Wow! I've been reading this thread, as well as many others in this forum, and its pretty overwhelming. Sometimes I feel so disgusted with drs!
When I was 8 years old I had a lot of stomach aches and nausea and vomiting and my grandmother took me to our family dr who did a blood test, which came back fine. A month later when the symptoms persisted my grandmother took me back to the dr. He told her I was fine, and just didnt want to go to school. The solution, send me to school no matter what. Well, the vomiting and nausea and stomach aches went on for almost 2 years. One night, at about 3am I awoke from a dead sleep with such intense pain I couldnt do anything but double up and cry. My mother called emerg and they sent a dr over (this was the 60s). I remember him arriving and examining me but I dont remember him leaving or me going to the hospital. I was hospitalized, tests were done, they couldnt figure out what was going on, decided to do exploratory surgery, and turns out that I had 9 large gall stones (so they removed my gall bladder), and my appendix was enflamed so of course they removed that too. Would you believe that my family continued going to the same family dr after that?
When I was 12, and had my first period, my mother said I should see a dr for a checkup. I hadnt been to a dr since I was 10 and had the surgery. I refused to go, I begged, I cried, I pleaded. Finally she agreed to find me another dr, a female dr. That was when I began to see Dr Patry. She was my dr for 21 years. And she was a great dr.
When I was 16 I had a problem with recurring yeast infections that didnt seem to respond to the usual medications and she figured out an alternative for me that worked. She also tried to get me to change my diet but hey, I was 16.
When I was 17 I got pregnant. I contemplated having an abortion, or giving the baby up for adoption. My dr told me to think long and hard about my options and told me that she believed that I had "dysfunctional ovaries" and I should include this fact in my decision making. I decided to keep my baby, and I will never regret that I did.
When I was 24 and had been trying to conceive another child, she sat me down and told me that we would try everything we could, but I may have to face the reality that I did have "dysfunctional ovaries" and having more children just may not be in the cards for me. I was very angry, and very sad, and cried and told her how angry I was. She told me that she wished there was something she knew of to be done but that short of an "ovary transplant" which just wasnt done, there wasnt. She said we could try a few courses of fertility drugs and see if that would help, but no promises. So, for three months I used clomid, with no success.
A few years later, she called me at home (from her home) on a weekend and told me that she had just read something about some new research on "dysfunctional ovaries" and would like to refer me to a Reproductive Endocrinologist if I was interested. I lived in Victoria, BC, and the RE was in Burnaby, but I didnt mind making the trip.
I saw Dr. Jerrilynn Prior, and she was great. She told me that she believed that I had something known as PCO "polycystic ovaries" and she would like to try some experimental stuff with me. First, she had me take my temp (armpit) every morn and chart that and my cycles (which of course were very irregular). She put me on a drug called Spiranolactone, and another drug called Provera. She also had me cut grains from my diet (except rice). She told me that she believed that there was a sensitivity/intolerance to grains for many women with PCO. Within three months I was having regular periods, which seemed like a miracle to me. Then, she put me on a series of fertility drugs for three months, with no success. She told me not to be discouraged, we would take a 6 month break and then try again. So, I continued on the S and the P and the grain free diet. By this time I had started gaining weight. I had always been thin (although with very round hips and very large breasts I always thought I was fat). But now it seemed that with each year I put on exactly 15 pounds, no matter what I did (I was also totally into fitness and an aerobics instructor). She tested my thyroid and told me that I had developed Hashimotos thyroiditis. So, she put me on Synthroid.
When I was 32 we moved to another province because of my husbands job. I had not managed another child, and I had continued to gain exactly 15 pounds every year. When I was close to running out of my meds I decided it was time to see a new dr. We live in a small town and there are only 4 drs to choose from. I chose the female dr. I told her that I had PCO and of my history, and what medications I took, and she refilled them. When it came time for my annual physical the following year I told her that I was feeling very depressed and fatigued and that I felt like a beached whale. I was by now obese at 5'1" and 200lbs.
She referred me to her husband who was a dietician and had his own practice in conjunction with a fitness trainer. They had me keep a food journal and bring it in once a week. After the first few weeks journaling had been reviewed they told me that I would never be able to lose weight if I didnt stop lying to everyone and myself about what I was actually eating. They told me that if I only ate an average of 1100 calories per day (which is what my recorded food worked out to) I would not be obese, and therefore I must be eating a lot more and failing to record it. I went home in tears. They didnt believe me about what I ate, and I wasnt lieing. I quit going to them. And, because this was my drs husband I didnt want to go back to her either.
