Life was so simple then. I had a beautiful, glowing kid-like complexion (which may or may not have had anything to do with that fact that I was a kid) and all the self-confidence in the world. Absolutely nothing could get me down, until...
6 years later.
By the time I was thirteen, instead of enjoying the everyday things of a teenager, I was too embarrassed to go anywhere because of how bad my skin was. Always hiding my face under the hood of whatever jacket, coat, or hoodie that I could find, I was ashamed of my skin and eventually myself.
My once amazing self-esteem plummeted, and it was all because of my acne. I just knew that if I could get some answers to why this was happening to my skin, I could stop it. And, one magical day, I finally got the answer I needed with five little words...
“I think you have PCOS.”
PCOS and Acne
After dealing with problem skin throughout my teenage years, by the time I hit college, I was determined to live my best life!
Eventually getting tired of schlepping my entire makeup collection around because I couldn’t risk my blemishes ever being seen, I decided that I needed answers and I needed them quick!
Then that fateful day came at a routine ob-gyn appointment. I was diagnosed with PCOS.
Not really knowing what in the world that meant, my doctor explained that,
“A PCOS diagnosis just means that you are or will show signs of insulin resistance, your periods may not ever be regular, some patients have an increase in acne, and in a few years when you’re looking to get pregnant it may take you longer.”
While she assumed that her one-sentence, clump of a description, was going to ease my nerves, it didn’t. But, regardless, I knew that I finally had the real reason behind my acne, and I was determined to learn everything I could. Even if I had to do it alone.
What I discovered was that 1 in 10 women deal with PCOS, and most are between their teenage years and early childbearing years. Out of those affected, the majority deal with acne. To me, this information was the gold mine because it meant that I wasn't alone! Other women were dealing with the exact same problem.
I found that studies show that traditional methods to treat acne may fail for those with PCOS. This is because the acne that comes with PCOS is largely hormone-induced, and the underlying cause is the reason for the breakouts. Without getting to the root of the problem, the acne will persist.
Hormonal imbalance is really at the heart of the problem, and the way that this imbalance differs from other cases is that our bodies depend on signals from our pituitary gland to balance the hormones, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
For PCOS gals, this process is disrupted and sometimes severely (if you have ever taken a progesterone pill, you know this headache all too well).
Without the right signals, the levels are completely out of whack and this causes estrogen and progesterone levels to drop, and testosterone to rise. Yikes!
I soon realized that the only way to beat this was to play dirty and attack the problem at the root.
PCOS Diet For The Win