59: Everything you need to know about Lean PCOS
If you’ve got PCOS, and you’re not overweight, then you may have been told somewhere along the way that because you don’t need to lose weight, there’s nothing you can do to improve your PCOS, and that instead hormonal birth control or fertility treatments and drugs are going to be your only option.
That is not true. I have worked with hundreds of women who don’t gain weight with PCOS, and yet changing the way that they eat and how they move and their supplements have had a dramatic effect, from them not getting a period at all for 750 days to suddenly within two months starting to get a regular period again. I’m often told that IVF is the only option to conceive completely naturally within three or four months.
Francesca is a really good example of this. You met her last week on the podcast. She was already leading a super healthy lifestyle. She was vegan. She was a dancer, performer, very active, and she had been told that fertility drugs would be her only option. She conceived naturally within a matter of months after changing her diet, tweaking it slightly, and understanding that her insulin was too high and that’s why she needed to change her diet.
Sarah has also been another really good example. She was earlier on in the podcast in the earlier episodes and she was the same. She was always very lean, was told there was nothing really she could do to improve her symptoms because she didn’t need to lose weight. Yet within just a few months of understanding that her insulin was too high and changing her diet ever so slightly, she was able to ovulate for the first time in years and fall pregnant on that first ovulation.
So in this episode, I explain what actually is lean PCOS.
Does it even differ to normal PCOS or people that gain weight with PCOS?
And if not, then what is actually the way that we should approach it?
In that episode, not to spoil anything, but you will learn that my approach is that I treat it exactly the same as I would someone gaining weight, because I would never say to someone, “You need to go away and lose weight” because that is just not… it is completely wrong. Instead, I’m trying to get to the root cause of that for them, which is the same thing I would do for someone with lean PCOS.
I don’t just look at someone and say, “Well, you don’t have insulin resistance because you’re not overweight.” I actually get them to get their insulin tested, and we then see. Because 75% of people with lean PCOS have insulin resistance. In actual fact, their kind of insulin resistance may even be more severe than those that gain weight with their insulin resistance.
So that’s what we’re talking about today in the podcast. So if you’re lean and have PCOS, give it a listen because I know how little information there is out there for you in understanding what’s actually going on inside your body.
This episode is for you if:
- You’ve struggled to get a PCOS diagnosis because you’re not ‘overweight’
- You want to know if insulin is still an issue even though you don’t have weight gain as a symptom
- Hangry attacks and sugar cravings are a symptom of yours
- You crash not too long after eating
- You know your insulin is high but don’t understand why you aren’t gaining weight with high insulin
- You want to know if Lean PCOS is normal
Some things we cover in this episode:
- What is Lean PCOS?
- How many women suffer from Lean PCOS
- What your doctor may have missed
- Reactive Hypoglycaemia and PCOS
- What is betatrophin and how it can be playing a role in your Lean PCOS
- Insulin and Lean PCOS
- What changes you should make for Lean PCOS
Resources and References:
- Lean diabetes mellitus: An emerging entity in the era of obesity
- My Book: Getting Pregnant with PCOS
- Meta-analysis of gene expression profiles of lean and obese PCOS to identify differentially regulated pathways and risk of co-morbidities
- Relation of intra-abdominal fat distribution to metabolic disorders in non-obese patients with polycystic ovary syndrome
- Reactive hypoglycaemia in lean young women with PCOS and correlations with insulin sensitivity and with beta cell function
- Debates Regarding Lean Patients with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Narrative Review