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Pretty Little Liars Alum Sasha Pieterse Gained 70 Pounds At 17 Due To PCOS -- And Got Body Shamed By Fans

Pretty Little Liars Alum Sasha Pieterse Recalls Gaining 70 Pounds At 17 Years Old Due To PCOS

Sasha Pieterse is getting candid about one of the biggest challenges in her life.

During an appearance on The Squeeze podcast Wednesday, the Pretty Little Liars star opened up about her journey with polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS. When Sasha was a teenager, she recalled she struggled with irregular periods. She told hosts Taylor and Tay Lautner:

“This is part of the health issues that I was speaking of while I was going through Pretty Little Liars. So when I mean it was documented it was like, the changes that were happening to me were documented on camera. 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.’”

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However, that wasn’t the case for Sasha. And she soon noticed some other things happening with her body:

“When I turned, it was probably around 15-16, I started noticing a difference in just my metabolism in general. At 17, I gained 70 pounds in the year, for no reason. There was no explanation for it.”

Considering most of her teens were spent starring as Alison DiLaurentis on the hit show, it was brutal for this to be “documented on camera” — and then deal with body-shaming from the public. Meanwhile, she was also trying to figure out what was going on with her health. Jeez. We cannot imagine the pressure and pain she felt during that time!

For years, the doctors couldn’t figure out the reason for her sudden weight gain. The Perfectionists alum explained she went to “over 15 gynecologists” to get some answers. But instead of listening to her about the symptoms she experienced, they blamed her for the weight gain, saying she was lying about the way she eats and her lifestyle. Awful.

Naturally, Sasha became frustrated with the process. All she wanted was for someone to test her blood to see if anything was wrong but that didn’t happen for a long time. And as Sasha battled her doctors, her health also continued to worsen:

“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.”

The now 27-year-old eventually had enough of these gynecologists ignoring her issues. The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl star went to an endocrinologist someone recommended to her and she finally got the answers she was looking for. That doctor diagnosed Sasha with PCOS:

“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. 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. You won’t have a regular period.”

However, Sasha stressed that everyone has a different experience when it comes to PCOS:

“But the catch is, a lot of other things look different, so every woman, everyone has a different experience with it. It could be your period, it could be weird hair growth, it could be major gastro issues, it could be crazy cysts on your ovaries, it could be weight gain. … I had a lot of those outward symptoms that everyone could see.”

Ultimately, the mom of one said it is “so sad to me” that many women don’t know they have PCOS and could be in a better place with their health if they got properly diagnosed. Hopefully, Sasha speaking out about her experience will help other women, who may feel they’ve gone undiagnosed with the condition for so long. You can see her entire discussion on PCOS (below):

Reactions, Perezcious readers? Let us know in the comments below.

[Image via Apega/WENN, Sasha Pieterse/Instagram, Pretty Little Liars/MAX]

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Aug 10, 2023 10:49am PDT