Fatigue and PCOS—A Daily Struggle

Photo Credit: Carleen Alexis-Riley

EmpowerHer: Advocating for Women with PCOS, Endometriosis and Adenomyosis.

Fatigue and PCOS—A Daily Struggle.

Fatigue is a common symptom associated with PCOS.

Having PCOS, some days you lay in bed and just do not know how to get up and carry about with your day. Did you know that fatigue is one of the leading symptoms reported among women with PCOS? Yes, that's right! If you ever find yourself feeling overly sluggish and lethargic, it might be a good idea to get yourself checked out—just to be on the safe side.

There are many factors that might be the cause for feeling fatigued, like an underactive thyroid, hormonal imbalance, low vitamin B12 And vitamin D levels, anemia (low blood count) or sleep issues—which are all symptoms of or associated with PCOS. (More reasons to get checked)

I’ve recently conducted a survey for women with PCOS and 95% reported feeling fatigued on a daily basis.

Fatigue affects the life of these women tremendously. Sometimes it’s a challenge to complete simple tasks, it makes you feel mentally incapable and depressed.

The remarks from loved ones and family members make this struggle even worse; with comments like, “you’re just lazy” or “just get up and do it, it’s not that hard.” —it is in fact that hard.

It doesn’t matter how strong minded or strong willed you are, there is absolutely nothing you could do about it in that moment.

These harsh comments make us feel unheard, alone, insecure and not understood.

This condition by itself is already exhausting and frustrating, imagine hearing these malicious statements made by the ones you love—the ones who are supposed to understand what you are going through and be there for you.

So, instead of taking time out of your day to comment on what we ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’ do—take that time to learn about the challenges that your loved one is facing. Read an article, research, find creative ways in which you can help them. Most importantly, be polite.

Now, the exact relationship between Fatigue and PCOS is not yet understood but, addressing fatigue in PCOS may involve a holistic approach like:

Eating a well-balanced diet and exercise, may help manage, improve insulin resistance/sensitivity and overall energy levels.

Chronic stress can exacerbate the symptoms of PCOS–engaging in yoga or mindfulness routines can help with stress management.

Getting adequate sleep can aid in addressing sleep disturbances which should ultimately improve your energy levels.

It is important to understand that everyone is different and while this may work for some, it may not work for all.

Let’s continue to break the silence and end the stigma associated with PCOS and Fatigue. 

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