If I went to any physician and said "Run every test you have on me, I want to know if I have PCOS" and I don't tell them I used to have it, they would not diagnose it today.
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[2:15] Carolina gives background on her health history. She had a diagnosis of precocious puberty at age 5.
[3:15] At age 13, Carolina was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
[4:15] Carolina had PCOS for 16 years. During that time, she did not have a period. And at her heaviest, six-foot-tall Carolina weighed nearly 400 pounds.
[5:50] Carolina had always had normal blood glucose levels. But after 16 years of having an endocrine disorder, a doctor finally checked her insulin levels (an undertested but very important marker). Her insulin levels were very high; she had hyperinsulinemia.
[7:00] In her mid-twenties, Carolina had started eating a Paleo-like Weston A. Price-style diet.
[8:00] In 2014, Carolina started following a ketogenic (carbohydrate-controlled) diet.
[8:55] Within 4 months of keto, even though she was still morbidly obese, Carolina began having her cycle for the first time in her life.
[9:45] Carolina describes the criteria used to diagnose PCOS.
[12:45] Carolina describes how insulin levels impact PCOS.
[15:20] Carolina never had a naturally-occuring menstrual cycle until her late twenties. And she had finished growing at age 12.
[18:20] For most of her life, Carolina didn’t think much about her ability to have children or not.
[22:30] Carolina describes her transition to a ketogenic diet.
[26:00] Carolina started out focusing on a meat, a low-carb vegetable, and a sauce. She also liked “fatty coffee” drinks early on.
[32:30] What was the timeline like on Carolina’s weight loss (around 200 pounds total) on the ketogenic diet? It totaled out to about 60 pounds per year.
[35:50] Carolina doesn’t have to think about food as often anymore. She’s not hungry all the time.
[38:50] After massively improving her own health, Carolina decided to get a Master’s degree in Nutrition. Just after getting accepted to the Master’s program, she found out she was pregnant. She and her husband found out she was having twins. This was after she was told at age 13 she would likely never be able to have children.
[41:20] Carolina describes that a normal insulin level is <= 20 mIU/L but that many low carb doctors state that a healthier level is <= 5 mIU/L. When she got hers checked for the first time, it was 70!
[46:00] Carolina describes her Master’s thesis, related to nutrition for PCOS and fertility (titled “Awareness and Perceptions of Carbohydrate-Controlled Diets for the Management of PCOS”).
[48:40] Carolina surveyed registered dieticians to see what they know about low carbohydrate dietary literature. She also surveyed women who ate carbohydrate-controlled diets to see if they had changes in fertility upon adopting said diet. She also did a survey of the general public’s carbohydrate literacy.
[51:45] Carolina learned that many registered dieticians worry about “carbohydrate restriction” because they see restriction as potentially promoting an eating disorder. Because of this, Carolina pushes for “carbohydrate-controlled” as a term instead of using the touchy word “restriction”.
[57:40] Carolina found that “low carb” is a vaguely-defined term in a great deal of literature, encompassing everything from 20 grams of carbohydrate per day or less to 40% of dietary intake being from carbohydrate.
[1:01:20] What was the outcome in Carolina’s thesis for the women who had adopted ketogenic diets? What impact did it have on their fertility and PCOS? Hint: the ketogenic diet had a very positive result.
[1:07:30] Does Carolina consider herself cured of PCOS?
[1:11:20] What resources does Carolina recommend for people looking to heal from PCOS and/or infertility?
[1:15:40] Now that Carolina has improved her health, what’s one thing she enjoys doing that she couldn’t do before?