Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter
SUBSCRIBE
/ Source: TODAY
By Alyssa Newcomb

Lea Michele is opening up for the first time ever about the polycystic ovarian syndrome diagnosis she received in her late 20s — and how she now manages her condition.

The "Glee" actress, 33, is glowing on the October cover of Health magazine, but the actress revealed her wellness journey hasn't always been easy. Michele said she didn't learn she had PCOS until she decided to "detox my body of all medications."

"Growing up, I had terrible skin," Michele said. "I went on Accutane three times. I was put on every medication you could imagine to help my skin."

She said "birth control was a savior" for helping to manage her skin in her teens.

Health

Fast forward about a decade and Michele, who has always taken a keen interest in wellness, decided to "detox" from her medications. She didn't specify which ones.

"That's when everything happened — the return to bad skin, and this time, weight gain," she said. "I didn't know what was going on."

While there are many different symptoms of PCOS that make it a complex condition to treat, signs can include increased acne and facial hair growth due to higher levels of male hormones, along with irregular periods. Although Michele wasn't overweight, up to 80 percent of women with PCOS are obese, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Thankfully, Michele said she had a great doctor who quickly diagnosed the disorder and helped her understand what it was and how to manage it.

"The minute she looked at me, she was like, 'Oh, you have PCOS.' It explained everything," Michele said.

She told Health magazine she manages her PCOS through diet, but didn't delve into specifics.

While Michele's approach is working for her, she said she knows she is "fortunate."

"There are way more extreme versions of PCOS that women have a lot of difficulty with — mine is not as intense," she said. "Which is why I haven't really talked about it, because there are women who have it so much more intense."