My Internship Experience at the PCOS Nutrition Center
My name is Katie Myrold, and I am a Dietetic Intern at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, NC. I was fortunate enough to spend a week of my nine-month journey toward becoming a registered dietitian working with Angela Grassi, dietitian and founder at the PCOS Nutrition Center.
As a woman with PCOS and an aspiring dietitian, I realize just how important a healthy lifestyle is to my overall quality of life. I was diagnosed with PCOS at the age of 16 after reading about the syndrome in a magazine. I saw, in myself, many of the symptoms the article was describing and asked my primary care physician to test me for it. When the test results revealed that I did, indeed, have the disorder, my doctor gave me a brief handout about PCOS, prescribed me some oral contraceptives, and sent me on my way. PCOS was foreign to me, and I was eager to learn more about it. Through my own research I discovered that by adopting a healthy lifestyle, complete with good nutrition, physical activity, and stress management, I could greatly improve my symptoms and prevent serious complications like diabetes and heart disease. I became determined to do just that, and that determination instilled in me a passion for nutrition that led me to pursue a career in dietetics.
Angela Grassi, one of my role models, has devoted much of her career to educating both nutrition professionals and the PCOS population about this complex syndrome. She has spent years researching, and has used her research to form evidence-based recommendations for gaining control of PCOS through lifestyle changes and medical management. With PCOS, there is no one-size-fits-all diet plan. What works for one woman may not work for the next. After years of trial and error, I feel as though I have finally figured out what works best for my body. Looking back, I believe this realization would have been met a whole lot sooner had I asked for some guidance from a professional like Angela.
Angela's warmth and compassion helps her patients to feel comfortable as soon as they sit down on her couch and start talking with her. She takes the time to get to know each of her clients for who they are as a person, and recognizes that each one has her own unique needs. A nutrition session with Angela provides a patient with education about PCOS and insulin resistance as well as help with meal planning and exploring what each individual has already learned to separate fact from fiction. Perhaps above all else, however, Angela provides valuable, ongoing support to her clients in their efforts to make positive changes to their health.
Angela's book, entitled The PCOS Workbook, is a user-friendly guide to living healthfully with PCOS. After taking time to read the workbook, I find myself wishing I had it as a resource seven years ago to help me navigate the road towards optimal health and self-acceptance with PCOS. That road has taught me this: I have no control over the fact that I do, and always will, have PCOS. What I can control, however, is how I choose to deal with my disorder. I view my PCOS as a motivator; a daily reminder that I need to make my health a priority. I encourage you, my fellow cysters, to do the same.