Today, I want to open up about something deeply personal - my experience with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and the emotional roller coaster it can involve. But, don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a pity party, rather we will be exploring the emotional impact PCOS has on us.
Think of times, when you broke down in the middle of a workday or while watching your favorite movie. Or perhaps when you get irrationally annoyed at the smallest of things and feel like running away from everything? Or at times, when you feel numb at even the snarkiest of comments! Yes, that’s a feeling too. If these sound somewhat familiar, you’re not alone.
It’s like having an emotional switch that has a faulty on and off trigger, but you just can't find the darn remote control. But why does this happen?
You see, PCOS isn’t just about the medical counterpart, it has more impact on our emotions, mental and physical well-being than you would think of. All of that combined causes hormonal imbalance leading to mood swings, irritability, dissociation, hunger pangs, anxiety and even depression. Upon research we found that a whopping 37% of women suffer from depression in PCOS compared to 14.2% in healthy women! And it doesn’t end there, majority of the time you don’t see these coming and could affect your day to day schedules. Imagine a cup filled 20% while the other filled 60%, 20% are levels of an average woman suffering with anxiety and 60% of a woman suffering with anxiety in PCOS, now imagine heightened levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) that causes 20% to a 50% jump in an average woman suffering with anxiety while on the other hand the one with 60% filled already overflows causing emotional breakdowns.
Now enough about what it is, let’s try to find ways to overcome these imbalances.
Ever since I was diagnosed with a plethora of health issues including thyroid and PCOS that came on like a cloud burst, there’s a switch that ticked off that very moment and I decided to take my health as a priority.
With proper guidance from the right doctors and fellow PCOS women, here’s what I know and would share with you all.
- Keep your body moving: To be transparent, I am not a gym freak so low-impact exercises like Yoga and Brisk walking are something I look forward to. Try incorporating easy movements into your daily routine to keep your body moving and hormones regulated. Moreover, spending time in nature helps in inner healing and mindfulness as well.
- What you put in your body matters: I can’t stress enough on the importance of whole foods. Free from artificial sugars, hormones or additives, these foods are as close to their natural, unprocessed state as possible. My favorite pick for this would be Loop & Knot’s Bliss Snack Bars that are blended with whole nuts and seeds like walnuts, peanuts, chia seeds, almonds and sweetened with organic manuka honey. All of these goodness combined gives you a kick of energy, the necessary dietary fiber and helps regulate your blood sugar levels too!
- Cut out Coffee: Real talk, the quicker to realize this the better it will be for your body. Caffeine consumption is linked to changes in estrogen levels and hormone imbalances. Recall, those energy crashes just hours after gulping down on a tall cup of coffee? Swap out your coffee with natural alternatives like Flourish Fizz Energy Booster, that has naturally derived Vitamin D3, Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamin C all packed in a fizzy tablet that tastes just like your Fanta minus the sugar crash. It’s been my go-to ever since then.
- Engage your 5 senses: Whenever I feel overwhelmed (read most of the times), I practice this little exercise my therapist suggested a few months back. So at times when I feel anxiety engulfing me, I do this - See an object 5 meters away, touch my ear lobes or pinch my arms, smell something strong, and sit on the ground. This little tip has truly helped me notice the triggers to my anxiety as well as help me cope with them in unfamiliar surroundings.
- Practice Good Sleep Hygiene: Scrolling through reels till late hours is a big no-no, not just in PCOS but in general too. Aim to give your eyes and brain a break from the constant stimulation and read a book or practice some deep breathing before sleep instead. A good 8 hours of sleep does more for your health than you would think.
Apart from these, having a good enriching diet, high in iron and magnesium, maintaining a healthy weight and practicing mindfulness has really helped me cope with my emotions. Additionally, I have been taking Flourish Eye Gummies for a month or two now and have noticed significant changes in my sleep cycle and eye health. With long working hours, a spike in cortisol comes naturally, that’s where Loop & Knot’s Flourish Eye Gummies with Astaxanthin, Zeaxanthin, Lutein and Botanicals come to my rescue. With zero added sugar, I’m rest assured it doesn’t come with any sugar coated BS just the good stuff!
PCOS can be a wild journey but it doesn’t have to be a lonely one. Remember to reach out to your trusted ones, get help whenever necessary and turn to a holistic approach when it comes to healing. Here’s to learning to embrace the ups and downs of PCOS and growing alongside!