“I just got back from my gynecologist appointment and I have no idea what to do now that I’ve been diagnosed with PCOS. He told me to stop eating ‘so much’ so I could lose some weight and handed me a birth control prescription.”
I was put into this situation, like many cysters, (women with PCOS) out there. I look back on the past 10 years, and the first 5 were such a struggle just trying to figure out what to do to manage my uncontrollable weight gain, acne, mood, irregular periods, the list goes on!
It wasn’t until I finally found the right doctor, Dr. Felice Gersh, that I felt heard and understood. I was so lucky to have her! But not every doctor is like her. She is a gynecologist and she also studied functional integrative medicine. That’s why she was able to give me advice beyond taking birth control, like changing my diet to eat gluten and dairy free.
She recently wrote a book, PCOS SOS, in which she talks about her approach in a very comprehensive way. Give it a read!
Why can’t all gynecologists be like her? Oftentimes, we think that our doctor should carry all the answers to our ailments. However, doctors are trained to save lives, not treat chronic ailments like PCOS. If you want to take on a more holistic approach to treating your PCOS, it’s important to do a bit of investigation to find the right gynecologist or naturopathic doctor that will treat you with the holistic approach you’re looking for. Perhaps you’ll want to see multiple healthcare practitioners: gynecologist, acupuncturist, naturopath, endocrinologist, and registered dietitian.
So, next time you go to the doctor and you’re told to “eat less and workout more,” this is because that’s all they have learned. The field of medicine is so large and the amount of work and study for doctors is very intense. Like many chronic illnesses, PCOS is not studied in depth. There are thousands of chronic illnesses and it takes years to master and understand each one. A better understanding of a specific chronic illness requires specialization.
If you’re looking for a doctor who specializes in PCOS and has a functional approach, here are 3 things to look for:
- They should know the benefits of inositol for PCOS. Studies show that inositol works just as effectively as metformin. That is why you see me jumping up and down about Ovasitol, a combination of inositols, which has worked so effectively for cysters in healing insulin resistance.
- They should be open to doing an ultrasound to check for ovarian cysts. I personally like to go to the gynecologist once a year to make sure my ovaries are clear of ovarian cysts. Since being consistent with my gluten and dairy free lifestyle, my ‘string of pearl’ ovarian cysts have disappeared.
- They should understand why it is so hard to lose weight with PCOS. Nothing is worse than being told to “just lose weight” when you’re already trying, and then being blamed for not being able to. PCOS is associated with metabolic dysfunction, which means that the steps you take to lose weight should align with healing your metabolism- not cutting calories and carbs in an extreme way while working out 2 times a day.