…And for Chrisette Michele, her PCOS was cramping her Life.

Recently Grammy-award winning singer Chrisette Michele opened up to Black Doctor about something that hits close to home for many women- menstrual cramps and the woes of the womb.Except for the 33-year-old singer, the situation was bigger than just a bad heavy period you could suppress with a heating pad and more than any Advil could cure; because four years ago Chrisette was diagnosed with PCOS- Polycistic Ovary Syndrome.


PCOS is a hormonal disorder causing enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges. Effecting approximately 1 in 10 to 1 in 20 women of reproductive age in America alone, symptoms for PCOS include menstrual irregularity, excess facial and body hair, acne, obesity and of course, pain. According to Chrisette:

“My cramps were so bad every month that sometimes – this happened twice within a couple years span – I had to be rushed off of an airplane or an airplane had to land to rush me to the hospital because I was in that much pain.

Chrisette had fibroids, cysts and endometriosis, and for those who don’t know the difference, here’s a quick breakdown:

Fibroids: Growths within the tissues of the uterus that can vary in shape, size, and location, as they can be found on the outside or deep within the uterine tissue. Fibroids are benign growths, which means they are not cancerous, and rarely require medical treatment.
Cysts: Can become the most painful type of growth and can also be diagnosed as malignant. Generally, cysts develop on the ovaries as sac-like pouches that can either be solid or filled with fluid from the female reproductive system. Unlike fibroids, cysts do not cause menstrual bleeding—the greatest danger with cysts, aside from cancer, comes when they burst and release their contents into other body cavities, which can causes blood-poisoning or other illnesses.
Endometriosis: Is an often painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus grows outside your uterus. Endometriosis can cause severe pain, especially during your period. Fertility problems also may develop.
For Chrisette, everyday movement had become somewhat of a burden.

“I decided there’s no way this is normal. And so, so many of my sisters – by ‘sisters’ I just mean girls in the struggle – were like, ‘You know what? That happens to me,’ and I was like, ‘You know what? I’m gonna talk to my doctor about this.’”


And that she did. At the time of Chrisette’s PCOS diagnosis in 2011, she was in the midst of her vegan diet and new holistic lifestyle. She sought alternative forms of treatment for her pain, including: kinesiology, Reiki treatments and good old fashion prayer, “[I was] asking God to just open up doors and windows for me to see what I should be doing with my body.”

At the time, Chrisette’s doctor didn’t think twice about making changes to her diet, with the exception of eliminating more sugar and salt. Chrisette even went on to transition onto a full “raw vegan” menu, such as peaches for breakfast and watermelon and raw greens for lunch. She also underwent surgery to remove one of her ovaries.

Yet, the pain didn’t stop. And eventually after much discomfort, her doctor revisited Chrisette’s lifestyle habits again, this time suggesting that “going green” had to go. According to the very same specialist (a fellow vegan themselves), Chrisette had to eat meat. The singer said,

“There’s no way that you can be a vegan and have PCOS at the same time, and you DEFINITELY cannot be a raw vegan and have PCOS. [My doctor said] ‘You need to be on a Paleo diet.’”

A Paleo diet is a diet based on the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans, consisting chiefly of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit, and excluding dairy or grain products and processed food.

The news wasn’t easy to digest. According to Chrisette, not only had veganism become a part of her new life after seeking a lifestyle change in her late 20’s, it was her “thing” now, her shtick and the box she’d sort-of placed herself in, in front of fans. She felt the pressures to suppress her secret:

“I didn’t want to tell PETA because I had just sat down with PETA and we were so excited. I wouldn’t tell the record label because a part of me was vegan. A part of Chrisette Michele is the natural hair and the vegan.

I started off the vegan journey needing healing and that was almost four-and-a-half years ago and I went on that juice feast because I was so exhausted and distraught with all that I had been through. I just needed to be cleansed.”

These days, Chrisette’s diet consists of sugar-free most things, bunless burgers and yes, meat. She recently testified that the changes have helped her stomach pains decrease drastically:


“I began to experience much less cramping, much lighter cycles and less drastic mood swings before and after my cycle. This is my first interview where I’m letting people know that I’ve decided the Paleo diet is kind of the way for me.”

But not two persons, nor their diets, are the same. If you research the pros of a plant-based diet and/or going green to treat PCOS, you will stumble upon plenty of personal testimonies giving praise to veganism and other alternative forms of healthy dieting that include zero animal consumption. Although Chrisette didn’t disclose why quitting being a raw-vegan worked for her specifically, one thing to consider is the broader anti-inflammatory options of going Paleo.

I can also appreciate Chrisette’s honesty. The reality is, detox teas and trend diets are all the riot these days. Although many people experience success with them, it can often feel you’re upsetting a secret society when you go against the “grain”– literally.

Here is to healthy dieting and doing it your way. Wishing Chrisette and everyone else continued health all year around.

Thanks for taking the time to GLOW,


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