Did you know that it’s not just joints that become inflamed? People who suffer from PCOS actually have organs that get inflamed as well as their joints.
They can experience the pain of rheumatoid arthritis without even having it.
It’s common for women to experience pain during ovulation, especially when they are prone to ovarian cysts. I have had this problem for years, as long as I’ve been ovulating to be exact. My problem isn’t caused by just the rupture of cysts, though. It’s also caused by the inflammation of my reproductive organs and intestines. When estrogen levels in my body increase (which is normal twice a month–ovulation and menstruation) my immune system kicks into overdrive and treats those parts of my body as if I was suffering from the intrusion of a foreign substance, much like our skin gets red and inflamed because of extra blood cells being sent to the area of a splinter, This causes a lot of pain when I move, sit, stand or lay down. vacuuming hurts. Going to the bathroom hurts. I won’t even entertain sex at that time because of the pain. Many women can combat this issue by using birth control pills, which I cannot take because of issues with depression. My doctor also suspects that I have endometriosis which makes the hell of PCOS just that much more fun.
Inflammation is something women who suffer from PCOS don’t usually consider but must take into account when trying to lose weight. What I’ve learned in the last few weeks is that I can’t count on that number on the scale. When I’m good all week and feeling well, but craving salt I have to adjust my expectations. My body craves salt for a reason: it’s gearing up for major water retention. I can’t rely on a number to go down when my body is purposely working against it.
This week I gained for a lot of reasons. One, I’m ovulating. I can’t help that. Two, I am eating salty foods (and adding salt to my food) like a deer takes to a salt lick. Three, cheese is the only thing I think about when I ovulate. I want cheese and salt on everything. Four, I can’t ride my bike when I feel like this. It hurts, and I’m not talking “I’ve got a splinter” pain. If you’ve been through labor you get a baby at the end that makes it worth it. This pain is nearly as bad except I get a number on the scale that’s bigger than it should be in reward.
My point is, I have to stop obsessing about the number of pounds and look at the other health benefits I’m experiencing. My back pain is decreasing. Some of that pain is due to inflammation, but some is due to my weight and as I continue to lose, the better it’s getting. My clothes are fitting better. My knees aren’t hurting as often as they usually do. I generally feel better. Good stuff in begets good stuff out.
That is what I’m clinging to, for now.