TF and healing PCOS...
As to how you know when its working, it depends on your symptoms. For me, i had more energy, lifting of depression, my ovulation and menstruation normalized to 28-29 days, i stopped gaining weight and ultimately i got pregnant when we were on a TTC hiatus.
I do eat grains, btw, but only whole grains, mostly sprouted (if I've been on the ball with my sprouting : ) I do dairy too but mostly only raw milk and some organic heavy cream in my coffee.
As a bonus, I've been able to get back to my ideal weight pretty quickly after each pregnancy too. It's all just so tied together (the blood sugar, the fertility, the weight, etc.)
|how would I know when the initial healing period was over?|
As many traditional societies have lived healthily with diets heavy in grain, I don't think it's the grain itself that is necessarily the problem. I think it is that our bodies have been so abused by the ingredients of the modern western diet ("vegetable" oils, refined/unfermented grains, lack of access to sources of healthy gut flora, etc.) that they often can't handle even wholesome nourishment anymore (like properly prepared grains). They *at least* need some "time off" from processing grains and legumes at all in order to heal.
Primal is about going back to eating what our very earliest ancestors would have eaten, pre-agriculture, which has only been around for max. 10,000 years. The idea is that everyone will do well on a diet of primarily vegetables and meat (including organs and fat), because that is what we have eaten for most of the millions of years of our evolution. Such a diet is easier to digest and less irritating to your body because it doesn't include the antinutrients in grains and legumes, it is very densely nutritious, and it is easier on your blood sugar regulation as it is mostly low carb. I think it basically allows your body to function as it's supposed to, without having to work so hard to "recover" from carb-caused high blood sugar/allergens/antinutrients all the time. As tngirl11 said, blood sugar regulation, fertility, and weight seem to be closely tied, at least for some people.
I myself do eat grains, mostly gluten free since DH is gluten intolerant, but I have been considering going primal due to fertility issues as well. I don't have obvious weight, gluten or blood sugar problems, but often these issues are hidden, and the only symptom can be something like PCOS or trouble conceiving.
We went through IF treatments to conceive my oldest child 7 years ago.
I have had two more children since that time through lowcarbing/primal/paleo type eating and using metformin, even though I'm not overweight. Keeping insulin in check is absolutely key for my health. No doubt about it. If there was one bright spot, it was that PCOS has helped me understand more about my health and helped my parents as well. Both of my parents have markers of metabolic syndrome and have also done very well restricting carbs and eating more traditional foods/paleo/primal type foods. My mom has been maintaining a 30-35lb weight loss for almost 3 years now and both of them have had improvements in their health.
I have been working on the same thing myself. I eat mostly primal. I've been drinking 2 cups of Raspberry Leaf Tea every day and also taking evening primrose oil 2x a day. We've been ttc for about 1 1/2 with no luck. I have seen positive changes in my cycle. I was mostly regularly iregular. My cycle still isn't super regular but is getting there. I have taken metphormin or glucaphage in the past but don't now. Wondering what other peoples opinion is about taking it. I feel that the insulin is a huge factor in pcos and that the medicine isn't really helping anything in the long run?? I also have a hard time getting my body used to taking the meds. My stomach just gets all wonky and I can only take about half the dose I'm supposed to. Good to hear from others in the same boat!
One other thing to look at is vitamin d levels and magnesium. There was a recent study showing glucose control/developing diabetes later in life could be traced back to low d3 levels a decade earlier. There are some studies out there about magnesium and calcium balance affecting the development of the follicles with PCOS too IIRC. I believe low magnesium has been tied to insulin resistance in the past.
I've never tried D-chiro inositol but have always been intrigued. It was available in a few studies and seemed to be quite beneficial. THen it disappeared for a while but I think the last I checked you could buy it again (but it is a bit spendy). Haven't followed the research as closely as I once did but soulcysters should have some info.
Your doc needs to do some reading then. Ammenorea carries a higher risk of uterine cancer. If one of your main symptoms of PCOS is ammenorea/annovulation, it is absolutely something to be concerned with. Not that i think Met is a long term solution...