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Addison’s Disease: Periods at 4 years, Menopause at 5

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A five-year-old girl from Australia who started menstruating at the age of four will soon start exhibiting signs of menopause, a result of Addison’s disease.

Emily Dover’s birth was absolutely ‘normal and happy’. By the second week, however, she started growing at an unusual rate. She was the size of a one-year-old by the time she turned 4-months-old. By the time Emily turned 2, she had developed breast buds, body odour and a rash on her skin that was diagnosed as cystic acne.

In addition to Addison’s disease, Emily has been diagnosed with congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, Central Precocious Puberty, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing disorder and Anxiety Disorder.

The 5-year-old’s adrenal glands don’t produce enough steroid hormones.

Emily’s mother Tam Dover said her daughter is body conscious and aware that she is different from other children her age, reports Mirror Online. Sadly, the little girl is unable to understand what she is going through.

Constant pain and reduced mobility required Emily to undergo weekly physiotherapy sessions. At present Emily is five years old, and has started menstruating. After she starts a hormone replacement therapy, she will hit menopause, with all the side effects a woman over 50 years of age has to face.

“She hasn’t even had a chance to be a little girl. She’s having to learn how to put panty liners on for menstruating,” Tam tells Mirror Online.

Tam has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to cover the ‘astronomical’ costs of her daughter’s treatments and medical care.

“Each time her growth was measured it was always way above the 99th percentile, and often 99th percentile for a couple of years above her age,” Tam wrote on the GoFundMe page.

From http://www.hindustantimes.com/health/periods-at-4-years-menopause-at-5-the-little-girl-who-never-got-to-be-a-child/story-p2kkpyd31fvsBzP21LDWcO.html

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rokchix86 (rokchix86), Undiagnosed Bio

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undiagnosed3

 

So, I’m in the process of being tested for Cushings. I have to have an MRI and CT scan pending bloodwork results for the contrast dye. My endocrinologist said I keep failing my cortisol tests. In other words something is always elevated.

For me my journey began a few years back when I was working out like crazy doing cross training and kickboxing 4 days a week and bike riding and taking long walks, I was also dieting. I kept gaining weight. I started needing maternity clothes. I had the hump already for a few years but was previously able to lose weight.

I assumed oin was menopause but nothing I did worked. The Drs did bloodwork which was all fine. I started having hot flashes do they put me on HRT which actually caused me to drop 5 lbs. Now I know something is off.

It took my BP shooting up suddenly along with my A1C reaching prediabetic range for the Drs to believe there really was something going on.

So here I am, I started my testing in June and now it’s Sept. Still no official diagnosis. I’m very tired and depressed. I don’t go out because I don’t want to see anyone. I can only wear stretchy pants and have a hard time finding long enough shirts.

I don’t recognize myself anymore. *sigh*

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Jennifer (Jennifer In Puget Sound), Undiagnosed Bio

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undiagnosed3I’m wondering about my situation. I haven’t been diagnosed with Cushing’s but I had my thyroid removed (Hashimoto’s with goiter, family history of thyroid cancer), concluded menopause, had two car accidents (rear-ended)…all in the space of a few years, around 2003-2006. Up until 2003 (the first car accident,) I was a very energetic, upbeat, even-tempered, fit, active, mother of two, and holder of three part-time jobs including teaching high school. I was 50.

Following the car accidents, I developed chronic disabling low back pain. Following the thyroidectomy I developed all kinds of symptoms involving almost all body systems. I’m now bedridden to housebound for great swaths of time. Up until now I’ve been haunting thyroid and adrenal boards, and plowing my way through endocrinologists, MDs and naturopaths looking for answers.

Starting in 2006, I began experiences episodes I call “tizzies” which have baffled all concerned. They last from 6-8 months, building up, reaching a peak, slowly subsiding. They are extremely debilitating and involve many, many symptoms mental and physical. After six or seven of these, I’m convinced they are episodes of extremely high cortisol and I do have some labs to support that, though they are from alternative type laboratories. The saliva ones take four samples spread throughout the day and the 24-hour urine ones are as they sound.

