Newbie, PCOS

on 4/1/14 1:14 pm

Hi everyone!  Just found this site because I'm thinking there's the potential that I will need/want WLS.  


As background, the majority of my family on my mother's side is overweight - 4 of my aunts/cousins have had WLS.  My adoptive family was super-strict about my weight (yes, I have emotional issues from that!) so I was super-skinny til about 12 years ago.  Through college, I'd yo-yo up and down til I finally just ballooned up and exploded in weight and have gained ever since.  About 2 years ago, I was finally diagnosed with PCOS, which I'm sure is a huge reason why I have such a problem with my weight.    Today, my endocrinologist referred me to a bariatric specialist for medical weightloss, although she implied I could switch over to surgical.  Frankly, I feel like that's the only thing left for me to try!!!  Nothing else has worked overall, I eat pretty healthy and exercise, and I've done every "diet" out there but when you're going low-carb and feeling miserably hungry and not enjoying the food (I do love my carbs) and losing no weight, it's hard to stick with it for very long!

Sorry about the has anyone else had a similar story?  I haven't figured out a way to search the forum yet but I'm hoping there are some other PCOS'ers out there who have had a similar experience who can chime in.  Which surgery did you choose?  How's the weightloss for you been?

Amy Farrah Fowler
on 4/1/14 3:42 pm

I have to say first, that no surgery is going to be forgiving of carbs. 

I had the DS, in part because of PCOS. It has the most metobolic help of any of the surgeries, as well as the best stats for weight loss, maintenance, and resolution of co-morbs. 

If you want more information on the DS, or links to studies about all the weight loss surgeries, you can access them at

In addition to the PCOS issues like the messed up periods, skin tags, dark skin patches, hairs that sprouted non-stop on my face and increasing insulin resistance, I had other co-morbs like high blood fats, fluctuating blood pressure, sleep apnea and degeneration in my joints / spine from the weight. 

All of that is resolved for me, and has been for 6+ years. I have been relieved of prescriptions for all of those things, and the trade off is that I now have to take 12-20 vitamins a day. I'm totally good with that. Oh, and being 170 pounds lighter.

on 4/2/14 9:34 am

That's awesome!!!  And it sounds like you had pretty bad symptoms!  My worst is by far the weight gain, but with that also comes near-constant fatigue, low self-esteem, and some depression.  My cholesterol is high but everything else is so far fairly normal thank goodness.  

Thanks for the website info!  I was looking around on this forum and it does look like the DS is the better option for PCOS sufferers, although I guess I have a ways before I'll need to make that decision.  Did the surgery make the low-carb a bit easier for you??  I think I could stick with it if it was making a difference, but without seeing any reward, it's hard to continue when I'm hungry all the time and miss my carbs!

Amy Farrah Fowler
on 4/2/14 2:32 pm

Considering I'm so far out from surgery, I do actually eat carbs and maintian. I was more more careful the first year, because I wanted to make sure I lost the weight. The DS is the most likely to let you get away with that, because it is so forgiving otherwise, but it has the most normal post op diet of all the surgeries. But, many people have gastric issues like gas if they pig out on carbs (can be problem with DS or RNY), so we don't all get a total free pass. 

Even if I'm not eating carbs, it's easy to follow the plan. I do have to eat more protein, but the DS malabsorbs more fat than RNY, so it's much easier to feel sated when fat is basically a free food. I don't worry about how lean my meat is anymore, like I can enjoy prime rib and bacon wrapped shrimp and am not limited to chicken breast or fish. I also used to stress on ALL fats even if they were otherwise healthy, and now I truly enjoy adding things back like nuts (and nut butters), avocado, olive oil, coconut oil and cheese. It's wonderful to have some sauce like holandaise or bernaise on my asparagus or eggs benedict. 

DS is also hands down the best for getting cholesterol under control. Despite not restricting my fat, I and most DSers I know have amazing cholesterol. I inherited a condition from my moms side that left me with uncontrollable cholesterol no matter what I ate and now my level is an awesome 116 - my moms, who has not had surgery, is just under 500. 

on 4/3/14 9:53 am

That's really great!!  Thanks for gives me confidence that there's hope.  And my high cholesterol is also in part hereditary....back before I gained all my weight when I was in my 20s, my cholesterol was still pretty high.  So it's good to know that could improve in the future too!

on 4/2/14 3:26 am - Canada

Please explain as I am unfamiliar with the terms you are using  PCOS  and DS  Thanks

on 4/2/14 9:36 am

PCOS = Polycistic Ovarian Syndrome.  Causes infertility, irregular/abnormal periods, weight gain, insulin resistance, plus a bunch of other symptoms like the person above has experienced.  Makes it extremely difficult to lose weight and very easy to gain it in the belly.

on 4/2/14 10:00 am - Canada

Thanks for your info :-)

Amy Farrah Fowler
on 4/2/14 2:37 pm

DS is short for duodenal switch. It has the best stats for weight loss, maintenance, and resolution of co-morbs, but can be hard to get in Canada. Read more about it and all surgeries at the site I mentioned above if you want to learn more. 

If you have specific questions about getting it in canada, you should ask on the DS board.

on 4/2/14 6:50 am

I too have pcos and type 2 diabetes as well. I completely agree with you that when you are doing so much and seeing little to no result how are you suppose to stay motivated?! I have one last medical supervised weightloss appt the end of the month and then it's sent to my ins for approval ! Fingers crossed! However loving carbs is a no-no lol. If you are serious about going through with the surgery I would simply start now trying to cut carbs out of your diet and trying to get more "good carbs" instead of starchy carbs. Good luck! 

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