September 6, 2012

Book Review: The PCOS Workbook: Your Guide to Complete Physical and Emotional Health

This is one in a series of book reviews. You may find these books beneficial if you: manage prediabetes or diabetes (or for this book Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome), follow a diabetes meal plan and/or try to eat healthy to live well. This book review and others also appear on The books I’ve reviewed here can be found in my amazon a-store. Please check them out and consider a purchase.

PCOS WorkbookHave you been diagnosed with Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)? Are you experiencing trouble getting pregnant? Or have you begun to link your symptoms of weight gain, irregular menstrual cycles, acne, and hair where you don’t want it and not where you do want it to what just might be PCOS?

If so, do you long  for a book to help you learn the ins and outs about PCOS and how to manage it? Well, you’re in luck! Angela Grassi, MS, RD and Stephanie Mattei, Psy.D, who both apply their crafts (nutrition counseling and psychology, respectively) with women with PCOS, have created a valuable guide for this multifaceted disease, The PCOS Workbook.

Angela not only brings her knowledge and expertise as an registered dietitian with years of experience working with women with PCOS, but she also brings to this workbook's pages her perspective as a woman with PCOS.

The PCOS Workbook is an excellent tool for women who have lived with PCOS for years, those new to the condition or those wondering if just maybe they have PCOS. The PCOS Workbook is so much more than a what to eat with PCOS guidebook. It’s a guidebook which pulls together the numerous facets of managing PCOS. A few of the many topics covered are stress management exercises, positive body image building, mindful eating and coping with the common related problem of infertility.

The first section of The PCOS Workbook gives a useful and thorough introduction to PCOS, including all that’s going on physiologically throughout the body to create the multiple signs and symptoms.

Because PCOS is an endocrine and reproductive disorder, the authors focus on insulin as ‘the key to it all.’ Yes, PCOS has insulin resistance at the core of the problem. Yes PCOS can be a precursor of prediabetes or type 2 and many women with PCOS have type 2 diabetes or are at high risk. (To learn more details about the relationship of PCOS, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes read this interview I did with Angela on - PCOS: Piecing Together the Puzzle. The role of insulin, insulin resistance and the role of reproductive hormones is discussed clearly and in detail to help readers answer the whys of their signs and symptoms.

With a bevy of tools like a lab value record keeping sheet, trackers, and handouts The PCOS Workbook puts the power to learn and make medical and behavioral changes in the hands of the reader. Food logs with self-analysis questions help readers dissect their data to quickly see in black and white how to improve their habits. These tools are truly reader-friendly and help the user get their hands dirty!

The PCOS Workbook should actually be called the PCOS Working Book. That’s because it should be used on an ongoing basis. Starting from page one readers are encouraged to ask their health care providers any and all questions. And it doesn’t stop there. The reader has opportunities within every chapter to add their notes and personal barriers to lifestyle, changes in management, thoughts and behaviors.

One of the most unique sections of The PCOS Workbook focuses on PCOS treatment goals. This chapter helps the reader understand potential pathways and treatment options that are right for women with PCOS in their life. For sure there’s no one way for ALL women to manage their PCOS. And PCOS changes through life as women age and go through the usual changes women go through.

The authors’ views and caring manners in addressing this multifaceted disease will be appreciated by both health care professionals and people with PCOS. The PCOS Workbook is an essential guidebook to manage  emotional and physical health with PCOS.

To learn more about The PCOS Workbook and PCOS, check out The PCOS Nutrition Center.

And for one more excellent book about PCOS written by another dietitian expert in this area, Hillary Wright, MEd, RD, check out my book review on The PCOS Diet Plan.