My Book Review of The PCOS Mood Cure

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I’ve been specializing in the area of PCOS for over 15 years. While progress has been made in awareness, treatment, and causes of PCOS, there is a LONG way to go. The known treatment for PCOS is nutrition, exercise, supplements and medication. But the area that has been neglected is emotional and mental health in women with PCOS. Until now that is!  I had the pleasure of reading The PCOS Mood Cure by Dr. Gretchen Kubacky. This is such an important area for women with PCOS. Read on to get my thoughts!

My Book Review of The PCOS Mood Cure | Martha McKittrick Nutrition

PCOS statistics

It’s estimated that 1 in 10 women/girls/teens have PCOS and 50% go undiagnosed! These statistics still blow my mind.  As per the PCOS Challenge, here are some stats:

  • PCOS is a complex hormonal, metabolic and reproductive disorder that affects up to 15% of women.
  • PCOS is a leading cause of infertility in women.
  • Women with PCOS constitute the largest group of women at risk for developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimate more than 50% of women with PCOS will become diabetic or prediabetic before age 40.
  • Some studies have shown women with PCOS to be at three times higher risk for endometrial cancer and may also be at increased risk for ovarian and breast cancer.
  • Some studies have shown due to symptoms of anxiety and depression, suicide attempts are up to seven times more common in women with PCOS than other women.
  • Pre-teens and teens can develop PCOS. Earlier diagnosis can give them the opportunity to better manage the emotional, internal and physical effects of PCOS. It can also help them prevent the onset of more serious illnesses related to PCOS.
  • Despite affecting millions of women and the serious health consequences, PCOS is unknown to most people and a staggering 50% of the women living with PCOS are going undiagnosed.
    *picture is of PCOS Challenge and PCOS advocates (I’m in there!) in DC April 2018 meeting with Congress to advocate for PCOS. 

Psychological symptoms that can be associated with PCOS

So you’ve read the stats above. But most people aren’t aware of the psychological symptoms that can occur in PCOS. Hormones affect mood and PCOS is all about hormones. So of course mood will be affected! As listed in Dr. Kubacky’s book, there are MANY psychological symptoms, including:
Anxiety
Depression
depressed womanPoor self-esteem
Mood swings
Irritability
Brain fog
Increased pain
Fatigue
Sleep problems. Read my blog post on why sleep is so important for PCOS
Eating disorders
Emotional eating. Read Dr. Kubacky’s guest blog post on tips to deal with this
High levels of frustration
Embarrassment about physical appearance
Feeling lack of control over the situation/their bodies
Issues with libido
and MANY more

my book review of The PCOS Mood CureThe bottom line is that these symptoms are real and can wreak havoc on a woman’s life! So, what can you do about it? Read on ….

My book review of The PCOS Mood Cure

So this brings me to the point of the my blog post … my book review.  Confession: I have a fairly short attention span. So for a book to hold me captive, it must be good! I actually read the whole book on a flight to San Diego. I found it to be an easy read with a ton of info. It’s the kind of book that you’ll go back to time and time again for a refresher.

 

Author’s background

First of all, Dr. Gretchen is highly credentialed.  She is one of the country’s leading clinical psychologists specializing in PCOS, infertility, diabetes, and other endocrine disorders. She works with individuals and couples who are struggling with PCOS, related disorders and infertility. Second, Dr. Kubacky has also been diagnosed with PCOS, type II diabetes, hypothyroidism and infertility. She shares her own painful story in the book. So she gets it. You can feel her warm and empathy coming through in her writing.


What’s in the book

In one word … a lot! A surprising amount of info is packed into the 273 pages (soft cover so it’s not heavy to carry!). You can skip around to the sections that interest you the most (though I’d recommend you read the whole book when you have time).
The book is broken down into 3 sections:

1. What is PCOS: including how hormones affect mood, sleep, stress thyroid. The mood disorders, eating disorders and sleep disorders that can occur
2. How to Live Better with PCOS: includes practical tips on how to assemble your health care team, nutrition recommendations and a very detailed section on medications and supplements
3. PCOS Life Skills: includes tips on getting proactive, practicing acceptance, managing anger, dealing with pain. And lifestyle tips on sleep, exercise, mediation.

What I loved most about the book

I appreciated many things about this book, but here are a few of my favorites:
-Her warm, honest tone and non-judgmental approach.  I find that some health care practitioners are somewhat biased in their approaches (ie. natural approaches won’t work or the opposite – against meds totally)
-The detailed explanation of the various psychological aspects of PCOS. It really makes women with PCOS feel that they aren’t alone.
-Very practical advice in areas including how to get more sleep, dealing with food cravings.
-Huge section on supplements.
– The whole book is highly referenced. As a health professional, I appreciate this. I see too many authors makes claims and then don’t back it up with references.
– Helpful resource section in the back of the book. It’s so important for women with PCOS to have access to resources.

 

Bottom line

This is a must have book for women with PCOS, their significant others and health care practitioners working with women with PCOS. It has a permanent place on my office bookshelf!

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I especially love problem-solving, whether it’s helping women defeat issues plaguing them for years, helping a busy executive find practical ways to get heart healthy, or providing tips to help you reverse diabetes. That’s why I’m on a constant quest to expand my knowledge by staying on top of the latest research.

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