During a trough I have a saliva lab showing mostly low cortisol values. During a different trough I have 24-hour urine results from which the ND pronounced I had Addison’s-like adrenal function. During a recent peak I have both a saliva and 24-hour urine showing off-the-charts high levels of cortisol. Coming down from that peak, I have saliva results showing cortisol low in the morning moving up to extremely high at night.

 

What do you think?

Jennifer in Puget Sound

 

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Sharon, Undiagnosed Bio

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A Golden Oldie

Hello. My name is Sharon. Im 42 years old from Saskatchewan, Canada. I’ve been lurking on this site for about 3 weeks now, and finally decided to add my story. I appologize now if  I get carried away, but here goes.

As a youngster, I was always a healthy kid, seldom sick. Always active, very athletic. Sports were my life. But I did always have very heavy periods, and painful ones, right from day 1. Doctor said it was Mother Nature, and was told to live with it.

Got married, had 2 children. In between the 2, I had to have my gallbladder removed, unfortunatly it was an unsuccessful surjury. I still get attacks till this day. A hernia operation, 3 months later, a hysterectomy. (due to endemetriosis) a year later, the removal of one of my ovaries. I must admit I never felt right after the hysterectomy, but chalked it up to being in early menopause.

Then a year ago, my husband had to rush me to the ER. My heart was palpatating so fast I could feel it in my ears. A second visit to the ER for more of the same. The Doctor on that visit seemed annoyed, and said, get your thyroid checked. I thought, why not. I’d been suffering from freezing cold hands and feet anyways. Tests came back normal, and after a holter test, they told me my heart had an electrical problem. I was put on pills to regulate it.

At this time, the weight gain started to elevate. Being thin my whole life, I was startled by this. I’ve always eaten healthy. We are not an eat out type of family, I prefer to cook at home. But I decided to become more strict with what I ate. I always walked for excercise, now I added a half hour of core workouts and a half hour of abdominal workouts, 6 days a week. Plus my daughter, who was a health coach at Herbal Majic, put me on a plan.(minus the herbs, just the menu) Weight loss after 2 months was zero. She said, Mom, this plan works, why is it not working for you? Good question.

Im also into alternative methods to maintaining health as well. I purchased a chi machine and far infrared hothouse. While it has helped with my constipation issues and seems to have kept the gallbladder attacks away, it had done nothing to help aid in weight loss. (my friends and family however, have all lost weight in it)

Then more puzzling symptoms appeared. Always covered in bruises, major hair loss. Feeling very tired. And it showed in my face, because I have countless people who tell me I look tired. Yellow eyes from time to time. (could be from the gallbladder issues) This went on for a year . And in that year, I gained 25 lbs, 5 of that was literally overnight. .

Then 2 months ago, my heart medication stopped working. The palpitations are back, as well as a very low heart rate at times. And a shift from freezing cold hands and feet, to not being able to tolerate being hot. Noticed facial hair, my normally straight hair if full of waves and curls. Wake up drenched in sweat (chalked that up to menopause too) While I have maintained my weight at 142 lbs (115-120 lbs is my norm) my belly continues to grow. If it wasn’t for the hysterectomy, I’d swear I was 6 months pregnant. Then I developed a burning pain in my right shoulder. The pain is always there, makes it hard to use my arm at times. Some days its severe, at times during the day, the pain is tolerable. I thought maybe I dislocated something excercising. After a bath I decided to have a look in the mirror, and discovered a hump on my back I never knew I had. I think the hump and shoulder pain are related. I lay on a far infrared heating pad for the pain and it helps. Pain medication does nothing for it.

But not only is my belly growing larger, I noticed my face and neck growing larger as well. And my once smooth skin has turned rough, and red. Acne breakouts that leave scars and even a couple of skin tags on my face. This is all new to me. After careful examination of my neck, I realized I had a few lumps on the right side, and a fatty pad under my right collarbone. And when I press on that fatty pad, I feel the pain in my shoulder. Im exhausted most days now, from the pain, and not sleeping through the night for the past 2 months. I get up 2 to 3 times a night to pee. The other day I noticed that my pee had a really foul odor.(sorry for the TMI)  But it never burns.

