them to pimp out the stress hormones that are so harmful to sufferers of PCOS. But if you are serious about getting to the bottom of your PCOS symptoms, you really need to try to keep those adrenal glands as happy as possible. The key to adrenal health is to cut right back on caffeine. Anything containing caffeine acts as a stimulant that will make your body release more of the stress hormones and cause blood-sugar-levels to fluctuate. We know that women with PCOS have increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol, so it is vital to help reduce these in order to reduce insulin levels. Like alcohol, caffeine also acts as a diuretic, so if you drink a lot, you risk losing valuable nutrients like zinc (which is crucial for hormone balance) through your urine.*

I do need to add that in the same breath that I’ve seen other websites on PCOS disagreeing with the no coffee statement of Dr. Marilyn but if you have PCOS and your struggling with acne, I recommended just trying it for a month. I tried it, saw I benefited from not drinking coffee and now I only drink coffee every now and again. There is a lot of options out there for those addicted to coffee so not all is lost. I hope this helps. I will share the face products I use another time.

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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#pcos, Self Love, Story Time

I Have PCOS

This is probably one of the hardest blog posts I’m ever going to write. It’s something so very close to my heart and talking about it makes me feel vulnerable. This entire experience rocked my entire world and I’ve been an emotional wreck. The timing wasn’t the best either as I just found out my grandmother’s cancer is back and this time around there is just nothing they can do for her. It broke my heart especially when it dawned on me that I won’t ever see her again. I can’t go down to South Africa to say my goodbyes.

So how do I start? I’m trying my utmost best not to cry here but the tears are definitely going to roll pretty soon. This is an emotional subject to write. Somewhere, wait let me get the date and post, 8th of February, I publicly mentioned that I was diagnosed a hormone syndrome that was the culprit behind my weight gain, mood swings and acne. By that point I was sitting on the news for quite awhile. Wrapping my head around it wasn’t completely easy. When I started to learn more about it, well let’s just say I cried a lot. It’s been difficult.

I guess I should just say it. I have PCOS. Yeah. I said it. Some of you might be wondering what the hell is PCOS and why are you making such a big deal out of it? Fret not I have four books (I haven’t finished reading them all) that I cried while reading and they taught me quite a bit about the syndrome.

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Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal imbalance that affects an estimated 5 to 10 per cent of women of reproductive age across the world, and results in irregular or absent periods, acne, excess body hair and weight gain. It can also cause problems with fertility.*

PCOS can cause depression and anxiety. There is drugs to help with the symptoms and to improve fertility but there is natural solutions. Drugs comes with side effects and will stop working once I stop taking it. I don’t want to take drugs for the rest of my life so I’m very eager to solve or ‘cure’ my PCOS with my diet. The book I’m following is by Marilyn Glenville. Here is the link to her website and book. (I really wanted to follow my doctors recommendations first before I go off and do my own thing. He decided to put me on drugs but I’m still going to change my diet as Marilyn Glenville recommended in the book, Natural Solutions To PCOS, for the best possible result.)

https://www.marilynglenville.com/

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https://www.marilynglenville.com/books/natural-solutions-to-pcos-book/

I bought the book and three others on Amazon. I really enjoy Marilyn’s book. I watched her lecture and just really fell in love with her approach and overall success rate.

But let’s get back to my feelings. I’m surprised how detached I’m writing this but I can already feel the tears coming as I think of what I want to say next. PCOS scares me because I want children one day. What scared me the most is the infertility that comes with it. I read and seen so many women in support groups that has been struggling for years. YEARS. This one women has been trying for ten years. Not only do you struggle to get pregnant you have a very high risk for miscarriages. That terrifies me so much. I’m scared. I really am. I’ve wanted to be a mom ever since I could remember. I’m entering a stage in my life where becoming a mother is in the future. The diagnoses shook my entire world. So many thoughts raced through my mind and to be honest when I think about it too much I can’t stop crying. It’s just..what if? No let’s stop right there. I can’t put it in words. I just can’t.

PCOS has affected me emotionally, heck that is an understatement, but physically it has wrecked havoc on my body. My hormones are completely out of whack. I gained 15kg almost overnight. My acne is horrid. My mood swings borderline on she’s crazy and my self esteem is shot. I have excess body hair and the sudden weight gain has given me quite a bit of stretch marks. I don’t feel attractive. I’m scared that I’m failing as a women. Not only do I no longer feel attractive there is a possibility that we will really struggle to have our family. It’s heart wrenching. Okay I’m crying again. Can barely see my screen. I’m going to take a break.

