Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Are you taking Metformin??

    So, I am wondering how many of you wonderful ladies are taking Metformin (Glucophage) to help regulate your PCOS symptoms? How are you responding to it and what's the dose you are on?? Also, are you taking Metformin XR?

    Thanks so much for your amazing Support!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


   Since I have been a hairdresser for 11 years, I have some fantastic hair knowledge I really want to share with my PCOS sisters!
   The secrets to beautiful hair when you have this disease are......


   Women with this illness usually need to add volume to their hair because they typically have thinning hair (all over, or in male patterned areas). Some women will not have thin hair, but most will have some areas that are thinning or all over (especially the older you get, the worse PCOS becomes). There are a couple ways to achieve volume when you have thin, oily hair.

  1. The Right Haircut: The best haircut to achieve volume is a straight blunt cut all around with long layers at the bottom (you need the layers to give it some lift at the roots). Usually I would recommend NO longer than shoulder length, especially if it is very thin. If your hair is not too thin than you can get away with a little longer hair, bust most can't. If you have thinning hair in the temples (like I do) - bangs or long bangs really help to cover that area a little bit.

   2. Color, Color, Color: Women who want volume want to use color and or highlights!!!! When you color or highlight your hair- you are destroying the cuticle (damaging it) - that is an awesome thing if you want some volume. Destroyed hair means a ton of volume!!!!! I would recommend an all over hair color, or get hair color and some highlights or even just highlights. Highlights are fantastic for adding volume to the roots of your hair!!! I get foils of color and then highlights put in all over for some killer volume, but it still gives me depth in my hair color.

   3. Volumizing Products: I highly suggest a wonderful volumizing Shampoo or volumizing for colored hair Shampoo!!! You need it, because we have thin hair plus a ton of us get very oily roots! Then use either a volumizing conditioner or a moisturizing conditioner, based upon the dryness and length of your hair. Only use the conditioner from the ponytail down (this tip is huge to keep volume in your hair)!!!!! DO NOT put it on the roots!!! Last but not least use a finishing product, volumizing mousse (for everyone) and a light serum for longer, dry hair! Try to use a deep conditioner all over your hair (scalp to ends) once a week. Wrap your hair in a towel or cap while you take a bath before bed- leave in for 30 mins!! Volumizing products can dry out the hair so that's why it is beneficial to use a deep conditioner once a week. Make sure not to use deep conditioner in the morning, your hair will feel oily and too weighed down all day- use at night before bed!

   Here are the products I personally LOVE:

   • Shampoo: "Matrix Amplify Color XL shampoo" (amazing- gentle but volumizing)

   • Conditioners: "Bedhead Dumb Blonde" (good proteins for damaged hair), "Redken All Soft Heavy Cream" (I need this because my hair is long and it gets pretty dry) I use both every day.

   • Deep Cond: "Redken Real Control Intense Renewal"

   • Volumizer Product: "Big Sexy Hair Root Pump Plus"- AMAZING!!

   • Serum: "Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum" (for the end of my hair to have shine, moisture, frizz control, and it makes it dry quicker- would only recommend for long hair women)

*****Here's my Super Special Hair Tip...... DRY SHAMPOO!!!!!! I use "Big Sexy Hair Volumizing Dry Shampoo" or "Batiste Dry Shampoo"- (smells tropical), the reason it is an amazing tip is that dry shampoo is wonderful for people with thin, oily hair. It is great for days you don't want have time to shower, you want extra volume, you have extremely oily hair and nothing else works!!! It is my secret weapon to have amazing volume in my hair!!! Make sure to spray where you need it, let it set for a minute, and then brush it out thoroughly- it will look great!

   I hope that this information is helpful to all you beautiful women with PCOS, you can finally have the hair that you have always wished for and haven't known how to achieve!



Friday, January 15, 2010

How do you know you have PCOS??

   Hi, my name is Arielle! I have been struggling with PCOS since pretty much forever, but I got the diagnosis 4 years ago. This blog is mainly about how to deal with the awful symptoms of having PCOS but I thought it would be appropriate to begin with knowing if you even have the disease. If this sounds like you, go see a doctor soon, it will help you feel control in your life again, and hopefully help you start to feel better!
   I know I personally struggled with getting doctors to take me seriously for years that I had PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), mainly because I did not look like a regular patient that has PCOS- I was "Skinnier" than they usually see. Finally 4 years ago an awesome PA (Physician Assistant) actually listened to me, and got me in for an ultrasound and some blood work. That visit literally changed my life:) GOOD LUCK! Here are the symptoms...

The symptoms of PCOS include:

• irregular or no menstrual periods
• polycystic ovaries (countless cysts on your ovaries)
• acne
• obesity (in some people, there are skinny PCOS women)
• excess hair growth.

Other signs and symptoms of PCOS include:

• weight gain
• acne
• oily skin
• dandruff
• infertility
• skin discoloration
• high cholesterol level
• elevated blood pressure
• abnormal hair growth and distribution
- and thinning hair on scalp

***Any of the above symptoms and signs may be absent in PCOS, with the exception of irregular or no menstrual periods. All women with PCOS will have irregular or no menstrual periods. Women who have PCOS do not regularly ovulate; that is, they do not release an egg every month. This is why they do not have regular periods.

- I found this PCOS symptom check list from:

   Now, if this sounds like you and you are going to a doctor’s visit, understand that doctors are kind-of new to this disease called "Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome", and you may have to really stick to your guns and almost make them listen and take you seriously. You are your best advocate!!!

Here's a list of what the doctors should be testing for:

Laboratory Tests

• FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone), will be normal or low with PCOS
• LH (Luteinizing Hormone), will be elevated
 LH/FSH ratio. This ratio is normally about 1:1 in premenopausal women, but with PCOS a ratio of greater than 2:1 or 3:1 may be considered diagnostic
• Prolactin will be normal or low
• Testosterone, total and/or free, usually elevated
• DHEAS (may be done to rule out a virilizing adrenal tumor in women with rapidly advancing hirsutism), frequently mildly elevated with PCOS
• 17-ketosteroids (urine metabolites of androgens, used to evaluate adrenal function) elevated or decreased?
• Estrogens, may be normal or elevated
• Sex hormone binding globulin, may be reduced
• Androstenedione, may be elevated
• HCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin), used to check for pregnancy, negative
• Lipid profile (low HDL, high LDL, and cholesterol, elevated triglycerides)
• Glucose, fasting and/or a glucose tolerance test, may be elevated
• Insulin, often elevated
• TSH (Thyroid stimulating hormone) some who have PCOS are also hypothyroid

Non-Laboratory Tests

Ultrasound, transvaginal and/or pelvic/abdominal are used to evaluate enlarged ovaries. With PCOS, the ovaries may be 1.5 to 3 times larger than normal and characteristically have more than 8 follicles per ovary, with each follicle less than 10 mm in diameter. Often the cysts are lined up on the surface the ovaries, forming the appearance of a "pearl necklace." These ultrasound findings are not diagnostic. They are present in more than 90% of women with PCOS, but they are also found in up to 25% of women without PCOS.

-I found this list of PCOS tests from: Lab Tests Online