PCOS Symposium Recap

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I attended the free PCOS Symposium in Atlanta, GA this past Saturday. This particular event was put on by PCOS Challenge. The specialists that were presenting were very knowledgable about PCOS and how it affects our physiology, mental and emotional state, and our relationships with both people and food. The event kicked off with Sasha Ottey presenting a portion of her story with PCOS and how she (as many of us have been told) needs to take some birth control pills and lose weight and she’ll be fixed. This, unfortunately, is not the answer to this syndrome.

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Through Google Hangout, Gretchen Kubocky, Psy.D. gave some insight into the mind of what many PCOSers and those dealing with infertility are struggling with. She informed us that women with PCOS have a propensity toward depression, anxiety, and suicide. She did, however, balance this information with steps that can be taken to help alleviate many of these issues. Self- care. Self- care is extremely important because you have to be able to do what is necessary to lead yourself toward more positivity. Some of the things she suggested were doing things that made you feel better about yourself; whether that mean diet and exercise, wearing things that make you feel attractive, or seeking professional counseling if necessary.

Rachel Brandeis, R.D. gave a lot of information regarding diet and nutrition specific to the PCOS population. She gave a well rounded presentation of the plan of attack for managing PCOS. She calls it the ‘3 Stool Approach.’ Like a 3 legged stool, if one method is missing, it will break down. The methods (nutrition, medical management, and exercise) all work in conjunction with one another. She also gave many helpful tips as to what out daily consumption of food should be to manage our condition.

Last but certainly not least was Dr. Mark Perloe from Georgia Reproductive Specialists in Atlanta, GA. He explained the importance of lifestyle with regards to the development of PCOS. So, in order to have the best chances at conception, it’s a good idea to begin to diet, exercise, and take any prescribed medications consistently in order to set the foundation for a healthy pregnancy.

Overall, the symposium put on by PCOS Challenge was very well rounded. They gave information pertaining to diet and nutrition, exercise, fertility, mental health, and self-care. It ended with an extensive question and answer session. There were tons of questions asked by some newly diagnosed PCOSers. I thought this was pretty awesome because it gave them some powerful tools to attack their diagnosis with from the very beginning.

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There is ALWAYS time for a selfie. =)

 

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PCOS Awareness

PCOS Awareness

Photographer Annalisa Hackleman of Snapshot Ninja Photography is in the process of creating a photo book of PCOSers and their stories in order to raise support and awareness for a disorder that affects approximately 5 million women in the US of childbearing age.

Annalisa is currently looking to raise support for the process of creating this book. You can find her here.

If you have or suspect you have PCOS and are looking for support, please check out PCOSAA.org and join the community!

PCOSAA.ORG

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I’m super excited to announce that I am now part the of the PCOSAA blogging team! PCOSAA is a non-profit organization that provides support, resources, and community for those dealing with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) both directly and indirectly.

Some symptoms of PCOS include (but are not limited too):

  • Infertility (not able to get pregnant) because of not ovulating. In fact, PCOS is the most common cause of female infertility.
  • Infrequent, absent, and/or irregular menstrual periods
  • Hirsutism (HER-suh-tiz-um) — increased hair growth on the face, chest, stomach, back, thumbs, or toes
  • Cysts on the ovaries
  • Acne, oily skin, or dandruff
  • Weight gain or obesity, usually with extra weight around the waist
  • Male-pattern baldness or thinning hair
  • Patches of skin on the neck, arms, breasts, or thighs that are thick and dark brown or black
  • Skin tags — excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area
  • Pelvic pain
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Sleep apnea — when breathing stops for short periods of time while asleep

PCOSAA’s goals are to provide the public with more information regarding the severity of PCOS, get more women tested, to help fund research for PCOS, connect specialists and those dealing with PCOS, and to build support in the context of community with other women diagnosed with PCOS.

For more information, you can check out the website here. Also, follow PCOSAA on Twitter here.