By: Harriett Brown
Source: Health Magazine
Her doctor told her: “I have no idea what it is. Wait for it to go away.” It didn’t go away. “I could no longer think straight, no matter how hard I tried or what I did,” Price says. Worse, she suffered three straight miscarriages.
Finally, four years after this nightmare began—after the third miscarriage—an ultrasound revealed that her ovaries were riddled with cysts. She had polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder; symptoms include irregular periods, infertility, brain fog, and obesity. Price’s gynecologist prescribed metformin, and she finally got some relief. “I had myself back,” she remembers. “I had energy, I could think, I wasn’t starving all the time.” Best of all, she finally had a baby, born last June.
Ashley Price isn’t alone. Experts say more women than we know walk out of doctors’ offices feeling that their symptoms haven’t been taken seriously. They are told that their complaints are all in their heads or that everything will be fine if they would just stop worrying.
The truth: Women who know something’s wrong but can’t get the help they need often have an autoimmune disorder, which occurs when the immune system attacks itself. One in five Americans has one, and three-quarters of them (about 22 million) are women. Some women live with unbearable symptoms for 10 or 15 years before finally getting the right diagnosis and treatment.