Monday, 19 September 2016

Veganism Reversing PCOS - My Journey towards Holistic Health



 We as "Women/Girls" are shunned or silenced over anything that's mildly related to something which makes us what we are. "PERIODS". It's still a taboo to talk about let alone say it out loud in front of the audience. So I'm here to share my journey and hope to reach out to all these beautiful women who are suffering the same.


Statistics: 1 out of 5 girls/women in India are suffering from this condition called "PCOS" (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). 

Meaning: Polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, is a condition in which a woman's levels of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone are out of balance. This leads to the growth of ovarian cysts (benign masses on the ovaries). 

Symptoms- 
Menstrual: absence of menstruation, heavy menstruation, infrequent menstruation, irregular menstruation, short and light menstruation, or spotting
Skin: acne, oily skin, or skin tag
Weight: obesity, overweight, or weight gain
Also common: depression, inappropriate male features, infertility, loss of scalp hair, pot belly, type 2 diabetes, unwanted hair, or irregular uterine bleeding. (source: google and personal experience)
Before I go on, I would like to send a message out to every women who's going through the same. DO NOT and I literally mean DO NOT be ashamed of this. It's completely natural and perfectly alright to talk about this, Only with an open mind and open communication you can find yourself with solutions. Hiding them and being ashamed of it will only make things worse for you. It's your body, It makes you who you are. Be Proud of it, love it and take care of it! :*
My Diagnosis
When I reached at that certain age (15) 2007, where puberty kicks in and all the crazy hormonal changes occurs from that moment of time itself, I experienced Irregular and Long Painful Periods since it started. It was as Irregular as Once in 6 months and as Long and Painful as 30 days with excruciating, gut wrenching agony.  I used to completely be on bed rolling over it with no sign of relief and felt never ending. As PCOS wasn't so much known or there was no awareness in my family. We let it pass thinking as it's the first time it's common to be irregular and painful. Months passed by and when after 6 months I got it again, "all hell broke loose". Finally my mother sensed that something is wrong she finally took me to a doctor who did a very awkward and uncomfortable "internal check up" (if you know what I mean). :/ and completely unpleasant. He then prescribed me some medicines which I had no idea about at that time, I just kept popping 'em in. After 6 months still no changes. We went to another one. Have you ever come across a "pervert doctor" well I did.. I realized this when I was wise and mature enough to understand that the "check up" he did was completely unnecessary and it was just an act of perverseness. Just so you know, I grew up faster than my age (physically and somehow mentally too). The act was embarrassing and I completely sensed something was wrong I was just too shy to speak up or to even tell my mother about it. A piece of advice, Visit a doctor who knows you well or with some reference within your family. Again a lot of medications but no use. I was fed up and I gave up completely neglecting how important it was to have your periods on time. It went on until I got in college and faced the same. Somehow I decided I would take this in my own hands and I looked for a "Female Gynecologist". Yes, I was terrified to go to a "male doctor". Somehow I still am but at least now if  I come across a pervert one I completely know how to teach 'em a lesson. Anyway, so finally with some blood tests, Sonography of Pelvis and abdomen, I was Diagnosed by my Gynecologist that I have "PCOS". When she showed me the X-ray, where the ovaries were filled with cysts and she said that,"the small circles (cysts) that I see, shouldn't be there. My right ovary was enlarged twice the size it should be. It showed a tilted uterus. The medications that she prescribed which I later researched and got to know that most of them were just contraceptive pills which artificially helps control hormones and unnatural hair growth, honestly which only worsened things for me. 

Fast Forward to the "Ray of Hope" 
I turned VEGAN a year and 10 months back. It was completely and 100%  a conscious and ethical decision. The BEST decision of my life. Throughout all those years when I wasn't a vegan, I had a lot of other issues too. Migraine, Sinus, Weight Gain, Mood Swings, Cramps, Tiredness, Dizziness and all things negative that would affect physically and mentally. So when I finally turned Vegan from Vegetarian. I lost tremendous amount of weight for first couple of months, My migraine which used to be the worst in summer, it completely disappeared, My sinus out of the window, My skin was clearer and I felt lighter than ever, Mind you, I had no idea how the "side effects" of being vegan, I experienced all this while I took steps towards veganism. Veganism not only made me physically better but somehow it even affected my mental health. I was calmer then I had ever been in my life, my anxiety, my anger was all in control. I felt consciously awake all the time and was better at handling situations and adjusting to circumstances. 

Ditching Dairy Effects
 After a year passed by I landed with an internship in one of the amazing Organisation which is working towards "Diabetes free India" and not just India but all around the world. SHARAN INDIA, Founded by Dr. Nandita Shah. Believe me, this was the ray of hope. I learned a lot about the health benefits of going vegan and how a "Whole Plant Based Diet" can help you reverse many chronic diseases. That's when I realized that as I turned vegan, most of the chemicals that were being ingested in me through dairy were flushing off itself from my body and that's how I was experiencing positive changes. We all believe that "Milk" is the source of "calcium" and good health. I never thought that what was believed so religiously in India is the reason India is in the one of the top 3 country to have Diabetes and Osteoporosis spread across. I don't have to be a doctor to just make this statement, "If you feel dairy is so healthy and is a source of calcium, why is it that India is one of the country highest in and increasing no of diseases like Diabetes, Osteoporosis, Cardiovascular Diseases, PCOS and so on".  What is it that dairy is doing to your body? What is it that meat, eggs and fish is doing to your body? When all of them claims to be the source of calcium and proteins? 
Here lies the answer: Milk Myths Busted  Human Health
The chemicals and all the artificial hormones that are ingested in cows to produce more milk goes in to your body in the form of milk (milk tea, paneer, cheese, ghee, yogurt, curd and all the dairy products). The same goes to meat and other animal products. The chemicals and artificial hormones are used to grow animals faster and in a very abnormal way. Once you get rid of these, you'll see the difference yourself. I am the living example and so are my couple of friends who are suffering from PCOS too.

