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Kristin T, Undiagnosed Bio

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undiagnosed4

Currently undiagnosed but I am a medical professional, and not stupid.

All through my adulthood (age 21ish to now at 43) I have had the following symptoms: B12 deficiency, Vitamin D deficiency, the depression/anxiety/irritability, major loss of emotional control (I can cry at the drop of a hat, sometimes in very inappropriate situations (like at work).

I can gain weight like no tomorrow (60 pounds over about 8 months. The only way I’ve been able to lose it is either gastric bypass (which created a whole other set of issues and had to be reversed) or an entire month on IV nutrition (TPN), in short abject starvation.

I have stretch marks all over the place, a fat abdomen (in spite of a tummy tuck), fat upper arms, fat thighs, back fat (oh yes, the ubiquitous hump between my shoulders and fat pads above my clavicles). I am weak to the point that a two mile walk has me in bed for the rest of the day. Forget working out, I drop from exhaustion. my back hurts, I have horrendous posture and get muscle spasms and a backache when I try to remind myself to stand up straight. I am always thirsty, and subsequently pee nonstop, I have a seemingly insatiable appetite usually for carby type stuff (although I really try to pay attention to what I eat).

I’m a total klutz and oh yes, the crowning glory: I have hair on my inner thighs, heavy hair on my lower arms and I can win a beard growing contest with a bunch of guys, although testosterone levels have been tested and are unremarkable. I’ve got a bit of hypertension (although also a little decreased kidney function, which may explain that.) I had a total hysterectomy for the heavy bleeding and constant ovarian cysts (but not the string of pearls pattern indicative of PCOS. Libido?, yeah right. I have the sex life of a nun and am frankly not interested. This is not genetic because I am the only one in my family that is like this.

Over the years I have been diagnosed with PCOS, major depressive disorder, and more recently some kind of unspecified eating disorder (apparently just because I’m fat). I have been treated as such over the years with totally no change. Birth control pills just made me bitchy, the cocktail of antidepressants seem to help minimally (I can still cry over nothing), and this is now having a huge impact on my professional life (like nearly destroying my career).

If all this crap isn’t a good reason to at the very least, look at Cushing’s, then I don’t know what is. Incidentally I had a doctor, some 13 years ago start the workup for this (had 24 hour urine, dexamethasone suppression test and a brain MRI) but this was pre-nursing school and I did not realize the seriousness of what he was suspecting, so I never followed up.

I finally have a primary care doctor who has immediately referred my to an endocrinologist. I appointment in 2 weeks and well…to be continued….

Updated January 9, 2016

still searching for a doctor who gives a ***. I’m quite peeved. It’s been a while since I updated because, well, just busy.

I went to the appointment and the doc pretty much just blew me off. i said that in my opinion, it was worth at least running the tests. I could be wrong but please humor me and run them. Well, he sent me off to the lab and all he did was a one-time single cortisol level. It was normal. His diagnosis, “weight gain due to excess calories” and recommended a medication that costs $1200 per month and was NOT covered by my insurance!!!!! Seriously????? Jerk!! I came into some money, so I ponied up for 2 months worth of the medicine and thus far I’ve lost 12 pounds and now I am plateaued. My new insurance covers it, so i’ll keep at it, but I’m finding a new doc. How hard is it to just run the bloody tests!!!

Have to go now, it’s time to shave the hair on my chin and go to my therapy session for depression. Someday, maybe someone will believe me, hopefully before I die!!!!!

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Jason, Adrenal Bio

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adrenal-medulla

 

Growing up, I was always quiet and withdrawn. I struggled in school with memory issues and was always embarrassed by my excessive sweating. I continued to have issues growing up and then something happened in 2001. I would have fits of rage, massive sweating, psychotic episodes, periods of major highs and periods of massive lows.

In 2003, a psychiatrist labeled me bipolar, schizoaffective, ADD, ADHD, and major drepressive. I took their cocktail of meds to only get worse. I would end up in a mental hospital (5 times).

In approx. 2005, I was done with them and I stopped everything and I just hid behind closed doors so to speak. Also in 2003, I just found records(2015) of bloodwork I had done in 2003 which showed high Hemoglobin and also high Hematocrit levels with high WBC count. Nothing was mentioned to me about this. I keep struggling to get answers.

In July of 2014, I started massive pains in my stomach with rectal bleeding and major flank pain. I went to the doctor and he ordered a CT of my abdomen. The CT showed bilateral Adrenal masses(left was 2.2cm and right was 3cm). He said these were “incidental Adenomas”. I am waiting two more weeks to have my low dose cortisol test performed. When I did the 24h urine to rule out pheochromocytoma , all was fine except plasma metanephrines which was slightly elevated and the doctor said there was a “near zero” chance of me having a Pheo.

I am still having these symptoms: weight gain (20Ibs. since 2014), “moon face starting (2015), thinning, fragile skin that bruises easily, slow healing of cuts, bites and infections, decreased libido, Fatigue, Muscle weakness, Depression, anxiety and irritability, Loss of emotional control, Cognitive difficulties and worsened high blood pressure and pulse.

I now have a new mass in my right armpit. An ultrasound was inconclusive.

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Katrina (Coloradokat), Undiagnosed Bio

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undiagnosed6

Hello,

I am not going to repeat the standard history here. I have been reading other bios and I am excited to read that so many others have the same issues I have and I am sad to note that they have received the same dismissive response from doctors (especially endocrinologists!). It really is like reading about your own life. It seems most of us have had to fight to get anyone to listen and like so many of you, I have already been through the “see a nutritionist,” routine.

