Based solely on the appearance of a well-curated social media account, it’s hard to believe that television presenter and model, Lalla Hirayama once went through an uncontrollable weight gain and acne break-out that she was once reportedly teased for.
“I craved fried foods and sugar, struggled to sleep and started losing my memory, not a good thing when your job is to remember scripts,” said Hirayama in a recent interview with Sunday Times Lifestyle.
The presenter, who is currently on a national campaign to spread awareness about Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, recalled being diagnosed with a condition that she had initially mistaken for ordinary Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS).
According to Healthline, PCOS is a condition that affects a woman’s hormone levels and causes sufferers to produce higher-than-normal amounts of male hormones (androgens). This hormone imbalance causes PCOS sufferers to skip menstrual periods and makes it harder for them to fall pregnant. The syndrome can cause hair growth on the face and body as well as baldness. It can also contribute to long-term health problems like diabetes and heart disease.
“I had acne on my chest, back, and neck, and hair in unwanted places so eventually, I could not ignore it,” said Hirayama.
Her initial reaction to her diagnosis was devastation as she was told that it would be difficult for her to fall pregnant and she was at increased risk of a heart attack.
Hirayama had to visit a number of specialists and try out a range of prescriptions before finding the right solution for herself. Among these solutions include what has been dubbed the “typical” PCOS treatment – the combination of birth control pills and diabetes medication – as well as a blend of homeopathic medicines not yet available in South Africa.
According to a recent post by Hirayama, she only started to feel better after taking a mix of “herbs, amino acids, minerals and a certain vitamin” not readily available in South Africa.
She has since partnered with an unidentified pharmaceutical manufacturing facility and her uncle, Dr. Russell Cooper, an Australian based medical practitioner and Wits graduate, to create a supplement aimed at relieving the effects of PCOS for South African women.