Doctors exhaust me.
I've had several years experience going to doctors (GP's OB/GYNs, endocrinologists, and reproductive endocrinologists) telling them about clear symptoms that I was having, only to be told "your blood tests are normal" and to be sent away. Despite having unexplained weight gain, difficult periods, acne, difficulty getting pregnant, three miscarriages, acanthosis negricans (darkening under skin folds like armpits, thighs, and under my breasts); it took four doctors before I got my diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, because I finally found a doctor that treated the symptoms, rather than the test range (which I was very close on) and who was the first to know that fasting insulin numbers should be less than 10 in a female, not 18 - as the test range stated.
When I was pregnant with Maggie, one of the meds I was on was a low dose of thyroid hormone. Despite feeling constantly nauseous and dehydrated, mentally, I couldn't remember feeling so clear-headed and like things were good. I was taken off the thyroid hormone a few weeks before she was born, and after she was born, descended into postpartum depression. It never occurred to me that the two were related.
When she was a year and 1/2, I did test positive for anti-thyroid antibodies, but since then, have not, but still have felt terrible. I've really stopped responding to my PCOS meds, and feeling so bad, starting a low carb diet AND feeding three others was just more than I can bear.Since our move, I've gone to three doctors, who all have told me that I test normal on the TSH test, and I might want to consider anti-depressants, ADHD meds, and/or gastric bypass, all of which my gut told me were not the problem. I tried calling a highly recommended endocrinologist off of Mary Shomon's thyroid site, (a site I HIGHLY recommend) but couldn't ever get a person to call me back. That was three years ago.
Now in the present, things just kept getting worse. I kept gaining weight, my skin is worse than it has ever been, I look awful, I feel worse. Finally, I tried the endocrinologist again and got a person, and better yet, an appointment. But still, I feared being told that my tests were normal (interpretation: its all in your head.) Dr. Kadambi didn't do that. He listened to the symptoms and immediately prescribed natural thyroid hormone for me. He ran all the blood tests, but wasn't going to make me wait. My symptoms were very descriptive of hypothyroid. He also added Byetta, an insulin helper drug, to my PCOS meds, and promised it would help me lose weight. (12 pounds in the first month, but slow since then).
The blood tests came back, and the thyroid hormone was normal. But next to the range, it said "may not be normal for this patient." Lots of the results said that. He also found a few other things that were not in range. My vitamin D was low, my B12 was low, and so was my Insulin-Like Growth Hormone. He said that would mean a pituitary stimulus test.
I learned that basically, IGH controls all the other endocrine glands, and there was a possibility I was not making much, since I seem to be having problems with several of my endocrine glands. As I sat there with the I.V. in my arm being stimulated, I saw the diagram on the board that listed the symptoms of Insufficient Growth Hormone....and it was describing me -- difficulty losing weight, social anxiety and isolation, problems with fertility and reproductive cycles, insulin resistance, etc.
The test came back with no change. My pituitary pretty much refused to be stimulated, so the next step was to convince my insurance that I needed it, and Eli Lilly took care of that. I got a letter in the mail last night saying that the growth hormone therapy was approved. Dr. Kadambi says that if this works, and he had no doubt that it would, I should be off most everything within a year. The Byetta and the metformin will be unnecessary should I lose enough weight to defeat the insulin resistance, and my pituitary should kick back in. I don't know if that includes the thyroid hormone as well.
I'm eager to see how this goes....and whether or not it will improve my baseball game (just joking). Its nice to be heard. Its nice to have a doctor that is eager to find the answers to the problem. It's definitely nice to feel like I'm moving in the right direction.