T Nation

Help / Advice for Teenage PCOS


#1

Hi All, I was not sure where to post this question, so I figured that the place where the most knowledgeable woman hang out would be the best bet…if not please tell me where and I will go there.

With that out of the way, some history…

My daughter is 16 yo. When she was in around grade 4 (9/10 yo) she started gaining weight no matter how active she was. In grade 5 (10/11 yo) she started with her menses…very early we thought but kept an eye on it. She was never regular but really started picking up weight, even having braces, watching what she was eating and with the activities of any young teenager. Fast forward to last year, where my wife and I decided that the constant weight gain and irregular periods at last warranted investigation (we wanted her body to have more time to “mature” to see if this problem would resolve itself without any intervention) So, doing our own research according to her symptoms, we narrowed the possibilities down to PCOS or adrenal problems.

So we decided to the family OBGYN figuring that was the easiest option to “cancel” out before going to an endo.

The OBGYN ended up testing everything and came to the same conclusion that we had come to and confirmed the PCOS by way of a 3D scan. The blood tests revealed that most all her labs were out of range on the upper end, testosterone, cortisol, estrogen etc

He placed her on a “light” birth control pill to try to regulate the menses and glucophage to bring down blood sugar levels.

She had immediate breakout which lasted about 3 months after which her skin cleared up, the facial hair has all but disappeared and her period is now monthly but not 28 day exact, some longer some shorter but never on the 28 day (which should happen on the pill I am led to believe).

So, that is kind of sorted…but…her weight has moved an inch, if anything she is still gaining weight albeit at a slower pace.

She is eating a low sugar moderate protein and fat diet and includes some exercise, no change as yet.

After that long winded intro, my question…Is there something we can change, add to, take away etc to get the weight moving in the right direction? I would guestimate her bf to be around 35%

Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated.

K


#2

I’m really sorry your daughter is going through this. I wish there was a better alternative than taking birth control. Walking is a great start for her. If you can have her walk and or run regularly I think that will help a lot. I know you said you have been watching her diet so that’s great. I would make sure she’s also getting a substantial increase in fruits and vegetables and cut out processed food like cheese, lunch meat, fried food etc. Hopefully some other ladies here can add to this.


#3

Very sorry to hear about all the endocrine/ health issues with your young daughter. Glad to hear that the pill has been helpful, at least with many of the symptoms.

I’ll tag @KSman here so he’ll see your post. He might have some ideas.


#4

Thanks Ladies, your responses and empathy is really appreciated.


#5

Aside from what has already been done, keep her cholesterol in check, keep her blood pressure in check, and if she has issues with facial hair get her a waxing gift card that she can use to relax and get prettied up. and get her lifting (at her own comfortable pace), and maybe swimming or jumping rope. I wouldn’t suggest you make her run (not good for muscle building). Give her a while for her body to stabilize. May take some months but give it a minute. Keep sugar down by a bit (sugar is important for women though). I had/have issues with my ovaries and cervix (similar to what your daughter has),but I refused to have to constantly take a pill so I did my best to fix that, and I can actually have kids, I just have to be proactive and might need a shot or two come time for trying to have a child. So do your very best to get her body to learn to fix itself. Have fun with it too. Get her interested in taking care of herself. If you can get your daughter to start gaining lean muscle, doing conditioning work, eating a lot of the right things, resting well, taking in micronutrients, and macronutrients, she probably won’t even need medication anymore. And get more iron in. Iron,iron,iron. And do not please do not starve her, don’t cut her calories down because she is very young. Get her metabolism revved up as much as possible. If you need some forums to talk to other people who have overcome this I have a few. Best of luck to you all.


#6

Sorry that your daughter is going through this, but she is lucky to have such a diligent and involved parent!

I would like to add that you should not be too concerned that her period does not fall exactly on the 28th day. That is a common occurrence for many healthy females who are on BC. Not everyone is fortunate to have it predictable on the dot of the 28th day, so I wouldn’t fret over that detail of this. I apologize that I cannot add any further insight on her other symptoms, but others seem to have provided some great information!


#7

Hi Gals, again, many, many thanks for the replies and the empathy, it is actually overwhelming to me…

I guess we are being a bit impatient…She has been on the BC for 6 months now, we were at the OBGYN over the weekend and he took away the Glucophage and renewed her script for the BC.

I have to admit that her facial hair has all but disappeared and at least her period is happening every month now so we can relax about that.

I agree 100% with the exercise, especially the lean muscle part. As a family, we are not fond of running, biking etc (swimming would be an exception, water is great in the summer), but give us some plates to bang around and we are happy…

In fact, I just convinced her to start full body exercises including squat, dead-lift, push press, medicine ball slams etc (very light) to get her going and to develop a liking in how she feels. Some bag work is also thrown in to rid her of frustration and to get the heart rate up for a while.
(she was worried about looking like Arnie / Jay, so it took some time to explain the volume of training, food and, ahem, supplements they took to look like that and she is now dead set on getting a “squat butt” :wink:

I have also managed to get her over her dislike in Omega 3 pills and she is also now taking some ZMA before bed. What kind of iron should I get for her (and for Mom as well I assume?)

Other than that, I assume time is all we need with the above?

BTW, I am of the opinion that this poor child is eating far to little, I suppose that I can ramp up the meal sizes with fruit, veggies and meats?

Thanks again Gals, you are amazing


First Fitness Female Competition - PCOS (Body Fat Reduction)
#8

So glad to hear she’s receptive to weight training, that’s awesome! It also give you guys good family bonding time. As for iron slo fe is the only brand I know that worked for me when I was anemic. Also good whole foods rich in iron are beans, dark leafy greens, dried fruit, meat and seafood. Do keep us posted.


#9

Thanks Psychounicorn (Cool handle)

Everything on your list is do-able but the seafood…heard of the gag-reflex, but hopefully we can develop her palate some.

So, I will have a look at slow release iron tablets for her as well…


#10

If youre looking for things that teenage girls will like but it tastes darn good you can try things
that are sold in bulk at Costco.

They have:

quinoa
kale
boneless chicken breasts
acai berry juice
super fruit trail mixes
Pollock (its fish, but tastes more like chicken if you pan fry it)
fresh pulled pork
ready to eat cheeses and fruit trays
veggie patties/burgers
vegan dumplings
prepared corn on the cob
70/30 beef patties
pecans (1 pound containers/bags)
thick cut bacon
tortilla soup

its all in bulk and great for families, and the CDS people there show you how you can make meals for dinner or lunch or whatever you want. If you haven’t been to Costco, if you have just stock up on good foods, which are EVERYWHERE. And anything with the Kirkland brand signature on it is very good, and they take care of their livestock, and harvest fresh, natural, organic produce…whole nine yards.


#11

Hey, I noticed this post, since I have a close friend who also has PCOS. One seemingly insignificant thing you can do to help iron intake is cook on cast iron. Interestingly enough, cast iron cookware (not the coated enamel stuff) leaches healthy iron into the food cooked. It also imparts a splendid taste to food that other cookware cannot match, in my opinion. :slight_smile: Hope all things work out for your daughter, and glad ya’ll caught this issue early!


#12

Hi Tip, many thanks for the reply.

We have her exercising everyday now, different modalities. Not much by way of change in body comp yet, but she is a real trooper, giving it her all and her fitness has already improved by leaps & bounds.

Will keep all up to date…