My entire body aches. My energy is low. My acne and stretch marks is a daily reminder. I’m tired all the damn time and I’m constantly nauseous. I’m struggling with depression and I’m scared. I have days where I have no appetite and eating makes me want to throw up and then I have days that I just can’t stop eating. PCOS is completely out of my control and it will never go away. When I was diagnosed with celiac disease I kind of took it with stride. It was difficult as it was something so out of control and something that will always be there but…I don’t know. It seemed like well cut out gluten and make some sacrifices but overall it’s still good. PCOS on the other hand…it affected me on every single level and I will have to make a massive lifestyle change. My diet is going to have to change and hopefully that won’t spark up my old eating disorder…I’m scared and this is really hard.

I’m writing this four days before my first big appointment for my PCOS. We made the appointment soon after I was diagnosed but the waiting period was eight weeks. In these last eight weeks I’ve made a few changes but not a lot as I want the test results to be more telling if that make sense. I will explain in a bit. I’ve tried to keep up with my training more but at the same time I read so much about how this and that might not be good for PCOS so really I want more guidance. I’ve cut out almost all caffeine. In these last eight weeks I’ve had four cup of coffee. I’ve been drinking a lot of green tea and I’ve cut down almost all refined carbohydrates in my diet. I’m on a very low sugar diet. I check every single label for the sugar content and find the best product for me. But emotionally. I’ve been barely keeping it together. I cry at least four times a week about PCOS. I can’t open the PCOS book without crying my eyes out. I sometimes don’t really feel like doing anything and it’s just been so hard.

On Thursday the 29 of March I’m hopefully going to walk out with some future plans and more information. I’m not sure of the entire process as I yet have to experience this, I will add on to this blog after I’ve been, but I’m hopeful. Or I’m trying to be. My best guess is that they’re going to run some tests, see how my insulin resistance is (diabetes is at risk here) and over all what I should do, eat and etc to control my symptoms and balance out my hormones. Hopefully this will make me lose weight because barely any of my clothes fit me at the moment and fitting in my old clothes will really help my self esteem right about now. (PS, the appointment was a massive success. I walked out feeling hopeful for the future and a little less scared. The doctor gave me a future treatment plan. He ran some tests and in a week I will find out the results and then change my diet and drink the correct supplements from there. For now I’m just going to read all of my PCOS books and learn even more.)

I’m not sure what exactly I want to accomplish with this post. I’m not okay and PCOS is going to be a struggle but I guess I just want to say to my fellow cysters…you’re not alone and together we can support each other through this. And I also want to explain why I’ve been so absent and less like myself…I will definitely talk about what’s happening with my PCOS and what changes I’m going to make and etc. What products or stuff works for me and all that jazz. But for now I’m going to end this blog because honestly my emotions are just too much for me right now. As I’m writing this part still four days before my doctor appointment I’m really scared and overwhelmed so I’m just going to take the week off Instagram and Facebook. I don’t need social media to add to everything right now. It’s also my mental health week for the month so it’s needed.

Edit from future Cassy that already saw the doctor. I’m still scared for the future and I know I’m going to go through a lot of changes because of the PCOS but I’m feeling slightly more positive. It did help that when the gynecologist scanned my ovaries he saw that I ovulated recently. It just made me feel better about becoming a mother in the future…I’m not a complete failure. My body ovulated naturally. While I’m here I should explain something to those who doesn’t know what PCOS is, so basically I don’t ovulate normally. Where a healthy woman ovulates every month a women with PCOS will ovulated maybe 6 times in a year. Some even less. Some don’t even ovulate at all. There is drugs to induce an ovulation if you want to get pregnant. Not all of them work for every woman out there with PCOS and that’s when some woman struggle for years. That’s what scared me so much but walking away with the news that hey you have an egg in the basket just made me feel more hopeful about everything. I know that without those news I would be feeling a lot different right about now.

Edit from future, future Cassy that just got her test results back. Everything is GOOD! I don’t have other problems related to my PCOS. Feeling very happy right now!

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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