Do you have PCOS? Why should people with PCOS be mindful of diet culture myths? How can you treat PCOS without falling prey bad medical advice that’s been influenced by diet culture? In this podcast episode, Dr. Cristina Castagnini speaks about what to know about treating PCOS while avoiding diet culture narratives with Julie Dillon.


After sobbing in her boss’s office 15 years ago, Julie Duffy Dillon, registered dietitian and PCOS expert, taught her last diet. Once she learned about weight stigma and diet harm, she couldn't unsee it. Now Julie helps people with PCOS confidently tackle health concerns moving forward without shame and blame. She teaches them how to burn their PCOS diet books while bringing clarity into their relationship with food and body. She has spoken at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference and was a featured dietitian for the reality show My Big Fat Fabulous Life.

You can hear her on her podcast, Find Your Food Voice.

Visit Julie's website and connect on Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok.


  • Being diagnosed with PCOS
  • What is PCOS?
  • Is there a correlation between having PCOS and struggling with ED?

Being diagnosed with PCOS

So many women struggle with PCOS, and before they are officially diagnosed with it, they feel lost in its chaotic symptoms. Since PCOS symptoms are relatively common, it can be hard to pinpoint it exactly. Therefore, many women spend years struggling with their health, their body, and their mental well-being before they finally find the answer, and what they can do.
PCOS, like many conditions, is a condition that is living in misogyny. Like, it’s invisible in many ways, and because it has to do with the ovaries, a lot of times I think it’s misunderstood, neglected, and [under] researched … So, yeah, it seems like, “You’re making it up” … And you’re not making it up, for sure! … Naming it is very powerful. (Julie Dillon)
PCOS starts in your brain, it causes hormonal shifts, which can then cause an array of different symptoms in the body. Getting the diagnosis is both a relief, but it is also important to understand what this diagnosis means so that you learn how to assist your body better.

What is PCOS?

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common condition wherein the ovaries are affected. PCOS has three different criteria, and if you have two of them, then you should consider speaking with your doctor: 1 - Irregular or absent ovulation 2 - Signs that come up on lab work or observation, for example, noticing more hair growth in unexpected places 3 - Evidence of multiple immature follicles on ultrasounds
If you are someone that has a lot of trouble sleeping, lots of … painful fatigue, intense carb cravings … [because] a lot of people with PCOS have higher [levels] of insulin which can make these cravings intense. (Julie Dillon)

Is there a correlation between having PCOS and struggling with ED?

With PCOS, the endocrine system and hormones are dysregulated in the body. How PCOS is treated, on a background of diet culture that is present within the medical field, creates an environment that could encourage a person to develop an eating disorder.
If the body has higher insulin levels, high antrogenes, there’s already going to be these cravings that just feel different [to] people without PCOS. (Julie Dillon)
PCOS can lead to a person experiencing strong cravings for certain foods, and when they are told by medical practitioners to explicitly avoid or cut out those foods, it could lead to a binge-purge cycle. Interestingly, Julie explains that if diet culture did not exist, she thinks that people with PCOS wouldn’t be as susceptible to eating disorders since the focus wouldn’t then be an obsession with food, or weight loss.



  I am a licensed Psychologist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. While I may have over 20 years of clinical experience, what I also have is the experience of having been a patient who had an eating disorder as well. One thing that I never had during all of my treatment was someone who could look me in the eye and honestly say to me "Hey, I've been there. I understand". Going through treatment for an eating disorder is one of the hardest and scariest things to do. I remember being asked to do things that scared me. Things I now know ultimately helped me to get better. But, at the time, I had serious doubts and fears about it. If even one of my providers had been able to tell me "I know it's scary, but I had to go through that part too. Here's what will probably happen...." then perhaps I would not have gone in and out of treatment so many times. My own experience ultimately led me to specialize in treating eating disorders. I wanted to be the therapist I never had; the one who "got it". I will be giving you my perspective and information as an expert and clinician who has been treating patients for over 2 decades. But don't just take my word for it...keep listening to hear the truly informative insights and knowledge guest experts have to share. I am so happy you are here!


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