Like many other women, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome after many years of uncertainty and misdiagnosis. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) affects approximately 1 in 10 women but is still widely unknown. Some of the effects PCOS may have on women can be life-threatening if they go untreated, ranging from heart disease to diabetes. Sadly, some women will not be diagnosed properly until it is too late. With PCOS the best defense is knowledge, but where do you turn when there is so little known about this syndrome?
I find talking to others who have struggled with the same obstacles as I have to be very comforting and informative. I had the great pleasure of chatting with Julie Renee Holland via email about her struggles with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and how publishing on Lulu has enabled her to spread the word and help other women just like me who are battling with the same difficulties.
Carol – Hi Julie. I came across your book, Alternative PCOS Solutions, while browsing through the Lulu site and was elated to find such an amazing resource that specializes in the alternative options for treatment with PCOS. For the readers that are unfamiliar with PCOS, can you explain what it is and how it has affected your life?
Julie – PCOS is a syndrome that can cause many different symptoms. The most common symptoms are weight gain and cysts on the ovaries. Often a woman is first diagnosed when she has trouble getting pregnant, but the symptoms can include excess body or facial hair, weight gain, acne, thinning hair, high cholesterol, and painful, i rregular or missing periods. I first learned I had PCOS when I was 19, but the doctors never told me to expect fatigue, weight problems and the other issues that go along with PCOS. Like many other women, I spent years trying to figure out what was wrong with me – even after I had been diagnosed. Doctors are more familiar with PCOS now then they were 15 years ago, but there are still so many women who are undiagnosed or who are under-treated once they are diagnosed. Since PCOS is a syndrome, there are huge variations in how each woman experiences it. Some women with PCOS have no cysts on their ovaries, are of normal weight, and have regular, though widely spaced, periods.