Elix Community Member, Maddie Lutkewitte is 32 years old and lives in New York City. And for the past 15+ years, Maddie has lived with PCOS.
Living with a chronic condition like PCOS for such a long time can make someone skeptical, to say the least. But, Maddie says, the customization and personalization of Elix Healing’s Cycle Balance is what hooked her!
Her advice for future Elix users? “ I really do think it's worth giving yourself three to six months to see if you notice a change. It can be about committing to doing it in the way that works best for you, like finding the dose that works best for you and finding the routine that works best for you.”
Maddie Lutkewitte is 32 years old and lives in New York City. And for the past 15+ years, Maddie has lived with PCOS.
PCOS, or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, is a hormonal disorder that impacts millions of people with ovaries around the world. In fact, it is estimated to impact at least 1 in 10 women in the United States alone. While symptoms can vary from person to person, some of the most common symptoms to be on the lookout for include irregular or skipped periods, excess hair growth, difficulty getting pregnant, and pelvic pain. And it was some of these symptoms that Maddie was experiencing — like irregular periods, cramping, and bloating — when she saw an Instagram ad for Elix’s Cycle Balance formula over two years ago. Despite dealing with this condition for well over a decade, Maddie had struggled to find treatment options that regulated her cycle in the way she was hoping without tons of extra side effects.
Living with a chronic condition like PCOS for such a long time can make someone skeptical, to say the least. But, Maddie says, the customization and personalization of Elix Healing’s Cycle Balance stopped her scrolling on Instagram and convinced her to place her first order.
Maddie was particularly interested in the ability to completely customize your formula based on your own symptoms, so when she began to look more into the Cycle Balance formula and found that a personalized health assessment was the first step, she decided to take the plunge, telling us that, “I liked that I had to put in some of the work on my own in terms of taking the health assessment. And that obviously, my formula and the herbs I would be taking were completely customized based on that.”
That was over two years ago, and since then, Maddie’s cycle has completely changed — and for the better.
At Elix, nothing makes us happier than being able to hear stories from our own community of users who have found relief with our products. So, lucky for us, we were able to catch up with Maddie — who has since started working at Elix as part of the community team — to learn all about her experience with Cycle Balance two years on. You can read more about her experience with Elix and her journey with PCOS below.
And be sure to be on the lookout for more stories from real-life Elix users coming soon!
Before finding Elix’s Cycle Balance, what other types of treatment did you explore for your cycle?
Maddie: I've tried a ton of different things. One thing that I wasn't specifically looking to target, but is related to my PCOS, is that I have struggled with acne for most of my life. I’ve done two rounds of Accutane, I tried a bunch of different topicals and spironolactone. And for my period cramps and other issues related to my cycle I was on and off of birth control for a really long time. Specifically, I was taking it continuously, so I wouldn't get a period, probably from when I was like 16 to maybe like 26. So I was on the pill for a long time. And then over the years I've tried a lot of different supplements or herbs that were meant to be targeted towards period issues and women's health. But for so much of this, I was doing the research on my own. I didn’t have help, and I wasn’t under the direction of anyone. I was trying to figure it out on my own and it wasn’t working.
Can you talk a little bit more about your experience with Elix? At Elix, we often tell people that they have to commit for at least three months to see changes start to take place with their cycles. What was the timeline like for you?
Maddie: I am definitely a big advocate of giving yourself time, because I definitely didn't see changes in my first three months. I noticed a change in my cramping and bloating around the four month mark, but it really wasn't until probably my seventh cycle on cycle balance that I noticed my cycle was becoming more regular. But I also think it's worth mentioning that circumstances in our lives play a role as well. When I started taking cycle balance, I was in the process of just moving home and trying to figure out what was going on with my life. I was super burned out from an old job and trying to figure out how I was going to leave that job. So I think that there was a lot going on that made it a little bit harder for my body to be able to feel the effects of Cycle Balance and made the timeline a little bit longer. Everyone’s timeline is different!
What is your preferred method for ingesting your Cycle Balance each month?
Maddie: I actually take cycle balance every day! Even though my cycles are regular now, I've found it much easier just to take them every day. And I use the little dropper. I don't use a spoon, although sometimes I find that to be helpful. But I drink a mushroom coffee every morning so I'll put it in there and have it each morning.
What would you say to someone who has PCOS who is maybe curious about Elix but isn't sure that Cycle Balance may be a fit for them?
Maddie: I would say it's worth giving it a shot. I definitely tried a lot of different things and spent a lot of time like working with Western doctors and other more integrative Nutritionists and Functional Medicine doctors and I spent a ton of money and a ton of time on different things that I feel like didn't make a difference or ended up causing negative side effects for me. And so for me, cycle balance has been really worth the investment that I put in initially, both in terms of financial investment and my time investment.
What changes did you notice most about your cycle after using Cycle Balance consistently for a year?
Maddie: I truly don't know the last time I had cramps or bloating during my period, which is crazy. And I'm really not irritable before my period anymore. Occasionally, if something was going on in my life, I'll get emotional, maybe I'll read a book and I'll cry when I really shouldn't be and I'm like, maybe my period is coming. But otherwise, my cycle is very regular. I honestly can barely even tell when my period is coming as I don’t have the PMS symptoms I used to experience. And I used to deal with a lot of heavy bleeding, which is not something I worry about at all anymore. I live by the beach and I can go to the beach and not have to worry about my period anymore. Which is not something I could do two years ago.
Is there anything you wish you had known before starting Elix?
Maddie: I think there's just so much that I've learned about traditional Chinese medicine and the way that the practice views the body holistically and each person as a whole, not just the body, that I found has been beneficial for me and my overall wellness. Not even just for my menstrual wellness, but I’ve found that my overall health and wellness makes more sense to me now.
Is there anything else about your journey with Elix that you want people to know?
Maddie: I know I’ve touched on this, but I really do think it's worth giving yourself three to six months to see if you notice a change. It can be about committing to doing it in the way that works best for you, like finding the dose that works best for you and finding the routine that works best for you. No two experiences will look the same,and that’s okay. It might change your life, but it might not be the only thing that changes your life. It could be about getting some quality of life back, and learning more about your body.
And, honestly, I think it’s worth mentioning Elix’s health coaches. I've learned a ton from our health coaches. I think that one of the things I'm super proud that we do is offer health coaching sessions with people both before they purchase and after they have started taking the Cycle Balance.
And finally, Maddie wants us all to remember that doing anything for yourself is something that should be celebrated.
Maddie: I think I have in the past and I tried to really let go of this idea of feeling as if I have to do every single thing right, and if I don't do everything right, then it's not worth doing at all. I've tried to really find a way to meet myself where I am. And, you know, with traditional Chinese medicine, they don't love cold iced beverages. But for me, it’s about meeting yourself where you are. So if I want an iced matcha in the morning, I'm going to have an iced matcha and maybe I'll add my drops to it in the meantime.
This article was reviewed by Dr. Elizabeth Fine.
Dr. Elizabeth Fine is currently the Dean of Clinical Education at Emperor’s College and has been practicing Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine for over 25 years, with a specialization in Women’s Reproductive Health.