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Great to see this new Section RE: PCOS &Insulin Resistance

Discussion in 'PCOS Community' started by VANESA, May 6, 2008.


    VANESA Guest

    I will be contributing more to this PCOS (Insulin Resistance) section when I get more time, but want to just say that I have only just logged in after a while not logging in and have seen this new section which I have suggested (and I am sure some others have to). and am VERY HAPPY TO SEE THIS PCOS SECTION, so thanks to the makers of this hairloss board. :)

    25% of women from all populations of women all over the world have PCOS or insulin resistance which is the cause of PCOS, the cysts on ovaries are just a symptom of PCOS and are not even really cysts but undeveloped immature egg follicles...
    ((but that is another story and the name should be changed by the medical community.))

    Only women who have the hair loss "gene",... will experience hairloss because having PCOS means they often have Higher free androgen or free testosterone levels and low SHBG levels. A drug called Metformin helps reduce the free testostorone and raise SHBG levels as the insulin levels are reduced. People with PCOS usually have high insulin levels (which can cause them to have a big appetite and crave carbs and sugars).

    That means a certain percentage of that 25% who have PCOS will have hairloss and also hirsutism (extra thick body hair and extra hair such as chin hair or hair on lip etc).

    Another main symtom of PcOS is not being able to lose weight, putting on weight very easily, and most of the fat going straight to waist or stomach and uppper body. This is due to the high Insulin levels. Eating Low GI, exercising and metformin are great for this. I lost 15 kgs in the space of a few weeks after taking metformin and most from my stomach.

    Most women willl start having the hairloss & hirsutism before they even realise they have PCOS and that insulin resistance is why they are experiencing hairloss and this leads them to eventually be diagnosed (along with other symptoms) to be diagnosed with PCOS.

    I am 34 and have PCOS. After taking metformin I went from 79ks to 69 kgs after just a few weeks. Changing nothign much else (although all people with pcoS OR IR SHOULD EAT LOW GI THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT.

    Remember ladies - a lot of GP's especially the "older ones" (please no nasty responses, I am sure their are some educated older GP's who know about PCOS) but in general not all docotros are very educated on PCOS.

    Its important to see an endocrinologist and for most a very important medication to go on in called Metformin which reduces insulin resistnace and should also reduce most symptoms...

    Women with Insulin resistance and PCOS are more at risk of the following diseases so metformin is very important in reducing the chances of developing these diseases.:

    A) Diabetes type 2
    B) Heart disease and stroke
    C)Alzheimers disease
    D) Many types of cancers such as Uterine (due to lack of periods) and breast cancer
    C) Obesity and diseases related to being overweight
    D) General aging. High insulin levels cause chronic inflammation over the entire body and Inflammation is the main cause of again throughout the body.

    So metformin is usually a long term medication which can save your life or extend your life in the longterm.

    Mostly the does one woudl need to take to get result is at least 1500mgs a day. I currently take 2000mgs a day

    I take DIABEX XR (each tablet is 500mgs). The XR is better than normal version as it means extended release means it is released into your system slowly through out the day reducing any side affects.

    You can expect slight nausea and stomach problems in first week or 2 but otherwise fine as long as you dont go for too long on an empty stomach , it is better for anyones metabolism to eat every 2 or 2.5 hours anyway.

    Hope this has helped some people and feel free to ask me qestions or anything as I know a lot more than just what I have written here and love to discuss with people as being finally diagnosed with Insulin resistance (PCOS) at age 33 and taking metformin and eating low GI HAS LITERALLY CHANGED MY LIFE.

    I urge anyone with some of the symptoms to get a referral to an Endocrinologist and have some testing.
    You will need GTT - Glucose Tolerance Test - to test for Insulin Resistance
    Ultrasound to see the follilcles on ovaries which look like a necklace of pearls
    Hormone test - especially looking at certain hormone ratios and SHBG, free androgens.
    Symptoms - dicussing some of symptosm such as lack of periods, excess hair. scalp hairloss, waist and stomach getting bigger, sugar and carb cravings, not losing weight dispite eating less and exercising more than most of your girlfirends...things like that are important.