Holistic Health
With the internship I learned a lot about the food we eat, even though I was a vegan at that time but I wasn't living a healthy lifestyle. I still consumed junk and processed food. In Today's generation almost every person out there is aware of the disaster that processed foods brings to your body. 
So here are some tips to get you easy and started:
1) Get rid of Animal foods. i:e; Milk (milk products), meat, eggs, fish, honey.
2) Get rid of all the packaged foods. Yes, you heard that right, everything that you get in the supermarket packed, stay away from it, do not put it in your grocery basket.
3) Get rid of pesticides and chemicals that are in your veggies and fruits and nuts and seeds. i;e; go organic. I know, I know you must be thinking that if you eliminate so much how are you going to survive and what are you going to eat. Well, Let me put it this way. If you go to a restaurant quite often and you know what's your favourite thing to order in there even if you are a foodie you would try out some new dishes but you'll also order something which is on your "must haves" list. So suddenly one day when you go there and you do not find that dish on the menu, you're bound to look for something else, right? so you order something else, something new and you completely love it and you wonder how you never tried it before. That's how it is when you know what's harming your body and that's how you open up and see all the healthy yet delicious food around you which you thought never existed before. It's all about the "mind game". you gotta be alert to keep your body healthy.
4) Eat a lot of veggies and fruits. Make your diet 70% to 80% raw. I know what you're thinking, "what the hell, it's not going to taste good at all, what about my taste bud?" I completely agree and I get your point because when you start doing the above mentioned thing (3), you start exploring the foods around you and experience its effects on your body and how it reacts in a positive way. Our digestion system gets a lot smoother and easier when we eat raw. Cooked food takes double amount of time to digest compared to raw. That's how all the sugar and fats produced kinda sticks in instead of transforming it into energy and making you feel heavier and lazy when consumed. Raw will not only fill your stomach but will also give you the energy and strength you need with the deliciousness that you look for in your food. Of course, everything that you try for the first time is difficult, I won't say it's a smooth ride but if you are determined enough, you'll get used to the idea and even your taste buds will adjust and accept the food happily,

5) Avoid/Stop Oil consumption. Yes, yet again another shock? Oil free food makes your body a lot easier to break down your food and helps it digest. Oil is a fatty part of your whole food with a lot of calories to break down, It's an additive that we need to make our food tasty. Believe me, Oil free food tastes amazing as well, and when I say it does because I'm a big foodie and in no way I would compromise in the taste of my food, If at first you want you can use cold pressed organic oil but with limitations and not so often, Try it, you'll fee the difference. 
Click here to know more about Healthy Cooking
6) The time that you consume your food. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. It should be properly timed and the last meal should be consumed by 8 pm at the latest. I know it's difficult but try by starting eating an hour early to your present habit/time of your food intake. Body needs time to digest and it won't do any good if you keep hogging late night, of course for those cravings keep your fruits and dry fruits/nuts handy. It will slowly curb your appetite and will also flush off your odd time cravings.
7) Adrenaline drug is one of the strongest one we know. When animals are taken to slaughter houses this skips the adrenaline rush in them which leads them to panic, sadness and fear. These drugs not only affect the emotionally capable animals but also affect their health. When you consume the dead bodies, this is what you're putting in. 
There's a study where Carnists are said to be more violent and with a lot of negative energy in them, Read this: Meat Eaters are more Violent?
Move That Bod of yours 
Majority of us think that if you work out and eat as much as you want, you'll reach your "Body Goal" or you'll still be healthy and fit. While I agree every body is different and works differently, this is the most basic rule of a healthy and fit body. The amount of food and the quality of food you eat is the primary reason to your inside out healthy body. I'm not saying that exercising is not necessary, don't get me wrong but Yes our healthy and fit body depends on our food and to balance it with strength and endurance and burn all the fats and calories exercise is a MUST. It can be anything as long as it keeps the body moving and sweating. Cycling, Swimming, Dancing, Yoga, Aerobics, Gym, Running, Brisk Walks etc can keep your body on track both psychically and mentally. Get it Moving! :D 


Mental Health
A lot of factors are accountable when it comes to this which is as important as physical health. You need stability, patience , strength and piece of mind. You need support from your loved ones too. Of course there are some of us out there who struggle alone but don't forget there's someone going through similar journey as you are, you just need to find a way to reach out there and find help or support, whatever that you need to keep yourself going. 

Conclusion
I've come a long way from where I was. My health is in a much better shape and so much improvement in the factor of PCOS. It's working and still getting better.
All the experiences that I've been through from the pervert doctors, to the painful days and nights, to finding hope and to finally coming across a way to holistic living. 
I'm far from the goal that I've set for myself but at least I'm walking in the right direction.
P.S All the information is only through a personal experience. I'm no Doctor or Nutritionist. Please research for yourself and try this out with your own set of choices. Though I can guarantee that you will surely see lots of positive changes if you choose to adapt this lifestyle. 

Women we have enough drama to deal with the outside world, Let's at least work for ourselves to make our life better, healthier and happier. <3 :*
It's a peaceful way of living for you and for all the Non-Human Animals out there. 
Cruelty-free. Guilt-free. Sustainable. Peace. Positivity.
Your Body is not a graveyard to put dead animals in it.
Images Source: Google
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