I just kept having my new prescriptions phoned in through my pharmacy. When two years had gone by the pharmacy said that my dr wouldnt renew my prescriptions over the phone and I would have to see her. So, I did, and she didnt mention anything about her husband or any of it. She did tell me that she would not renew my Synthroid since my levels seemed to be normal now on a very low dose.
When I went to see her a year later I had gained an additional 23 pounds. Then she told me that she would not renew my Spiranalactone meds as new research led her to believe that it wasnt good for me. I stopped having regular periods, I gained more weight, I lost a lot of hair, I started to develop hirsutism, and I felt like a mess.
A friend told me of a gp who was also a wholisitic dr and so I waited on a 6 month list to get into see him. He had me charting my cycles and morning temp again, and put me back on thyroid meds (dessicated thyroid). He had me go off the provera, and had me begin taking a number of vitamins and supplements. He had me eliminate caffeine and white flour from my diet (which I had by this time gone back to). I started losing weight and feeling quite a bit better, but I quit having periods. I didnt have one for a full year. Then I began having very heavy periods that would go on and on until I would have to have a D&C.
My gyne wanted to perform a hysterectomy. My gp sent me to another gyne.
The new gyne put me on birth control pills. I started to gain weight again and felt horrible again, although I was once again having regular periods. Then I started having excruciating pain. Turned out that my uterus was enlarged to 4xs its size and my ovaries were also enflamed. My gyne wanted to remove my ovaries. My gp asked me if I was willing to try some alternative treatments instead. He really didnt believe that removing my uterus or my ovaries was going to solve my problems.
That was February of this year. I have since gone off the bcp, and am on natural progesterone cream, as well as b12 shots and many other vitamins and supplements. He also had me cut all sugar from my diet. I also started doing research of my own on the internet. I found the Soul Cysters website where I learned about many women with PCOS having success with LowCarbing.
March 1st I began LCing. During the month of March I lost 32lbs. I also felt a lot better than I had in a long time. And, I had two periods (one for three days and one for ten days) which although quite heavy did stop on their own. When I went to see my gp again, (I see him every 6 weeks right now) I told him of the LC diet I had started. He was pleased with the weight loss, but there was a set back. I had always suffered from low blood pressure since childhood (my norm was 90/65), but when I went on the bcp my blood pressure suddenly shot up to 140/70. So, one of the things we were focusing on was getting my bp down. When I saw him toward the end of March after LCing for four weeks, my bp was up to 160/90. He wasnt pleased and wanted me to stop the LC diet and go on the Paleo diet. Finally we agreed on a compromise between the two. So, I see him again the first week of May and I am hoping and praying that my bp is down so that he will be convinced that LC is alright.
Meanwhile, I have been struggling a bit this month. With the added carbs of two servings of fresh fruit daily, and 5 servings of vegetables I am having a hard time losing weight. It seems to be all over the place. One morning I will weigh 195 the next 201, the next 190, the next 200, the next 191,... I am still overall down, but its very yo yo like and I am having a problem with water retention. It is a real problem. When I weighed 227pounds my rings wouldnt come off but they didnt hurt (my wedding rings). Now, at 190 - 200, there are days when my fingers swell so badly my ring finger turns red and blueish and my rings are so tight it really hurts. I am considering having them cut off it is getting so bad.
Has anyone else experienced this type of water retention?
Another thing that is happening is that my ankles are swelling, which is giving me legaches and hot hot feet. I have always hated having hot feet. I always sleep with my feet out of the covers, even in the dead of winter. My grandmother has radiant floor heating in her condo and I cant stand it! My feet never feel cool when I'm there. At first I thought the leg aches were a lack of potassium as I have heard some other LCers say that this is a common complaint. But, I have been on potassium supplements for three weeks now and if anything the legaches just got worse. Then one night I decided that I couldnt stand how hot my feet were and slept with an icepack under my feet and lo and behold my first night without legaches. So, now I sleep with an icepack on my feet every night and that seems to work.
Has anyone experienced this type of problem with their feet?