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How Quitting Sugar Improved This Mum of 3’s PCOS Symptoms

Danielle Gallan recently joined the 8-Week Program to kick sugar to the curb after dealing with growing concerns around insulin resistance and her long-standing PCOS condition. The 39-year-old decided to take her health back into her own hands – here’s how she did it.

It's worth noting there is an established link between excess sugar consumption and PCOS, as the sweet stuff destabilises hormones, disrupts gut health and puts a spanner in the works of our microbiome. 

Our IQS 8-Week Program is designed to help you reduce your sugar intake and been proven to significantly reduce fatigue, inflammation, gut issues, bad skin, bad sleep and SO MUCH MORE! It's because we give you the full tool kit to help you learn more about sugar, what it does to your body and why you should care. Plus, it's delicious! You get full weekly meal plans, recipes, motivation, expert advice and more to help you on your journey to better health. Sign up HERE!

Receiving her diagnosis at 19 years of age, Danielle has dealt with painful and disruptive symptoms of PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) for around 2 decades. With debilitating pain, her symptoms resulted in missing school, university and work, along with putting dangerous health issues like insulin resistance, weight gain and type 2 diabetes on the map.

“I suffer from irregular and heavy periods, significant period pain, hormonal breakouts, and increasing insulin resistance as I get older,” she said.

A number of PCOS-associated health issues like weight gain and insulin resistance were causing the mum of 3’s health risks to shoot up, along with worsening the severity of her symptoms. Danielle says one of her biggest reasons for taking the plunge to quit sugar was to reduce her risks for diabetes.

“Over the last few years, I have realised that my insulin resistance is getting worse and that diabetes is a real risk for PCOS so I have tried to reduce my sugar intake,” she said. “The main cause is the hormonal impact that my ovaries are stimulating due to the amount of follicles I have, increasing my chance of diabetes due to my insulin resistance.”

Follicles refer the undeveloped egg sacs in the ovaries, but those with PCOS often have a large count, sometimes 12 or more  Danielle is one of many women living with these elevated risks for metabolic syndrome – it’s a scarily common reality for those with PCOS, with one study finding a type 2 diabetes comorbidity rate of over 20%. High blood pressure and high cholesterol: There’s also a high risk for other dangerous conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol, with around 70% of women with PCOS reported to have elevated cholesterol or triglyceride levels.

Affecting nearly 10% of women of menstrual age around the globe, POCS is a hormonal disorder which causes enlarged ovaries and the development of cysts. There are a number of debilitating symptoms associated with the condition, take a look at the shortlist:

  • Infertility – the follicles in the ovaries, which refer to underdeveloped egg sacs, often won’t release an egg. This means ovulation hasn’t taken place, and this phase is an essential element of pregnancy.
  • Irregular periods
  • Heavy and/or painful periods
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Thinning hair or excess hair
  • Acne

But Danielle had other health concerns that further drove her to commit to the 8-Week Program, including stubborn excess weight that was putting her health in greater danger. She says added sugar was a direct contributor to a number of these difficult health issues.

“It impacts my skin and my insulin resistance, that band of abdominal fat that I couldn't shift, that had become its own organ and was worsening my insulin resistance.”

What we eat is a major part of managing hormone health. That's why we're inviting you to come join us for the 8-Week Program. You don’t have to buy exotic ingredients or splash your cash on new appliances; every tool you need, you’ve likely already got, and our ingredients are easily found at your local grocer. Because we know how challenging it can be to make a change in your life, and it’s the little things that make it that much easier (and fun!). 

Often the focus around PCOS is on fertility, and while this is a significant issue for many, other risks lack the airtime they need. Some of the many dangerous conditions associated with this condition include:

  • Heart and blood vessel diseases
  • Uterine cancer
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity

Danielle agrees that she would have appreciated more education around the risks.

“I wasn't given much information on lifestyle adjustments when I was younger, only the implications to fertility,” she said. “I feel like when I was younger, I could have got more information on how this could have impacted me, outside of the fertility issues.”

With the 8-Week Program, Danielle started to notice some significant changes to her health.

“I have noticed the cm loss of my waist,” she said. “That’s the thing that I really wanted to reduce, so that all that fat store would reduce my insulin resistance and for it to not be a new organ in my body, sending me signals that I needed these foods.”

And it’s not just Danielle who has reaped the benefits of the program, the mum of 3 says it’s made a difference for her family too.

“It has made me more aware of the sugar that is in foods that I cook for my children, so I have started making different choices for them, and to move away from easy foods to foods that might take a few more minutes to cook, but aren't processed.”

With our supermarket shelves lined with ultra-processed foods loaded with sugars and preservatives, from breads to cereals, it’s no wonder so many of us have been unintentionally soaring over the 6-teaspoon daily limit for added sugar – and it’s why the program has such a strong focus on seeking out real, whole foods. We’ve developed a range of highly nutritious recipes that are bursting with flavour. Just because you’ve ditched sugar, doesn’t mean you can’t eat exciting food!

Danielle says she plans to maintain her healthy lifestyle into the future to lead a healthy life.

“To continue to maintain my health into my 40s and make my kids as healthy I can. I really want them to make good choices with food and understand food and what impacts the food we eat have on our ongoing health as we age.”

That’s what the 8-Week Program’s all about – setting up the foundations to make a lasting change for your health, both mental and physical. 

Danielle’s advice to fellow PCOS sufferers is to put your health first – for your whole body.

“Learn as much as you can about what it means for the rest of your life, not just the fertility part of your life.”

What you put on your plate plays a major role in your wellbeing, and Danielle is a testament to that! That's why we’ve put in the hard yards so you can enjoy the benefits of an extensive, wholistic program that covers everything from learning how to manage nutrition and mental health to social situations. Plus, our specially-designed app has streamlined features, 2500 recipes, 1:1 coaching and exclusive exercise courses to help you combat the cravings. When you join us for the 8-Week Program you’ll have exclusive access to expert guidance, nutritional planning and support every step of the way. Take a peek at what’s on offer:

  • 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.
  • A range of 2500 exclusive recipes, including sugar-free desserts, snacks and all the old favourites.
  • Community forums to share and discuss your experience.
  • Expert support to guide you through each week – from world-renowned chef Sarah Glover to yoga teachers, nutritionists and naturopaths. 
  • 1:1 dedicated coaching.

Make a change for YOU – don’t wait, JOIN NOW!

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