    Bye for now.
  2. dying curls

    dying curls Guest

    yeah PCOS is so tricky...and only now doctors begins to realize some asymptomatic women might actually have it. Because you have to remember every woman has her own pcos...mine and that of my sister are so different..she is 33 and was completely asymptomatic till now, though i suspect the few pounds she put on are a result of pcos.. but she is a woman without body hair besides the typical vellus one, and still have a full head of hair. HOWEVER SHE HAS CLINICAL PCOS? HER LH:FSH ratio is not ok..weirdly enough mine was... :dunno: yet my form is less mild than hers...

    I am underweight and do not put weigh around my stomach or upper body part, if i put on weigh it is around the hips and bottom like a "regular" woman does...but still i am only 95/100 lbs for 5, 6...i started to develop noticeable facial hair around 22 but my hair loss certainly began when i was much younger before i got the other pcos symptoms like facial hair, or AN...I aminsulin resistant..but for whatever reason when i am off treatment i dont put on weight but loose weight in a scary way..i read somewhere that can happen too ..i keep loosing weight , feeling low in energy and craving for more foods..typical except for the wieght thing..on the pill i feel perfectly fine and my hair dont fall out..but no regrowth...

    most of my friends with pcos went on the pill for period issues but none of them was overweight or had hirsutism..they were more like my sister asymptomatic..except for period issues..they were also diagnosed much younger and have been on the pill since their teens.

    As for Met it is a real breajthough but you need to be sure to take vitamin b /folic acidwhen on it otherwise it can actually contribut to hair loss, but with the required vitamin it can help the regrowth..
    Metformin is not always the treatment of choice especially for thin cyster even if you are IR. I am IR underweight and with normal blood sugar levels i am not a good candidate for met right now..in a case like mine it could cause my blood sugar to go too low.My endo refuses to put me on it because of my sugar levels and my weight...she said maybe when i wanna get pregnant we will try an extremely low dose but until then she does not wanna take the risk...well i hope though met at a low dose will work for me because i dont want to stop the pill and look like a bald monkey.
  3. curlyone

    curlyone Guest

    Hi ladies,
    Thanks for the info, I just made an appt today for an endo. My sister has PCOS and I am wondering if I have the same, I don't have the wieght issues she has, but I am certainly losing hair and I have always had excess body hair. I also wonder if it is my birth control thats causing hair loss, as I have seen that alot of them have hair loss listed as a side effect, but I have also read that many women lose hair when they stop using birth control ( I am still taking ortho tri cyclen lo) ? It's so damn confusing... hopefully the endo will be able to give me some answers :dunno:
  4. angieangie

    angieangie Guest

    Curlyone, PCOS is very common, a little over 10% of women have it. If you have it in your family there are even more chances that you might have it. You should have your hormones checked and a glucose test and if either of these test positive towards PCOS then have an ovarian ultrasound done in case of cysts that are very common in PCOS.
  5. curlyone

    curlyone Guest

    I will Angie, thank you. I am hopeful I can find some answers, I'll keep you posted. :)

    VANESA Guest

    Curlying one and dying curls.

    I understand what you mean by by you not taking metformin because you dont yet have weight problems etc etc.

    ...but there was a time when all i had was the scalp hair loss and slight hirsutism and not weight problems and if I had know then what I had know now... and started on at least some metformin - i would not have gotten fatter and getting fatter and having high insulin levels has inflammed and aged my body I know....

    So perhaps now you don't need metforming but it is a progressive syndrome and it does get worse with age. I actually ONLY Got slightly overweight ie went from 63 kgs to 79kgs *(176 cm so quite tall) at age 32 or something.

    But it is important for you 2 maybe if you can't start low does met but its very improtant to eating low gi and exercise so you dont get that "burst" of fatness like I did after living all of my 20's being a slim tall girl who could eat anything and exercise and never put any weight on a remain slim.

    Just a thought from experience.

    You are right about everybody being different.

    You only get hairloss and hirsutism if you h ave the gene for both ie you have balding and thinning gene or eg you have body hair in your family (its a good idea to look at brothers and fathers, if they get quite a lot of thick course body hair, chances are if you get PcoS you will too, consequently if the males in your family have no or little body hair and are smooth as a babies bottom - chances are you will not get the hirsutism. Its just our genes reactiong with the higher free testosterone levels.

