Lean women with PCOS can have health issues too!

by Monika Woolsey
inCYST Blog
March 11, 2008

Here’s a study about lean women with PCOS–the women who I like to call “the forgotten cysters”. I have lost track over the years of the number of women who have written me to share that they went to their physician asking for help with a list of PCOS symptoms they had…only to be told they couldn’t possibly have PCOS because they were not overweight. Up to 70% of women who have this disorder are not overweight!!!

My belief is that many women who have adopted extreme eating and exercise behaviors to manage their weight, quite possibly many women who have been diagnosed with and who are being treated for eating disorders, actually have undiagnosed PCOS.

We need to get over this belief that thin equals healthy, and that a person cannot have PCOS if her BMI and weight are within normal limits. If you have to adopt extreme measures to stay within your recommended weight range, that is a serious problem and your physician needs to listen to you.

Now for this study to illustrate. Eight lean women who actually had been diagnosed with PCOS (“cysters”) were compared to 7 lean women without PCOS. The cysters had higher testosterone, and prolactin levels. They also had lower sex hormone binding globulin levels (this protein binds and inactivates testosterone).

There you have it. You can be thin AND out of balance. Sisters…and cysters…it is your right to be heard and to not be told that nothing is wrong with you when you know there is. That is where my program name, inCYST, came from. You have the right to inCYST on the appropriate treatment for the appropriate problem and not to be told you do not need treatment just because you may not fit the common profile for PCOS, or for any disorder.
Monika Woosley is founder of After the Diet Network, Publisher of After the Diet Newsletter and Nutritional Implications of Psychotropic Medications, Creator of inCYST! Programs for Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). She has a bachelor’s degree in nutrition from Cornell University as well as a master’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Colorado. Visit her web page at: http://www.afterthediet.com/

Grimmichová T, Vrbíková J, Matucha P, Vondra K, Veldhuis PP, Johnson ML. Fasting insulin pulsatile secretion in lean women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Physiol Res. 2008 Feb 13 [Epub ahead of print]

Next Steps

  1. Take the PCOS Quiz!  Get your score and assess your hormone health risks.
  2. Join our Facebook Sisterhood Group Pose your questions to this group of like-minded women. Get the answers to your questions and the support you need.
  3. Checkout the Hormone Reset. Guided Practices to eliminate anxiety, lose weight and boost energy.

We are committed to helping women reverse their symptoms of hormone imbalance – a major cause of excess weight gain, adult acne, unwanted facial hair, depression, anxiety, and heartbreaking female infertility.

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