Let’s take a moment to appreciate the advancements in medical science. With all the modern tools available to your doctors, they can now easily diagnose diseases and cure them before they start bothering you. However, when it comes to PCOS, the case of overdiagnosis and labels becomes stronger. Are you being overdiagnosed if you are suffering from PCOS? How can it affect your physical and mental health?
Labels, and how they can affect you
When I first went to the doctor, I was baffled to hear about some ‘condition’ that will keep interfering with my life till menopause takes over. It is common for doctors to call it PCOD i.e. Polycystic Ovarian Disease and not PCOS i.e. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
This simple replacement of ‘D’ with ‘S’ can help you feel much better. When your doctor or pharmacist and everyone you know calls it a ‘disease’, you start feeling ill. Your stomach hurts, your mind blocks all light and you somehow enter a dark tunnel of a diseased body. You don’t even know why you are ‘diseased’ and you don’t know what to do about it except for popping a pill every few hours. This is the worst thing that has happened to me and many more women who are suffering from PCOS.
Let’s not call it a disease. I call it PCOS, because I know it is a complicated condition. It doesn’t cripple you physically, but boy, does it do anything less than that? Still labels are important and very, very effective.
When you are supplied with a ‘label’ that you have PCOS, you suddenly become more susceptible to other conditions. Many women I know have natural dark (something thick) hair growth on their upper lips. Still, they have zero menstrual troubles and have children too. Some women, who are actually ‘medically’ hirsute have gone to have fine pregnancies, childbirth and have had normal periods as well. However, as soon as the label of PCOS gets aligned with your health, suddenly, things start looking a lot bleak.
You are suddenly at a risk of diabetes, of heart disease, of stroke, of cancer and what not.
No, I am not denying that medical studies have proven a link between these conditions. However, I believe we can be less dramatic about what PCOS does to our bodies. There is definitely a problem with overdiagnosis in PCOS which is making us feel sicker than ever. Taking a pill for every possible symptom you experience? Now that is what I call overdiagnosis overdose. Have you ever imagined the consequences that these pills could have? Did you ever check the side effects of each pill you are using? Your kidney and liver are at stake here.
Everyone who consumes excess sugar can and will develop diabetes. I have had PCOS for 7 years and my blood sugar level has never been high. Though I have been asked by numerous doctors on numerous occasions to get my blood sugar tested because I am ‘pre-diabetic’ as I have PCOS. Really? I have never had my blood sugar elevate at a level that an average healthy person could consider ‘near dangerous’. In such a case, why should I be labelled pre-diabetic and consume pills for the same? The only time I actually have elevated sugar level is during Diwali (Festival and holidays). For 360 days an year, my sugar consumption is low.
Let me tell you this thing, PCOS will be wreaking a havoc on your psyche and your body image. That is true. I have experienced this. However, stress and anxiety in life could do as much damage to your health as PCOS can. Just check out the effects of stress on your body and compare it with the effects of PCOS and you will find similarities.
So what do I have to share with you all?
I know PCOS is a problem. I know it feels bad. I know it hurts. Trust me. It will subside. Most of us will live fine with PCOS and have healthy pregnancies as well. There is always a solution. Only a few of us, and let me tell you this thing honestly, only a very few of us will actually be rendered infertile and that too because of several conditions acting together.
YOU CAN LIVE A HEALTHY LIFE WITH PCOS.
I found this amazing article on overdiagnosis of PCOS. I completely agree with the things suggested in this article. I know life is hard and PCOS makes it a little harder. However, I am also sure that there is a natural, less ‘medical’, less ‘pill popping’ lifestyle that we can follow to handle our symptoms and just be great women.