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PCOS (Not Planning Pregnancy)

Last post 03-30-2009 5:44 PM by mybodymyself. 5 replies.
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  • 03-24-2009 4:43 PM

    PCOS (Not Planning Pregnancy)

    My oldest has PCOS and is not planning on having children. (Well, neither did I!)  She lives/goes to grad school in a semi-rural area and does not drive.  She can walk to her present doctor, midwives in the area are medwives, and there are no holistic practitioners where she lives.  She is 2 hrs away from me and a decent gynecologist or midwife.  Her present (family practice) physician's nurse practitioner (say that three times fast!) recently prescribed Metformin for her PCOS symptoms (wacky periods being at the top of the list, sometimes severe menstrual cramps, previous weight gain, infrequent migraines, slight facial hair--she'd die if she knew I was posting this).  She lost 45 lbs and is 2 lbs shy of her goal/normal weight.  She exercises daily (kick boxing and she walks 10 miles round trip to school--yeah, even in the snow but not barefoot).  She eats fairly sensibly for a single woman, does eat red meats but not excessively, is good at veggie and fruit intake.  The metformin is giving her nausea and cramping and lots of poops and she's not too happy about that ... especially with that 5 mile walk to campus every day.  The doc says that it's a "normal side effect" and should settle down "in a few weeks." Ick!  With all that, she's not eating much because she doesn't feel like eating.

    Any good ideas on what she can try that's not too expensive to either counteract the ickiness of the metformin or to see if she can get off the crap altogether? When she lived at home, she did Chinese herbs and had regular acupuncture tune-ups and that was good for her periods and for cramping.  (She used to bleed out of her nose every 28 days and TCM got her to "bleed out of the right orifice" as the doc put it!)  She'll do herbs via pill or already-made stuff, but isn't too keen on boiling large amounts of bulk herbs ... plus they're really hard for her to obtain where she is.

    So there's the challenge.  Anyone?

    Susan
    Moderator

    I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult. --E.B. White
  • 03-27-2009 3:34 PM In reply to

    Re: PCOS (Not Planning Pregnancy)

    May I share this with a friend of mine...who practice TCM...and might be willing to work with her long distance?

     

    I have known John since I was in 7th grade and trust him with my life..I'd sure like to get his take on this.

     

    Mary

  • 03-27-2009 8:43 PM In reply to

    Re: PCOS (Not Planning Pregnancy)

    Sure, share away.  We use TCM as our primary health care in our family but since she's moved away and isn't near a TCM practitioner and since she's a full-time student with low-moderate income, she doesn't come down here to see her regular TCM doc.  I would pick up tinctures for her here, however.  (She hates teas and throws them up. I don't blame her.  I pass the teas and start gagging.  It sorta smells like brewing cigarette butts on the stove!)

    Susan
    Moderator

    I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult. --E.B. White
  • 03-28-2009 7:03 AM In reply to

    • RobsGirl
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-04-2009
    • Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    • Posts 364

    Re: PCOS (Not Planning Pregnancy)

    Hi Brln!

    This is tricky because regularity of the cycle and fertility are closely related.  And it seems like there's a lot more info on PCOS in fertility texts than regular gynecology texts.

    I have a book called "The Infertility Cure" by Randine Lewis, and its all about balancing cycles using TCM and though this book is about fertility issues, I think it could also be helpful for those not wanting pregnancy, but to balance their cycle.  The author has acupressure and herb advice in the book so one could conceivably DIY in the absence of a practitioner.  She lists lots of patent chinese formulas that can be found in teapill form online fairly easily and inexpensively.  I've been studying this as well as some chinese medicine textbook previews on google to help me figure out what I should be taking myself.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=wUU9_S6ByjgC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Infertility+oriental  If you search in the book for PCOS, there are several pages of info on it in here.

    So don't be put off by the title.  I find it could be really helpful in figuring out other menstrual difficulties apart from wanting to conceive.  There's a questionnaire in the book to help determine the underlying TCM patterns she might fall into (she might already know if she's been going to a TCM practitioner already).

    Sounds like your daughter's lifestyle is great.  Sometimes cinnamon and chromium (GTF) can work well for PCOS symptoms, along with a low glycemic index diet with or without the metformin.  I've also heard of a supplement called N-acetylcysteine (NAC) 1.8-3 gm per day to help balance the hormones of PCOS.  TCM would say to also avoid the "damp" foods (dairy, wheat, sugar, greasy etc).  Exercise is super important.

    So maybe Mary's person or this books could lead you to the right formulas.  I've ordered patent formulas from 1stchineseherbs.com or chineseherbsdirect.com.

    I've used Plum Flower brand, Min Shan, and Jade Dragon.  They seem all reputable and state that they test for heavy metals and use good manufacturing practices.  I think all three are out of California.

    Hope that helps.  Funny you should ask when I've been looking into this stuff too (not pcos specifically, but DIY chinese stuff for menstrual help).  :-)

    RobsGirl, 31
    Wife of one fabulous guy (34)
    Mommy of 3 awesome boys, ages 11, 8, and 4, and a precious 2 year old daughter.


  • 03-28-2009 8:02 AM In reply to

    • RobsGirl
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-04-2009
    • Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    • Posts 364

    Re: PCOS (Not Planning Pregnancy)

    Just found another place that has good and inexpensive pills.  Free shipping over $40 too with good descriptions of each remedy.

    activeherb.com

    RobsGirl, 31
    Wife of one fabulous guy (34)
    Mommy of 3 awesome boys, ages 11, 8, and 4, and a precious 2 year old daughter.


  • 03-30-2009 5:44 PM In reply to

    Re: PCOS (Not Planning Pregnancy)

    Sorry, to read about your daughter's PCOS.  What a good thread.  Highly recommend that she checks out Our Bodies, Ourselves, The Boston Women's Health Book Collective.  Found its really helpful and their website/blog as well.

    Hope my recommendations do help her.

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