Well, the final straw was a rash that appeared on my back. Even though I had a Doctors appointment in a week, I decided to go to the ER as the rash had me freaked out. I made the mistake of telling the nurse I thought I might have cushings. (had been reading the patient bios. It all seemed to add up) She smirked, and took me to another room. The Doctor came in and in a condecending tone, asked me,”what does google have to say about cushings” I should have told him that I leaned more from actual patients who had been diagnosed than I did from google. But we ran through my symptoms. He assured me he thought I didn’t have it. It was probably all menopause. He asked to see my drivers license and told me he thought I looked no different. I asked him if he could feel the lumps in my neck, he said no. (at this point I knew I was wasting my time)

He asked if I had used a heating pad, I lied and told him No.(Because he ticked me off) That may have been my saving grace. He called in another Doctor to have a look at this rash and neither one could figure it out, so he ordered alot of blood work. (odd though, i’d been using this same heating pad for years, and never developed a rash until now) They took blood sugar (a little high) urine, shoulder x ray. I was told to follow up with my Doctor. A week later my Doctor informs me that my blood sugar  in the ER that day was very high. And a large amount of sugar in my urine. He never said a word to me about my urine that day. She told me that one of the blood tests that came back showed abnormal for lupus.

Although she feels I am neither diabetic, or have lupus, it lets her know that there is something definatly not right. But the affirmation I got was from my Doctor who took one look at me and told me I did in fact look different. She could see the lumps without actually touching them. I guess Im not crazy after all.

She set me up with a specialist who told me flat out that he did not think I have cushings, because he sees the worst of the worst. I then showed him a picture of what I normally look like, and took a pause. Well, he’s looking into plenty of things, he has included cushings after all. And assured me if the tests come back normal, we will retest, and retest. Im also scheduled to have a thyoid ultasound in April. I feel like there is now hope that we might find an answer to all of this.

I went from being a shy person, to someone who is outspoken. I felt I needed to be, because I wasn’t being heard. Im angry at being dismissed over the years, and to the Doctor in the ER, i know i must have bruised his ego by telling him what I felt was wrong with me. Although I have alot of things wrong with me, there was nothing wrong with my hearing that day, when I over heard the Doctor and Nurse making fun of me.

I feel for each and everyone of you who’s stories I have read the past 3 weeks, who have had to endure way worse hardships than myself. I read how often you are mistreated by Doctors, and the horrible situations that you have gone through.

It breaks my heart. But each of those stories have given me the courage to fight for myself and for that, I can’t thank you enough, for being so open in sharing your lives with us.

God Bless You All!

Update May 18, 2012

Since my last post, there has been some developements, I’ve had a thyroid ultrasound and cat scan on my neck. They discovered 3 thyroid nodules the size of a pea. My Internist says that it does not explain my symptoms. An incidental finding was arthritis and disc degeneration in my neck. I am also newly diagnosed as active hypoglycemic.

Another 8 lb weight gain in 2 weeks. During those 2 weeks I lost my appetite and got the flu twice in 1 week. I barely ate enough to stay alive in those 2 weeks and still gained weight. My Internist told me he is at a loss. The swelling in my neck is now on my left side as well, and a chunk of thigh muscle in my left leg has all but disappeared. I ended up spending Mother’s Day in the ER. I woke up that morning with a burning pain in my chest and was so dizzy I couldn’t walk a straight line. Stayed dizzy for the next 5 hours. The heart checked out fine. The ER Doctor listened to my history and wished me luck, he had no idea either. I have had 3 Doctors tell me that if it is cushings, “do you know how hard that is to diagnose?” Meaning it’s to hard for them to figure it out, so they won’t bother. My Internist who tested me for cushings took a blood test, and told me that the 24 hour urine test, is old school. We don’t test for it that way anymore. Just a blood test. Of course mine came back normal. All my tests seem to be coming back normal, however I decided to document my findings as NO ONE believes me, except my Primary Doctor. But she knows nothing about cushings, she just sees the physical changes in me. I video taped the yellowing of my eyes, took pictures of my expanding belly, the hump on my back, the loss of muscle in my leg. And these strange muscle twitches that are happening throughout my body. The only thing my Doctor can do for me is to refer me to an Endo, which she is now doing.

