Sasha Pieterse recalled her struggle to diagnose her PCOS, which led to weight gain while starring in her hit show, “Pretty Little Liars.”
“When I turned, it was probably around 15-16, I started noticing a difference in just my metabolism in general,” she told Taylor Lautner and his wife, Taylor Lautner, on Wednesday’s episode of their podcast, “The Squeeze.”
“At 17, I gained 70 pounds in the year, for no reason. There was no explanation for it.”
Pieterse, 27, explained that doctors weren’t able to give her an answer for years despite detailing her ongoing symptoms.
“I never had a regular period ever and I was just always told by gynecologists that I was just young. Like, ‘Don’t worry, it’ll regulate,’” she said.
The actress said she visited “over 15 gynecologists,” but some blamed her for the weight gain.
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“It was the most frustrating experience and disheartening because no matter what I did, no matter how well I behave, no matter how great I treated my body, things were actually getting worse rather than better. It was very, very confusing,” she explained.
Eventually, she was recommended to an endocrinologist who finally diagnosed her with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome).
“I was like what’s that? I’d never heard of PCOS before. And it’s a disease, it’s not curable, it can be dormant,” Pieterse said.
“And the most frustrating part about this is that it’s fairly easy to diagnose. It’s a hormone imbalance. It’s a hormone disease, and it’s so easy to see because your testosterone or your estrogen will be really high, you’ll have really low vitamin D levels, you’ll be deficient in a lot of things.”
The “Geek Charming” star explained that every person has a different experience with the condition, with some experiencing cysts on their ovaries, gastrointestinal issues, changes to hair growth or weight gain.
“I had a lot of those outward symptoms that everyone could see,” she said.
“Just the fact that we were able to get pregnant was such a blessing because with PCOS that made me nervous,” she previously told People.
“A lot of women have infertility issues and so we were expecting more difficulty, so it’s been an absolute blessing that we were able to just get pregnant by ourselves.”