    I for example don't really get the AN"s, skin tags for acne.
    I think you only get Ans and skin tags when your IR gets really bad.. I get the ocasional pimple on face and back but would not call it a problem.
  7. Rainbird984

    Rainbird984 Guest

    Vanesa, do you have any tips for sticking to a low GI diet? I really think it might help me and have tried several times; I feel better while doing it but always end up falling off track after a few weeks and going back to sugars and refined carbs.

    I really want to start eating low-GI for good now, and would love any advice you have. I'm glad you've had success with it!
  8. curlyone

    curlyone Guest

    Thanks Vanesa,
    I am going to the endo and I will most definitely take the metformin if I do have pcos . I really thinkI do, my sister has it(mentioned before) I got tremendous acne in my mid 20s, I have a skin tag or two and a few other symptoms. I don't know about the reproductive symptoms as I have been on ortho lo for years and have never tried to concieve. Being on birth control for years is what makes me wonder if it is due to that but I will ask for blood work which will hopefully give me an answer to that question. :lost:
  9. dying curls

    dying curls Guest

    Vanessa what you are saying is not exactly acccurate...
    Mys siter has PCO but do not have unwanteed hair at all. Nobody in my family is hairy.Not even my dad who has at most a few hair on his nipples and almost hairless legs, yet he is bald and i got the pcos from him. nobody is hairy in my family yet i have the unwanted hair issue, unlike my sister...well maybe it's not as bad as some women have it..and a couple of month on the pill managed to make it go back to normal...
    my sister do no have the hair loss gene , i have it...so you can bever know...
    for the weight issue..Metformin and i will repeat it here is not to be prescribe to women with normal blood sugars and no weigh problem...it can be dangerous.If you have pcos then be aware that weight might someday be an issue..so just get regualr check up to be sure to catch the weight issue on time if it shows up....i know i am IR though i weigh 95lbs but i know my IR symptoms and will recognize them if they had too show up again...before my IR get bad i actually loose weight (yes this can be a symptom too) , or feel really really tired and get AN...mY AN is decreasing by the day i dont feel tires anymore and got back to my normal weight since more than two years....

    and also if i have to look at my dad to be sure what are myrisk then i dont have to worry about weight issue before iam over 50 and eat pastries everyday...this is not serious...but i trust my doctor ..even if i will insist on metformin when i will try to conceive..but while on HRT the pills seems to do the trick and cumulating both HRT plus meth in my case could be dangerous that's what i was told....

    i however pay more attention to what i eat...
  10. dying curls

    dying curls Guest

    I get the AN yet my treatment without met works for my insulin. i ve bever been officially tested for IR though.but my AN looked like DOzens of HUGE brwon pathed on my breast and BLACk fool knucles ..allat the same time i was loosing weight by the day...it waas scary..then once on the pill the AN reduced itself by half in a couple of day and now it is almost gone and unoticeable.my feet are back o their normal color, i dont faint , i am not tired ect..
    some people can have bad IR and no AN. And AN can happen in people with no IR...
    if i see myself going over 50kilos i will freak out and buy metformin illegaly if i have too...

    also morpholoygy plays a part..some girls are naturally chubby..with or without pcos...i have a friend who is over weigh yet his (yeah a dude)he did ir test and everything came back ook..and his blood labs are as fine as a new born...so there are mysteries...
  11. alicat

    alicat Guest

    Next time I see my endo I'm getting my sugars/insulin all tested. He specializes in diabetes, so I'm hopeful that if I can benefit from Metformin, that he'll put me on it. I have to realize that my BODY (not just my hair) is affected by PCOS. I can't forget about my body, right??
  12. angieangie

    angieangie Guest

    Yep! I need to do that too. I need sugar all the time like crazy or I get sick, and I still haven't gotten tested for insulin resistance.
  13. dying curls

    dying curls Guest

    i always wondered how come my IR was bettered by the HRT alone...
    i asked my ENdo and she said because the pills have an action on the ovaries and glands that produce hormones it can have an action on insulin resistance and improves it in mild cases. I did research on the internet and found a couple of french studies that confirms this...then i guess going to the meth route is ok if you dont consider HRT or have a more severe form of IR..it's all a question of dosage and treatment combination an lifestyle...
  14. catfancy

