I’ve shared my history with endometriosis very publicly since my diagnosis in 2015. More recently in 2022, I also experienced a season of infertility with pretty unhealthy cycles, including delayed ovulation, small fertile window just to name a few of my symptoms. I also experienced hormonal acne that I had never had in the past. All of these symptoms triggered me to call my team of doctors to check in on my hormonal health.
My NaPro doctor ordered a follicle tracking series of ultrasounds to check on my overall uterine and ovarian health. In the first ultrasound, they found a string of pearl appearance and polycystic ovaries, plus an endometrioma the size of a lime, another the size of a grape in addition to a fibroid protruding into the uterine cavity. This was a lot of news to take in all at once, because my 2015 excision surgery for endometriosis put me in such a strong health position at the time, even from a fertility perspective. I was crestfallen to find that now had not 1, but 2 of the top 3 causes of infertility in women. What concerned me more was that my metabolic health was clearly not in a good place, which was not sustainable – not just for fertility, but overall wellness.
The disease Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) can bring upon the following symptoms: irregular menstrual cycles, delayed ovulation, elevated levels of androgens leading to excess facial and body hair, difficulty losing weight, and perhaps even metabolic issues such as insulin resistance. A person with this disease may not experience all of these symptoms, though. For example, I did not have the weight symptoms, but I experienced other symptoms.
With this ‘diagnosis’ here is what the doctor recommended:
While reading this recommendation and in prayer about the whole situation, it dawned on me that my grandmother and our ancestors for millennia were having multiple children without chronic illness or infertility issues and were living the exact opposite lifestyle that I was living. I realized that I was consuming genetically modified foods and putting toxic chemicals on my body in the form of body soap and lotions, deodorants, etc. I personally attribute these health issues mainly to my excessive consumption of oat milk (and other non-dairy milks) + seed oils.
Before I continue to share what I did, I want to stress that this is not medical advice. I’m just sharing what worked for me, and encourage you to do your own research as well.
I was determined to take control of my health, so I embarked on a journey to reverse PCOS, and found success in the ancestral lifestyle and diet. The ancestral lifestyle became my guiding principle. This lifestyle is based on the premise of eating as our hunter-gatherer ancestors did, focusing on whole, unprocessed foods, including heavily on pasture raised/grass fed meats, clean wild caught fish, organic fruits, raw dairy (yes raw), whole pastured eggs, and very minimal vegetables (always highly cooked). I exclude anything processed, artificial, or not organic. This approach helped me tremendously. I never craved much sugar in the first place, but it helped me with insulin resistance – a common issue among many with PCOS.
I also replaced my multivitamins/prenatals with desiccated organ supplements, specifically the FEM by Ancestral Supplements and Beef Organs + fish eggs. I also still take Wholesome Story Myo-Inositol every evening (CLICK HERE for 10% off).
I threw away EVERYTHING in my pantry that contained seed oils. Before you read further, check out my piece on The Dangers of Seed Oils to understand why they are so detrimental to metabolic health in the first place, not just for female fertility, but for everyone. Seed oils are in so many things – crackers, cereals, salad dressings, protein bars, even ‘roasted nuts’ can contain seed oils. You may see ‘organic’ seed oils – that does not give it a pass. You may also think you are cutting out seed oils because you are no longer cooking with them, however they are in so many packaged goods – it’s very important to read labels. So what are these seed oils? Check the graphic below:
For me, I am a person who understands things ‘in moderation,’ but seed oils are never to be consumed in moderation, especially if you want to reverse PCOS. So what do you eat and what are good options? Check out my grocery guide.
When dining at a restaurant, ask for food to be cooked in butter rather than vegetable oil if they are not vetted by Seed Oil Scout.
In addition to the diet, my transition to the ancestral lifestyle meant adopting regular physical activity, in line with our ancestors who were always on the move. I incorporated regular exercise involving a mix of cardio, strength training, and flexibility exercises, into my routine. I don’t over exert myself either, especially depending on the point in cycle.
My husband was and is committed to these changes as well, and noticed massive improvements in his health that we never even expected to see.
As months passed, I noticed a gradual change in my cycles. My menstrual cycle began to regulate, energy levels increased, and my other PCOS symptoms started to subside. My fertile window was more than 2 days and began earlier than day 24. Besides cycle health, I noticed my head became clearer, I was more motivated, able to deal with stress much better, reduced anxiety, clearer skin and better sleep.
Over time, my hormonal profile improved, and in 4 months the PCOS symptoms were gone entirely with an ultrasound to prove it. One of the two endometriomas is gone entirely, and the one the size of a lime is now the size of an almond (as of May 2023). I am in the process of consulting the removal of this fibroid which has unfortunately not shrunk, but PCOS is no longer on the table for me.
Of course, this journey wasn’t a walk in the park. It required commitment, patience, resilience, and DISCIPLINE. I had to listen to my body, understand its needs, and be consistent in my efforts. Now, it has become a habit, that I don’t even crave the junk I used to be addicted to, including oat milk.
It’s important to note that while this approach has worked for me, others may need different strategies, and anyone looking to make significant lifestyle changes should consult with a healthcare provider.
**NOT MEDICAL ADVICE