anxiety, depression, Health, lifestyle, pcos, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, stress, Women's Health

A Talk about Anxiety and Food

I went for my first appointment with the nurse practitioner for bariatric surgery yesterday. This is the woman that I will be meeting with once a month for the next six months. She was amazing and has me very excited that things can change. Basically where I am right now is that my gut is unwell. I need to fix my gut to fix my mind. It is a chicken and egg thing. Does my stomach hurt because of my anxiety? Or, is my stomach hurting driving my anxiety? She liked the fact that I am data driven. I like to have numbers of what works and what does not. She sent me home with several homework assignments.

So, beginning today I have started keeping a food journal. It is not just a food journal though. This particular journal that I found online records my food and drinks, but it also asks how I feel before and after each. This will help me figure out how different foods effect my mind and body. I am doing a high protein, low carb diet. Because I still need to burn energy, I need to make sure I have good fats when letting go of the carbs. I have to go in at the end of May to have a full blood panel done. This panel will allow them to see how my body handles insulin and which vitamins I may be deficient in or that I may have too much of. Having PCOS, insulin resistance is a major thing. Basically my body’s cells do not react to insulin in the correct way. My body does not use glucose for energy like normal people. So, in reaction, my body creates more insulin, causing my blood sugars to go up. Insulin promotes fat storage. So, while losing weight is possible, it is much harder for a woman with PCOS to do so. There are women who have PCOS that are not heavy, so this is not an every person thing. This panel will allow them to see if I need to be put back on Metformin. Besides birth control pills (which I cannot take hormones), Metformin is the only other way to treat PCOS medically. It is not approved to treat PCOS, but it is the most common medication for PCOS. It is not a fun drug to be on. It can cause stomach issues. For someone who already has stomach issues, it is important that I figure things out before possibly going back on it.

One thing that I have learned is that your gut has more serotonin receptors than your brain. Isn’t that insane? This means that eating crappy will make you feel crappy. Now I have this new woman on my team to add to my regular doctor, my therapist, and my psychiatrist. Through all of them, I am learning that self-care is so important to keep anxiety at bay.

Lately I have been extremely irritable. There has been a lot going on. I am writing my final paper for my coursework. It is due on Friday. Once that is turned in, I switch from doctoral student to doctoral candidate as all of my coursework will be done. All that will be left is the dissertation. I also have all of this research and reading to do for self-care. I have all these books on anxiety, PCOS, diets, and so on that I have been meaning to read. I am hoping that things will settle down and I will have a bit more time to do that. I have to keep reminding myself that two years ago my life was completely different. I was working and traveling a lot for work. I was in school, and my biggest worry was who was going to watch my dogs while I was out of town. I was kid free and only looking out for myself. Fast forward to today and I am now married, have two kids, bought a house, and still have dogs. It is no longer just about me, but I also need to care for me in order to care for all of them.

It is rough when I feel like I am constantly cleaning up after everyone else. And it is little things, like someone not hitting the trash can. I feel overwhelmed with the fact that nobody else seems to be able to deep clean the house. That means moving things and scrubbing things. Everyone else just wipes around things, including my husband. Drives me crazy.

Anyways, enough about that. What I need to be focusing on is some self-care. I have a writing test to do for a women’s health site that is quite popular. Lots of things to do, but I will find time for some yoga and meditation.