After struggling with fluctuating weight and persistent acne, Lea Michele saw her doctor and found to have PCOS – Polycystic Ovary Syndrome – a condition characterized by hormonal imbalance.
The 33-year-old actress explained that she started noticing the symptoms of PCOS soon after she completed shooting for Glee.
Speaking to Health, Michele said, “The side effects can be brutal – like weight gain and bad skin.”
She also explained that she once again felt like she is a teenager. She even went on to say her doctors were unable to figure out what exactly was happening with her body.
Michele said, “Growing up, I had terrible skin. I went on Accutane three times. I was put on every medication that you could imagine to help my skin. Luckily, birth control was a savior for me when I was in my teens. And then when I was in my late 20s, I realized I wanted to detox my body of all medications. That’s when everything happened — the return to bad skin and, this time, weight gain. I didn’t know what was going on.”
She mentioned that she did not want to take any more medications. However, that was the only thing her doctors used to recommend while they were figuring out a diagnosis.
The New Year’s Eve actress said, “All people wanted to do was give me more medication. I don’t shun people for needing or wanting to take medication, but for me, I knew something wasn’t right. I just felt medication wasn’t going to be the final cure.”
Nevertheless, she kept on searching for a doctor who can recognize her symptoms and make a diagnosis, and eventually she found someone who helped her to learn about her condition.
She said, “I went to a great doctor and the minute she looked at me, she was like, ‘Oh, you have PCOS.’ It explained everything.”
“Through diet, I have been able to manage it. But I am very fortunate. There are way more extreme versions of PCOS that women have a lot of difficulty with — mine is not as intense. Which is why I haven’t really talked about it, because there are women who have it so much more intense,” continued Michele. After receiving the diagnosis, the Scream Queens actress now focuses on a plant-based diet. She said, “Now, I feel like I am at the healthiest place in my entire life. It’s not that I’m the thinnest because I’m not the thinnest I’ve been. But when I was the thinnest, I was not being the healthiest. I’m definitely the most mentally, physically, and spiritually sound that I’ve ever been.”