    catfancy Guest

    That's a very good idea for a woman with PCOS. You really need to keep on top of that stuff. Before I was on Metformin, my fasting insulin was completely out of control. I was pre-diabetic. I had crazy mood swings because my blood sugar would get low due to the excessive insulin, which also made me gain a lot of weight. My body seems screwy right now, but I need to go on a low glycemic index diet. I have a book called The Insulin Resistance Diet and I need to pay more attention to it. I just...love carbs and feel weird and hungry without them.
  15. dying curls

    dying curls Guest

    you can always replace refined grains by whole grains..i do it refined grains anymore , exceptionally when i stumble on a very good bread (well i am french..) but otherwise whole wheat pasta, whole rice and the best thing ever QUINOA ..i think there are many other grain out there that are better than refined ones..i found one that has a very low glycemic index but i havent been able to find it in a store, only online in french it is called AMARANTE...it's like quinoa but with a lower glycemic index..
    quinoa is good because you can mix it with lot of vegetable and vegatables are good for you..i dont like eating them plain, so with quinoa and soy sauce or a special mix of spices tht i find in french supermakets it's all good.

    also i dont consum dairy anymore (only exepctionally when i stumble upon a very good cheese at a family dinner or so..i am french again...) so in the morning it is tea, and for dessert applesauce without added sugar or fruits or just nothing if i had enough with the dish..
    no more sweet soda pop, only diet one. no more fruit juice those are bad, unless you make them yourself out of fresh fruit and even though ..dont take more than once a week.fruit are always better if eaten whole.
    also you might find that each IR person, even non IR person react differently for different food..for exemple you are IR but you will be ok eating let's say..patatoes (which arent that good for IR people, except sweet patatoes) whereas another person wont be ok eating patatoes..meaning regadless of the glycemic index you might be more sensitive or less sensitive to certain food, and some might make you put on wieght more or less easily than others..this can be interesting to find what food you are particularly sensitive too..you need to test your insulin level i think after eating to know with a special appliance.but well do that only if you go on a very stric low glycemic diet.
  16. VANESA

    VANESA Guest

    Dyingcurls - Ah Je savais pas que vous etes francaise.
    Je parle le francais mais il n'y a pas beacous de monde qui parle le francais en Australie.
    Est-ce que vous etes France ou aux Etats-Unis en ce moment?
  17. dying curls

    dying curls Guest

    haha i am in france right now!!!do you speak french??

    i saw my derm yesterday...theone who does laser remonval on my legs and see a lot of PCOS girls...I asked him abotu meth..if he thinks i should consider it...he tells me too not before i try to get pregnant because it's a treatment too radical and i better keep it as a leter option for my PCOS later ...since i am under control with the pill, apparently taking metformin the later is the better ...well i dont know why here they only give it to girls with real weight prob or TTC pcost i should no...maybe in a few years things will change...
    i was happy when he told me i was not really hairy on my body except my black tough leg hairs :innocent: and that i should not consider laser hair removal on other body part....

    he also told me though that even if i was under control i should not wax my body hair like those on my tummy because they are too thin and not dark enough and that it could stimulate other hair to grow even if my hormones are ok...apparently it s a win or loss game..either you win the bet and the fine short (yet darker)hair on the tummy go back to a blond fuzz state or you lose the bet and more come in , you cannot know what happen..so he suggest just using bleach...

    But if you have PCOS, have your hormones under control thanks to the pill or meth and that your tummy hair are not that fine then you can go and wax them because they will reduce...apparently it's just when they're fine almost fuzzlike but also almost real hair like that it is tricky.
    well..with bleach it is fine i guess...
  18. alicat

    alicat Guest

    i had my blood sugar tested in january and it was mildly elevated (but i had eaten a piece of pizza 2 hours prior to this test). endo didn't seem too concerned. he said i'd have to go back and get my fasting insulin done. i haven't made an appointment yet.

    i fasted in october and had my sugars tested, and i was within range.

    i hope i am still ok!
  19. dying curls

    dying curls Guest

    blood sugar does not mean anything ...mine were always fine yet i am IR...i have never been tested for IR though but i had giant AN..
  20. catfancy

    catfancy Guest

    My blood sugar is also in range. In fact, my doctor tested my blood sugar twice in one day -- once when I'd been fasting, and once after eating a big plate of pancakes (he actually told me to go to the IHOP down the street and eat some pancakes with syrup!). Both times, my blood sugar was normal. I had so much insulin in my system, that my blood sugar didn't have a chance!

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