Low BMI and PCOS advice : I’d be grateful... - PCOS UK (Verity)

PCOS UK (Verity)
6,187 members1,789 posts

Low BMI and PCOS advice


I’d be grateful for any advice please. I was referred to gynaecology for years of painful periods and they suspect endometriosis (awaiting laparoscopy) and they also diagnosed PCOS. This is based on ovarian cysts on USS and long period cycles (usually every 35-38 days but a couple have been 45 days). I am also really hairy in all the wrong places :( All my hormone blood tests were thankfully normal. The gynaecologist said the reason I don’t have acne or more irregular periods is likely because I’m underweight so that sort of controls my symptoms a bit.

I wanted some advice on how people with lower BMI have improved their PCOS symptoms... generally when you research all the advice is lose weight but I’m desperate to reduce my hairiness (I’m half Asian anyway so it’s really noticeable). My BMI is 17.5 and I’ve been underweight my entire life as is mum and I’ve been advised to try and increase my weight to see if that regulates my periods for future fertility as if I have endo I have to try and optimise everything else I can. But I am worried my hairiness may worsen or acne may develop as I put on weight and the gynaecologist seemed to imply this would likely happen but they still want me to get a normal BMI. To be fair they were focusing more on my endo pain than the PCOS bit so didn’t get chance to quiz them. I’m on the mini-pill back to back to try and stop periods for now (whilst I wait for op). Just wondered if there were any supplements / advice from people who have improved their PCOS symptoms, especially excess hair growth, without losing any weight (or even whilst gaining weight). Thank you so much for reading!

6 Replies

Hi! It sounds like you have been through a lot. I also feel your frustration as someone fobbed off for years because I was slim with PCOS. The endometriosis must be so painful too, and lots of research suggests they're linked.

Regards your unwanted hair growth, spearmint tea is meant to be amazing for reducing this! Apparently it can help to lower testosterone.

I think if you're determined to put on weight without affecting your PCOS any more, then high protein and good fats is the way to go! It's tempting to just eat more cake and carbs, but these are generally the foods that make symptoms worse. So as long as you're not veggie - lots of good quality meat and fish, 'good' carbs like beans and lots of avocado, olive oil etc. You will definitely increase your calories that way but hopefully avoid making things worse. It really is a tricky situation so you have my sympathy!

Look at some PCOS 'diets' online for inspiration and to read a little more about why this sort of food helps, then you can pick and choose how you want to do it. I recommend Kym Campbell and a lady called the PCOS Nutritionist for a start - they have been mentioned by people on here before.

Best of luck :)

Indi87 in reply to Chichz_88

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply- I really appreciate it.

Just wondered is it specifically spearmint tea? I drink a lot of peppermint tea which helps with endo/bowel issues but to be honest I’ve been trying to replace more hot drinks with milky substitutes to increase my calories.

I have been vegetarian my whole life which I guess contributes to my low BMI but thanks I’ll definitely look into PCOS diets and healthier carbs to increase my calories that way

Chichz_88 in reply to Indi87

It is specifically spearmint, but peppermint is obviously good for all those reasons too! You can get teabags with mixed mint, but I think people find they get a better result from spearmint from having it plain.

You'll find lots of the PCOS diet experts recommend dairy-free as it can be inflammatory, so making your Endo and PCOS worse, but I totally agree about the calories - it can be so hard! I guess if you're veggie you just need to make sure that you're not overloading on carbs but yeah, beans and chickpeas etc also count as a protein so that's great :)

Seriously, good luck though - I think you'll feel so much more in control the more you find out! x

Indi87 in reply to Chichz_88

Thank you so much for this :)

Hi . The hairiness used to get me down to . I bought the Philips Lumea IPL hair removal. I am Asian so it worked fine on my skin and reduced the hair growth. It's no cure but improved my confidence.

Indi87 in reply to Sparkiz

Oh ok thank you! I’ll definitely look into it :)

You may also like...