Life with PCOS: Guest Blog Series

Life with PCOS: Guest Blog Series

Who are you? 

My name is Lillian (Lily) Hunt. I am a second-grade teacher in Oklahoma and just recently got married!

What is PCOS?

PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) is, first and foremost, a hormonal imbalance. This imbalance causes lots of little cysts on your ovaries and enlarged ovaries. 

What has your journey with PCOS been like?

I just recently (within the last year) got diagnosed with PCOS. It would probably be a better and more accurate story to tell you about my journey to find out what was happening to me. 

I was put on birth control when I was 16 (I am 23 now) for my ovarian cysts. I tried about eight different forms of the pill and the ring to help my cysts. The cysts calmed down for about a year when I went to college. This happened to be the year that I was in college athletics and had a team dietician. After I quit my sport, I decided to get off the pill. I read and did some research about how the pill hormones could be affecting my hormones and wanted to see if that was some of the cause of my past problems. About nine months after I stopped taking the pill, the pain and symptoms were the worst they had ever been. My legs would swell and turn a faint purple anytime I got a cyst. I was constantly having gut problems, I was so tired all the time, and an array of other symptoms as well. I decided to go to a hormone specialist because my regular OB/GYN wasn’t listening to my problems and kept trying to put me back on the pill. The hormone specialist ended up telling me that I needed to count my calories and told me to avoid gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, some veggies, and even some fruits. This was the end-all-be-all of my condition. I couldn’t take that as an answer. I had nothing to research and no actual solution. Or at least no solution that was going to be feasible for me to accomplish without an explanation. I decided to go back to my OB office and ask for a new doctor. I was referred to a doctor who listened, did some trial and error, and finally diagnosed me with PCOS. 

How do you deal with its symptoms/what are your tips for dealing with it?

I use a lot of heating pads, Advil or Tylenol, and loose-fitting clothing. Cysts can be incredibly painful or not painful at all; it depends on the day. Some tips I have for dealing with the pain, especially at work, are those stick-on heating pads. I usually like to have my plug-in heating pad, but that isn’t possible at work. I keep a stash of stick-on heating pads on my desk. Loose clothing is another thing that helps a lot. That’s actually one of the reasons why I love Monthly… The period underwear isn’t super tight on my stomach, so it doesn’t hurt me to wear it even though it is high-waisted. 

What is something you wish people knew about PCOS?

It’s a lot more than just cysts. The hormones are the main issue, and that is something that takes all kinds of remedies. There is no cure for PCOS, but things like food, cleaning products, medications, and especially birth control can all affect your hormones. 

What are your favorite resources involving PCOS and related topics?

I have the PCOS cookbook called “Meals She Eats,” and it is amazing for helping to regulate my cycle again. This cookbook is half tell-all for a couple who was trying to conceive while having PCOS, and half foods that are great for regulating your hormones. I am still a little new at this, so I am finding new resources all the time! 

Where can people connect with you? 

Instagram: @lilynhunt 

Lemon8 : @learnwithlillian