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Hello and welcome to PCOS 4 Teens! 

Here is my story about my PCOS and why it led me to creating this site.

My name is Mary; I am eighteen years old and a senior in high school.  I was diagnosed with PCOS a year and a half ago.  I grew up a very healthy and athletic kid.  I played a lot of sports and was really good at them too.  When I was about 3 years old, all of my siblings had the chicken pox and my mom exposed me to them, but I never got it.  I could eat anything and still had an amazing immune system.  Going into junior high, my mom realized a few problems, such as, acne and irregular periods.  We kept asking doctors about this and all they said was that I was young and girls always had irregular periods and skin problems.  I was not satisfied with this because I knew that there was something wrong with me.  For example, my friends and I would talk about this and I noticed that my situation was very different from theirs.  Finally, I entered high school and nothing had really changed freshmen year from junior high, then came sophomore year.  I gained five pounds that remained difficult to loose, so I went to a nutritionist, who put me on an extremely strict diet and a lot of vitamins.  Obviously, being a young kid, I was not very good at keeping with my diet.  At that time I was not worrying too much because I was a soccer player.   I was very serious about soccer and had colleges talking to me by sophomore year.  Sometimes I got up to practicing five hours a day, and on my off days, I would practice on my own or work out at the gym.  Between a heavy school work load and traveling and practicing for soccer, I forgot about the diet.  Halfway through sophomore year, I got into an incident with my high school soccer team.  I was already under a lot of stress and this was the cherry on top of it all.  I started to get injured easily and I quickly tired from practice, which was extremely unusual.  When I got home from practice, I would be literally starving.  I would eat excessively and still be ravenously hungry.  My hunger never shut off.  Then, weird things started to happen.  I got sore throats all the time and no matter how many antibiotics I took, they would not go away.  After months of being sick, I started to feel better, but I kept gaining weight and could not control my hunger. 

In the start of junior year, I went to another doctor, who thought I had PCOS, so she started to treat me for it.  I was on Aldactone, Metformin and plant based Progesterone.  I reacted badly to these medications and I started to have excruciating stomach aches, lowered immune system and unsightly acne.  I eventually got off all of the medications.  In the meantime, my cousin told me about her doctor and said she was fabulous.  I went to her and she put me on DHEA, which was definitely not the right move because in 3 weeks I gained 15 pounds, 15 pounds that I’ve never been able to shed.  In January, mid junior year, I visited an endocrinologist recommended to us from another doctor.  I set up my appointment and visited her.  She officially diagnosed me with PCOS.  She put me on a strict diet, but it was one I was actually able to follow, First Line Therapy.  I had to quit soccer because I had adrenal fatigue, but I had to keep exercising an hour a day.  She put me on Metformin, which was working until I had to raise the dose, which made my heart rate plummet and caused me to have a lowered immune system.  Again, this medicine was giving me side-effects.  I got off of it for a while, and then went back on.  When she reviewed my blood work, she found that the Metformin had helped my blood work significantly, but it still did not help my weight.  She put me back on Metformin along with various vitamins.   By this time I was 40 pounds over weight and still unable to lose, which was disappointing considering it was summer by now and I felt so self-conscious about my body. 

My body changes included an enlarged stomach area along with cellulite on my arms, legs and buttock.  Something I’d never had because I had been so athletic all of my life.  My pant size went from a size 5 to size 12 within months. I began pulling into myself, and no matter who I saw in the mirror, I just couldn’t come to grips with this person that wasn’t me.  Many girls get depression from this syndrome, I suffered a mild case which was evident especially around my cycle.  I found a great psychologist who helped me with the emotional side of PCOS. 

Over the past few years, my friends would complain that I would snore really loud when I was sleeping.  When I talked to my doctor about this, she said that this is common in PCOS patients and can lead to further insulin problems.  In the summer, I got a sleep study done to evaluate my snoring.  The sleep doctor found that I had a mild case of sleep apnea due to a restricted airway in my nose and enlarged tonsils.  Using oxygen therapy proved to be beneficial, but further testing needed to be done and time ran out.  My ear, nose, and throat doctor suggested a Tonsillectomy/Adenoidectomy sometime this summer to alleviate my breathing issues, especially before I enter college.

During the summer, I realized that Lucky Brand Jeans was a great place for me to find a great pair of jeans to wear and feel good in.  One of the employees that helped me took a lot of time fitting me into a pair of jeans and made me feel happy with my figure.  I was so excited when I got home and felt hope for the first time. I wish other girls with PCOS could feel this way.  I had an idea to spread more awareness about this syndrome, so I went onto Lucky Brand Jeans website and found out they did a lot of philanthropy work.  So my mom spoke with them and they allowed us to apply for a grant.   In our search for a doctor to help us with PCOS awareness, we came across Dr. Diana Schwarzbein. She is an author of several books along with her website which discusses her work with metabolic problems.

Upon seeing Dr. Schwarzbein, she found that my digestion and adrenals were barely working and I have systemic Candida.  All of these ended in another controlled diet to rebuild my metabolism. She feels it will take a year to heal my metabolism and plans on watching my progress closely.