Wednesday, May 02, 2012

PCOS, Fertility, Sugar & A Major Reality Check

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If the idea of kicking something out of your day-to-day life stresses you out and scares you to death, I'm pretty sure that means you're addicted to it. That's how I feel about sugar.

I don't really eat that bad. After all, I recently lost more than 25 pounds, and I didn't do it by eating a ton of fake food. Just a little fake food. But seriously, ask my family. I've been eating a lot of whole foods. Nevertheless, I do eat processed foods and (gasp) I do drink soda. High fructose corn syrup, caffeine. The whole nine yards. Judge away. Believe me, I'm judging myself.

We discovered my sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) levels were out of the normal range in the blood work my gyno (Dr. B.) did earlier this year. Low, to be specific. SHBG is a type of protein produced mostly in the liver that attaches to sex hormones. Lower than normal levels of SHBG is often associated with conditions like (surprise, surprise) polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), type 2 diabetes and hypothyroidism. 

Although I've told a few people close to us, I was trying to be casual about coming out and saying so here on Somebody Heal Me or on Facebook, but the timing of this conversation and decision won't make much sense otherwise: We're officially trying to have a baby. So all these ways that my reproductive health is jacked up are seriously important to get straight ASAP. Now is the time. The sugar has got to go.

From the research I've been doing it has become crystal clear to me that the SHBG deficiency, PCOS and diabetes (and the fact that I'm not ovulating) are all tied in together and caused by the same issues. I can't keep ignoring the truth.

I recommend two key resources for a nice summary of how this all fits together: 

So I'm moving past the point of reading about what's going on with my body and taking that next step to planning how I'm going to make the necessary changes in my behavior.

I've been reading this book on my Kindle FIre to get me started. I like that it takes a practical, supportive and nonjudgmental approach to the issue.
These websites have been helpful sources of information, too:

I'm not going paleo/primal, but I am finding sources about that lifestyle incredibly helpfu as it eschews processed foods. Anything about eating real, whole foods is right up my alley right now.

For now it's about making simple choices: Water over soda and scrambled eggs over protein bars. And continuing to learn as much as I can and find ideas to help me develop new habits. Reaching for a protein bar in the morning and considering that a healthy choice is pretty deeply ingrained. These changes are going to be hard.

Do any of you have suggestions for resources I should be exploring that focus on fertility and/or eliminating sugar/processed foods? I'm all ears!

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DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site constitutes medical or legal advice. I am a patient who is engaged and educated and enjoys sharing my experiences and news about migraines, pain and depression. Please consult your own health care providers for advice on your unique situation.