By Harnidh Kaur:
It breaks my heart to see baby girls just diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD) finding themselves grappling with so much more than they should.
It’s damn easy to say “love yourself!!!” when you’re not a fat, hairy woman whose body betrays her every single day by being incompetent about everything. And this is the time you’re figuring out your own system, so you make mistakes. MANY MISTAKES.
No one ever sits down and says “You’re fine”. Everyone is saying things like “You need to lose weight”, and “You’re so hairy” and “This will cause complications in the future”.
We teach our girls to constantly think of their worth in terms of a future market for which they must make themselves most desirable. Do you even know how hard it is to not hate what you see in the mirror without having the additional pressure of “You’re not woman enough”?
Baby girls diagnosed with PCOD, here’s a small list of things I figured as I stumbled across this landscape of misunderstanding and pain:
1. Dairy. Chocolate. Sugar. They’re triggers, at least for me. Figure your triggers out. Eliminate them. Inflammation sucks.
2. You will bloat. Your body retains water. Drink water. Chug that shit up. And walk.
3. Get yourself on good multivitamins. Many women with PCOD have malabsorption problems. Having multivitamins really, really helps.
4. Try to get comfortable with body hair. Can’t? DON’T. Your comfort is more important than anyone else’s diktat of what your comfort should be, okay? If facial hair makes you uncomfortable, don’t keep waxing. It brutalizes your skin. Learn how to thread, or get a small facial epilator. Invest in laser treatments if you can.
5. Ingrown hair because of so much waxing and shaving? Use witch hazel, and exfoliate with a gentle sugar scrub. (Walnut scrubs make things worse).
6. Hair not looking A1? Thinning out? A few good remedies: Beer wash; 1 hour champi (massage) with hot oil; egg and avocado hair masks. Treat yourself. Feeling good is important.
7. Nuts and seeds are your friends. They’re excellent. Eat them. Also eat flax seeds. Roast and grind alsi to put on your food.
8. If you’re spotting during your menstrual cycle, use panty-liners. They just make you feel a little more secure. Pure cotton, ecologically smart ones available at Natracare.
9. Eat dahi (yoghurt)! Dahi is so good for your vaginal bacteria. If you can’t have proper curd, almond milk or soy milk yoghurt is A1. Try not having flavoured curds because they have immense amounts of added sugar. Epigamia original has no added sugar and is thick, dollop-y Greek yoghurt.
10. Get tests done regularly. Every 8-12 months. Keep on top of your treatment and be conscious of your body. Be smart about this.
11. Your insulin resistance levels? High, which causes your weight gain. Ask your doctor about Gluformin. If not medication, have aloe. It’s good. Also get your Prolactin checked. Some women have trouble with that.
12. I know your menstrual blood flow might be very heavy on some days. Get yourself checked for endometriosis. It’s common. Take medicines. Rest. You need to.
13. If you feel sluggish, eliminate refined carbs. They’re terrible for your system because your metabolism is anyway strained.
14. Regarding skincare, don’t be harsh! Your skin is trying! Use a gentle soapless facewash, and toner. For bad breakouts, any salicylic acid wash. Don’t over-bleach your face. You’ll burn your skin. Using besan (gram flour) with lemon and honey on alternate days will reduce dark fuzz and won’t dry your skin out.
15. Exercise. I barely do this myself, but I know I feel so much better when I do. Jog, lift, yoga – whatever feels good. Keep moving.
16. Everyone has stretchmarks. They just show that your body has grown. They’re not ugly. If someone tells you they are, whack them. People have told me to try a variety of oils and scrubs for them, but I choose not to because well, my body is covered with them and because I refuse to problematise something so normal.
I know there are days everything sucks and you hate yourself and your body feels like someone else’s. But I promise you you’re okay. It’s not much to go by. “Okay” isn’t enough, I know. But it’s something. And you should know you can handle it because you’re a bombass babe. 💜