Rather than repeat a story that reads just like so many others on this site, I will just share that I too have had years of trouble and recently my troubles have become exacerbated to the point that my lack of energy, weight gain, lack of focus, and cognitive issues have interfered with my ability to earn a living. As I am fighting that fight (you know, trying to get doctors to believe test results they actually took in their own facilities, or believing that you have real biological issues despite the fact that the current test shows normal results) as I fight, I am trying to find ways to address medical issues as best I can through natural means.

I have an MRI scheduled for later this month and I pray they will see something there because I am tired of fighting endocrinologists who repeatedly ignore my high cortisol test results with one excuse after another. More importantly, I have to get my health back in order to work and support my family. Right now, I have to find a way to lose some of this weight. You see, I have two jobs. One of my jobs is with US Army Reserves. I cannot stay in the army if I exceed a defined weight, and after serving two years in a war zone, I am not ready to lose my retirement benefits because I am over weight despite regular exercise and a healthy diet. I need to address many aspects of this disease, but the weight gain issue has to be resolved first.

Like so many of you, I am frustrated with the symptoms of this disease and I am angry with the endocrinology field for being so narrow minded and caring more about their reports than they care about their patients. When I am at war and the enemy does something different from their normal, reported, or expected routine, do you think I just give up? No, of course not, we have to find a way to protect ourselves, our troops, our bases, and civilians. We have to look at the situation and access it for what it is, not what it was supposed to be. Why are endocrinologists so stupid that they cannot think outside the box like that? UGH!

I guess you can tell that I am frustrated like the rest of you and I am thankful to find this site if only to know I am not alone. I wish all of you speedy diagnosis and healthy recovery. Once I achieve better health, I plan to do my part to help spread awareness. We can make changes in how patients are treated. It will not be easy and it will take more and more biographies, but I believe in the power of the people to make change. I have to believe in that. I have put my life on the line twice to defend it.

My best wishes and prayers to all.

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Kari W (karialeen), Pituitary Bio

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pituitary-gland

 

I am a 37 year old female.

I had a 6mm tumor removed from my pituitary on May, 7th that was causing me to have cushing’s disease.

I also have hypothyroidism.

I am now in recovery and I had no idea what I was in for. Some days i wish for my tumor back. 😦

 

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Melissa, Undiagnosed Bio

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undiagnosed3

 

Im currently 24. In 2008 I was diagnosed with PCOS because of my very absent periods, an ovary full of cysts and acne. At that moment the gyno only gave me contraceptive pills.

In 2013 another gyno started giving me also metformin 2x500mg. Also because all these years my cholesterol and triglicerides were always high even though I have been vegan and vegetarian for over 7 years.

In 2010 I fractured one ankle and in 2014 I fractured the other ankle and Ive had multiple surgeries to try to fix that. Ive had continuous weight gain all these years even though I watch my diet and I exercise all the time.

I recently asked my GP to test for cortisol, also because now I’ve been almost a year without any libido. It turned out that my AM cortisol was high, and she repeated it a month later and it came out even higher. Now she referred me to an endocrinologist.

I have the appointment with the endocrinologist in three weeks. Im very nervous about this appointment, and I really just want to figure out what is wrong with my body. Wish me luck 🙂

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Rox (Rox) Undiagnosed Bio

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undiagnosed2

40yo female, in the process of diagnosis, high cortisol confirmed by UFCC (4x) & saliv cort (2x) & serum, high ACTH, DHEA, & MSH; did not suppress on DST (0.5mg dose), suppressed on high dose (1.0mg), 7mm pit tumor by MRI. Waiting for decision point from endo, considering IPSS or transphenoid. Aware of BLA as an alternative but that seems to be roundly not recommended as first-line treatment from all the reading I’ve done.

Primary question is if anyone has experience with Dr. Daniel Kelly in Santa Monica? He works with my endo and was recommended. I am open to nationwide if necessary, but if he ranks at the top anyway then would go with him.

Is QOL typically worse after surgery? If so, what’s the point?

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Zoann M (Zoann), Steroid-Induced Bio

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steroids

 

In July 2010 I was rushed to the hospital by a friend who was convinced that I was dying. Having had asthma for many years, I kept telling her I wasn’t having an asthma attack, I was just so tired I could barely hold my head up. The ER doctor was a brand new resident, she took one look at me and said “You’ve got Cushing’s.” I had no idea what she was talking about, but because I was too tired to care, I agreed to be admitted to the hospital for testing. Five days later I walked out with a confirmed diagnosis of exogenous Cushing’s Syndrome caused by massive doses of prednisone I had been taking for more than 10 years for the asthma.

Five years later I have had Adrenal Insufficiency added to the long list of conditions caused by the prednisone overdoses. I am steroid dependent now; 15 mg of prednisone daily keeps me from being admitted to the hospital for asthma attacks. Taking the drug that almost killed me in order to stay alive is one of the hardest things I have to do.

I am fortunate in that I have an excellent endocrinologist who works well with my primary care doctor to manage the multiple medications I take to cope with my various chronic conditions. Right now the thing I struggle with the most is the pain – muscle pain, feet pain, joint pain, nerve pain. Trying to find medications to deal with the pain is almost impossible; I can’t take most narcotics, even if I could find a doctor to prescribe them.

My endocrinologist told me at our last visit that there was nothing else he could do for me except monitor my condition. My primary care doctor has said the same thing. It is very discouraging to be told that there is nothing else that can be done.

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