Aug 13, 2013 8:19 PM by Annie Snead
It's a condition more common than diabetes, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS.
One of the symptoms is trouble losing weight.
Here's what you need to know in "Your Healthy Family."
There's no blood test to diagnose PCOS and a local doctor we spoke with says the average woman sees five practitioners before they even get the diagnosis.
"What's very frustrating to me is when patients come in, they're 100 lbs overweight, they have to shave because they have so much extra hair, they haven't had a period in a year and they say they went to their doctor and their blood work was normal so there's nothing wrong with them, - yes there is." said Dr. Steven Foley.
Dr. Foley is a physician at Comprehensive Women's Care, one of his specialties is caring for people with PCOS.
"It's more common than diabetes but unfortunately most women who have it don't know that they have it," he said.
Dr. Foley says symptoms include irregular menstrual cycles, problems getting pregnant and weight gain - because of insulin resistance which basically tells your body it's starving.
"Most doctors treat overweight people like they're fat and lazy, they're not. All these people are working out like crazy and they're not losing weight because they have a physiological there's something wrong with their body that needs to be treated," he added.
He says the body doesn't tolerate carbohydrates, so a high protein diet along with medication gives women with PCOS another lease on life.
"When you have a 17-year-old say Dr. Foley I never thought I was going to have a date then they've lost 50 pounds and now they have a date I mean that changes somebody's life," Dr. Foley said.
One of those women - Shannon Coker lost 33 pounds in just two months after a lifetime of struggle.
"I ate well, I exercised, I lived pretty actively and nothing. I would lose maybe a pound maybe two and now to have answers and to know what my body needs and to know that this is what my make up is inside," said Coker.
We'll be following Shannon's weight loss progress, more on her journey tomorrow.