When I was about 16 years old I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS.
According to the doctor, this meant that I had harmless cysts all over my ovaries and a hormonal imbalance that disrupted by menstrual cycle.
One of the main symptoms of PCOS was hairiness due to imbalanced hormones and boy, was I hairy.
As a young girl trying to turn into a woman, feeling hairy and having hair in places that women were not supposed to was extremely difficult for my self esteem.
I would often obsess and cry about my hairiness and wished that I could be pretty and hair free like all the other girls.
I felt so insecure about my hair that sometimes it would stop me from going out, standing in the sun and wearing certain clothes. I instead would cover myself up and linger in the shadows.
Part of me deep down knew that being hairy was not the end of the world, but deep inside I thought of myself as a freak that no one would ever want to be with.
These negative thoughts are pretty common through our teenage years, whether we are complaining about our hairiness, our weight or just the fact that we feel out of place, but these thoughts of mine became toxic.
Being diagnosed with PCOS gave me something to blame my hair on. In a way, it made me feel better about it. It wasn’t my fault because I had a ‘syndrome’ or a ‘disease’. Being diagnosed almost made me feel like I had an excuse.
The doctor prescribed me with the birth control pill, as according to the doctor PCOS was incurable, would heavily affect my fertility in later life and would give me a 99% chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
She painted a bleak picture for my future but to be honest, at the time I was just interested in taking the pill because I thought it would level out my hormones and take the hair away.
I started taking the birth control pill religiously and waited for my hair to disappear but instead, I started experiencing extreme side effects.
My stomach became swollen and bloated and I often felt nauseous. My appetite was insatiable and I craved every sweet thing on the planet and I started getting the ‘shakes’, one day I even thought I was going to faint.
I began Googling around and found that the pill I was on had a side effect of developing diabetes and I wondered if my ‘shakes’ were actually blood sugar related. It also got me thinking because if the doctor told me that I had a 99% chance of developing diabetes in later life, why was I on a pill where one of the side effects were diabetes???
I began questioning the medical system.
After about 3 months of being on the pill my hair did start to settle down but I was feeling sick, bloated and I was 10 kilogram heavier. No surprises here, I was still miserable and now, angry.
I went back to the doctor after the first course of the pill had finished and started telling her about my diabetes discovery, asking her why I had gained so much weight and why I felt so sick.
She proceeded to tell me that this was all normal and would pass. I wanted to protest, but the doctor knows best right? So I picked up another prescription.
My body continued to reject this pill and in my mind, not only was I hairy but I was now fat.
Until one day I became so mad that I threw away all the pills and decided to take back control of my body.
I was so angry at all the doctors prescribing me drugs and painting bleak visions of my future. I knew deep down that there was a better way.
One afternoon my mum’s friend came over. She was learning naturopathy and wanted to practice iridology.
Ever heard the saying that the eyes are the windows to the soul? Well that is exactly how iridology works. By taking a magnifying glass and looking into the iris, you can tell the state of the body’s organs and susceptibility for diseases.
I volunteered to have my eyes read and was blown away when my mum’s friend was able to correctly call out all the issues with my PCOS.
I started to become curious about naturopathy and my mum’s friend proceeded to tell me all about it, I was interested but didn’t think much of it.
The next day my mum handed me a bottle of flower essences saying that her friend had left it for me after she had read my iris. She instructed me to take a few drops under my tongue and to keep the bottle away from cellular radiation.
At first I was skeptical but my mum insisted that I take them. I began taking the essences, which were supposed to help my hormones, self consciousness and stress.
A few weeks passed and my mum’s friend called me to ask how I liked the flower essences. To be honest I didn’t really notice any difference until she asked me- ‘have you thought about your hairiness?’ I thought for a minute and realized that I had not felt self-conscious or thought about my hairy fuzz in nearly a month!
I know it may not seem like a big deal but I went from stressing about it every second of every day to not even thinking about it! Having that realization was one of the most powerful moments in my pubescent life.
After that experience I started having flower essence consultations and I tried numerous essences for numerous emotional ailments. Science and the medical world would call them a placebo but I didn’t care because whatever they were, they worked, and they worked damn good.
I then started getting treated for PCOS with herbal medicine. I went to a naturopath who was so positive about my condition and so supportive. Unlike the regular western doctor, my naturopath was confident that I could cure it.
My regular doctor was upset when I told her that I would no longer be using her services and that I had found a naturopath. She urged me to continue to have follow-ups with her but I vowed I would never go back.
After 3 years of herbal treatment, acupuncture, changing my diet and dealing with my poor emotional health I officially cured my PCOS.
I did decide to go back to my doctor one day. I decided to go back to show them how wrong they were, how despite what they told me, I had managed to take control of my body, and heal myself.
I will never forget my doctors’ words that day, “I don’t know what you are doing but it seems to be working.” HA!
Ever since this experience, I have become a strong and passionate advocate for self-healing and natural medicine.
Naturopathy, flower essences, homeopathy, herbal medicine acupuncture and all alternative healing modalities do something that western medicine just does not.
Alternative medicine looks at the whole person, the emotions, the spirit, the mental and the physical body and looks at curing the reason behind the dis-ease not just popping a pill to mask the symptoms.
Through natural medicine and through taking responsibility for my body I was able to reverse a dis-ease that the medical world said was incurable and it wasn’t through regulating my hormones, it was through regulating my emotions, that in turn helped to heal my whole body.