My husband grows increasingly frustrated, and has told me that, you’ll be dead before they find out what’s wrong with you. I feel the same way. Knowing my Birth Mother died when she was 49 years old from a massive heart attack, but had the same physical symptoms as me, is scary. I am almost too tired to fight anymore but my Husband and kids keep me going. It’s been a battle, and I am far from winning yet. Will keep you posted.

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Amy (spunkybluecat), Pituitary Bio

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A Golden Oldie from July 11, 2011

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Hello, my name is Amy.

I was diagnosed with Cushing’s last November and had surgery to remove the pituitary adenoma in March.

It took me FOREVER (over 3 y) to get a diagnosis. None of my doctor’s would really listen. I was SO frustrated but kept on pushing because I KNEW something wasn’t right. Pre- surgery I had excess hair (facial+), weight gain (abdominal), stertch marks, fatigue, very irregular menstrual cycle…..Now that I’ve had the tumor removed I still have problems.

I’m hoping that some of you will help me to answer those questions/problems. My facial hair has slowed down, I’ve lost over 65 pounds in 3 months, I’m going through menpause now (I’m 36yo), my hair is starting to fall out, I have NO energy/fatigued all the time, some days I wake up OK and others I wake up vomiting or very unsteady like I’m going to pass out if I’m on my feet for too long. I am very depressed.

My life has fallen apart. My marriage is over, I have had to move in with my mother, I am unemployed, and I can’t do the fun things that I should be able to do with my 8yo daughter. I have no friends and my family is not supportive at all. They say I just need to get off my *ss. I’m tired of people blaming depression, laziness, etc. I want my life back.

I need help and don’t know where to turn. I hope that I can learn what I need to do solve these problems and meet some people who can send some sunshine my way.

Dee (Dee), Pituitary Bio

1 Comment

My menstrual cycle ended when I was 38 years.  After a hormone panel, my doctor told me I was in menopause.

At this time, the whites of my eyes started hemorrhaging and my skin became paper thin, bleeding and bruising.  I was tested for Von Willebrands which came back negative.

A few years passed and my blood pressure sky rocketed, my hair started falling out, my teeth were breaking and I was gaining weight and unable to stop it.  I grew a heavy beard, black hairs on my arms and thighs.  My face became distored, my head was pushed towards my feet from a hump on my back.  I was losing the use of my legs, and unable to hold a pen or pencil.  I started to look 7 months pregnant with a larged mid-section.  I couldn’t retain simple instructions, and had to stop driving.

I saw numerous doctors, and each worked with the symptoms as the came, but no one put everything together.  My feet and fingers were numb, and I was losing the ability to think correctly.  I had severe depression and anger issues.

I saw an article in Reader’s Digest about a mysterious illness and took it to my current doctor.  She really didn’t think I had Cushing’s because it was so rare, but my 24 hour urine test came back postive.  Next I was sent for the MRI which showed the tumor on my pituitary.  I had surgery June 27,2007.

It took 18 grueling months to wean off the Prednisone.  I had chronic nausea and diahrrea during this time.  My Endocrinologist did not study up on Cushings and removed my Prednisone 1 week after my surgery.  I crashed and was taken to the ER in serious condtion.  He did it to me again a few weeks later, with the same results.  After the second time, he left my Prednisone alone for the next 18 months.

October 27, 2011 I had Paraespohcial surgery where my stomach had been pushed into my lungs.  It was a very diffcult surgery and recovery.  I am now batteling Celiac, which after reading up on Addisons, I am wondering if I have Addisons?  I had Addison’s crisis twice when my predisone was removed to quickly after my brain surgery.

Even though I am cured of Cushings, it seems the side effect continue to make their debutes.  I am grateful for where I am today, even though I don’t know what is around the corner.   I guess what’s around the corner will be dealt with when I get there, but for today, I am thankful.

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