Not all women experience weight gain, but for those that do, it can be a frustrating battle.
Working out is very important to Miesha Rice. The Pikesville resident spends a lot of time in the gym and it shows. Over the last eight to 10 years she has lost more than 130 pounds.
“For years, I had been making attempts to lose weight. No matter how much I worked out, no matter what the diet, (the weight) was not coming off and not staying off,” Rice said.
In 2011, Rice was diagnosed with poly-cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). It’s a common condition in women with symptoms that include irregular periods, difficulty getting pregnant, loss of scalp hair, fatigue and weight gain.
“Not only is it difficult to lose weight, (but) your metabolism is really slow, you can get really sluggish (and) sometimes you don’t have the energy to work out,” Rice said.
“They have hyper-insulin anemia, so their insulin is high (and it’s) harder for them to lose weight and (they) are more pre-disposed to be obese,” said Dr. Julie Jacobstein, an OBGYN with Sinai Hospital
Jacobstein said PCOS can run in the family, and while there is no cure, it can be managed. In patients who are overweight, just losing 5 to 10 percent of their body weight can make a difference, she said.
“As you start to drop pounds, we see pretty quickly women start to return to ovulation and a lot of the symptoms get better,” Jacobstein said.
“My symptoms have gotten so much better,” Rice said.
Rice said while losing the weight was hard, maintenance is the real mental struggle.
“The mental battle that I have to endure is a lot, but I think when I get up in the morning and I take care of me first, I get to win the mental battle and I feel awesome,” Rice said.