Friday, April 1, 2011

Get thee to the doctor!

I've been doing a lot of research on PCOS and "estrogen dominance" and "progesterone deficiency".  Turns out having PCOS causes you to have a lot of estrogen running around in your body.  Too much estrogen and not enough progesterone tends to make you fat around the midsection, hairy, moody, headachey, etc.  As if these symptoms weren't bad enough, having such an estrogen imbalance can apparently increase your likelihood of heart disease and breast cancer.  (And, let me be the first to tell you, having PCOS can make you infertile).  If these symptoms sound familiar, consider getting yourself to your MD for a check up, and have them run some blood tests on you. 

Hey - I'm not a doctor, but I believe that if you feel like crap you should get yourself to the MD and find out what's going on. 

I know a lot of people who prefer to stick their heads in the sand and just live with their symptoms.  An example: I have an Aunt Pam.  She is one of my mother's sisters.  After my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer (for the second time) in 2008, she had genetic testing performed to determine whether she had a gene abnormality on BRCA1 or BRCA2 (these are human tumor suppressor genes - women and MEN who have an abnormality in these genes are much more likely to get breast, ovarian, and other types of cancer than the general population).  Mom had a deletion on her BRCA 2 gene - she had hereditary breast cancer.  With the exception of my Aunt Pam, my mom's children and her brothers and sisters all were tested.  We were all negative, thank God.  My Aunt Pam didn't show up for her appointment, she didn't reschedule, and she has never been tested, to this day.  Aunt Pam has two biological children, each of whom would also have benefitted from knowing whether their mom carried such a gene abnormality (because that would mean they have a 50% chance of having the same gene abnormality...the same elevated risks). 

My mom died last August, at age 54.  If she had had the benefit of a "heads up" ten years earlier, maybe she would still be alive today.  (Case in point: Christina Applegate).  To squander the opportunity to learn more about your own health, when it could provoke action that could save, extend and/or improve your life (and the lives of your loved ones), is tragic!

We only have this one life and this one body.  We should take care of them the best we can.  You're never too old to start taking care of yourself for the first time in your life.  Hey, I'm 31.  I'm obese and not that healthy at the moment.  But, I'm working on it, and my life is improving as a result.  There is no shame in being a work in progress.  There is no shame in investing in YOU!

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