Power to the Patient

Power to the Patient

I see this a lot. Today it really triggered me when I saw another Cyster practically crying in her post today. 


A patient asking for help, struggling with a painful symptom and she was being made to feel horrible about it. In what world did all of those letters after a name give someone the power to belittle and mistreat someone!


The gold standard for all issues cycle related is the birth control pill or some form of cycle control through shots and inserted items. If that is your jam, by all means do the thing you feel comfortable with. What I struggle with is when someone would like other options. 


Also at what point does it become okay to not only tell the patient that the doctor that diagnosed her was an idiot and has them on the wrong course of action. All without reviewing the testing that was done and truly listening to the patient about her concern. To top it all off, no testing was done on this patient!!!


As someone with letters after her name, I know for a fact that there is more than one approach to all things medical. However, many of us are limited by how we are trained, taught, and have experienced.


Our limited scope does not incline us to make someone feel bad because we do not understand it. That also does not mean that we get to be nasty about it. 


Wishing you health with grace and ease, 


Terra 


When did working in the medical field cease to be a service and become an absolute approach? Did everyone’s bodies suddenly become the same?


I had a similar experience once when I saw my new Endocrinologist...I loved my old one, but he left the office I was going to. She told me I either needed to take the Metformin or she could not help me. At least she was honest, but was nasty about it. So needless to say I have not been back.


Now we are all human and maybe sometimes our physicians are overworked, stressed, and working in a way that they are personally struggling. I believe that is an option too. 


I know I have had those days too. I have made mistakes in my years of practicing sports medicine. Which is why I am thankful for coworkers that are able to put fresh eyes on a situation. 


What I am not okay with is making people feel like they are crazy or stupid.


I write this so that if any of my other Cysters out there (or anyone as a matter of fact) are struggling to be heard by their physician, please know that you are allowed to feel comfortable with the care offered to you. You deserve options. You deserve to understand the risks. You deserve to be heard.


If you go through this, know that I feel for you and this is not okay. If you have a friend or family member go through this, listen to them. Let them air it all out. Then let them know that it is okay for them to seek out other options. Even if you do not agree with them on how they feel. 


We are all entitled to medical treatment that fits our comfort level. Nothing should be forced on us...period!

What Exactly is PCOS Anyways?

What Exactly is PCOS Anyways?

The ingredients or the symptoms that make up PCOS may vary from woman to woman. That is because there are many types of PCOS (trust me I was surprised to learn this too). Though let’s start with the basics. 


First, for those of you that may not know, PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. It is referred to as a syndrome and not a disease because it is not well defined. It is known for a group of symptoms that a patient is experiencing.





The name broken down looks like this: 


Poly = multiple

Cystic = follicles


So ovaries with multiple follicles. 


Though this is not the main symptom that is looked for in a woman with PCOS. There is a study that shows about 25 percent of women have polycystic ovaries and yet do not have PCOS.[1]


In fact, the average teenager may have as many as 25 follicles on each ovary! That sounds like a lot, I know. For young females with bodies trying to figure out these new functions, it takes time for their bodies to do what they should. 


Let’s take a look at the ground level symptoms. Most of the time, all will be present for the diagnoses. 


The first red flag symptom is irregular periods. Specifically ones that are late or with too many bleeding days. 


However this is a common symptom for other conditions. You may have a different condition if the other symptoms below are not present. 


The second red flag symptom that comes with this syndrome is excessive facial and body hair (hirsutism). You may even be experiencing hair loss, acne, and weight gain. 


These sound like male problems, the reason for that is women with PCOS may have elevated male hormones.


Good to note that there are other medical conditions that may be the reason for the elevated male hormones. It is the best practice to rule out those medical conditions before being diagnosed with PCOS. 


The last red flag symptom is anovulation or lack of ovulation. While this is something that happens occasionally for most women (and is seen as normal), it should not happen regularly. 


Anovulation is the main reason why women with PCOS have such a struggle with pregnancy. 


Do any of these symptoms sound familiar? Are you currently experiencing any of these? If so talk to us about it in the comments below. 


Do you know someone else with similar symptoms? Share this with them so they discuss this with their physician. 


Lastly, if you have not been diagnosed with PCOS and think you might have it...read this. It will help you to know what to expect during your appointment. 


Knowledge Is Power, 


Terra

Diagnosed with PCOS...Now What?

Diagnosed with PCOS...Now What?

Welcome to a Cysterhood of women with what is called PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. It is a club you may not want to belong to. None of us do, but the community is supportive. So let’s go on this journey together, shall we? 


You most likely got asked a series of questions about your symptoms like:

  • What weight changes have you had?

  • What are your cycles like? 

  • (If you have tried to get pregnant) are you struggling with getting pregnant? 

  • Any skin changes? 

  • Changes to the way your hair grows or where it grows?  

Then comes the lab work. Your physician looks at your hormones and blood sugar levels. 


Last, but not least (nor required), a pelvic CT scan. This will allow the physician to see how cystic your ovaries are or may not be. While having cysts is normal, they are looking at the size of the cysts as well as an abundance or lack of cysts. This test alone is not the best indicator as the cysts will change from cycle to cycle. 


Then comes the plan. There are 3 usual medication go to's: 

  • Birth control: This is to help regulate your cycle if it is irregular. 

  • Metformin: This one helps keep you insulin in check as your ovaries are greatly affected by insulin. 

  • Spironolactone: This medication is intended to help your skin clear up, reduce hair loss, and reduce your male pattern hair growth. 

You may have also gotten a referral to an Endocrinologist since the medicine they practice is more focused on hormones and their relationships with each other. This is a very complex area of medicine and having a specialist can be helpful, but not always necessary as your OB/GYN or Primary Care Physician may also understand this condition well. 


These are the basic first steps that many of us begin our journeys on. 


However, did your doctor suggest any lifestyle changes? They may have asked you if you were interested in meeting with a dietitian or nutritionist. They may have told you to make sure you work out 3 to 5 times a week. All great suggestions. 


Which of these above are you utilizing? We all have varying starts to our journey, so help your fellow Cysters out down below. 


However, I have found there is more to PCOS than just bandaging the symptoms. There are more lifestyle changes than just losing weight. 


In fact, there is more than just restricting calories and burning them off to the proper weight for PCOS women.


PCOS is complex. The steps to get you down the path of recovery are more than what you will ever find in a pill. 


If you are ready to move beyond the basic steps to PCOS care, then you are ready for my guide. Let’s lock arms and get you down a path of real healing and recovery. PCOS does not have to define you. 


Let Real Healing Begin, 

Terra