Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

A puzzle ... can you help?

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 8 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • November 23, 2006
  • 04:24 PM

It's been 7 long years -- several doctors and therapy. I am no closer to a diagnosis. Can you help? My symptoms are:

general moderate fatigue (all I can do in a day is go to work)
mild to moderate depression, constant
initial extreme weight gain (60 lbs. in 1 year) no change in diet/exercise
extreme fatigue after eating (lasts 1 hour)
shakes, nausea if I go for longer than 2 hours w/out eating
dark, thick hair growing on neck, inner thighs, chest, arms
extreme depression/mood swings during PMS
poor circulation in hands and feet

I am a 5'3" 215 lb. woman in my twenties. I feel like I am 50! I'd love to find out what is wrong so I can feel my real age.

History:

Diabetes: I've been checked 3xs for diabetes. I do not have it, according to the doctor's. Although I feel as though I get sugar highs and lows and other symptoms much as a diabetic would. The difference: it doesn't seem to matter what I am eating (sugary/starchy vs. protein etc.). I get exhausted after eating whether I have a small side of cooked spinach or a sugary piece of cake. I have tried several things: regular blood sugar testing, strict diabetic diet and exercise for 1 year, etc. Nothing works.

PCOS: I was also tested by an edocrinologist who concluded I might have Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. However, she offered no solutions. She said there wasn't much to be done. I never had an ultrasound -- but she said my bloodwork indicated PCOS. She said there's no cure or treatment.

Depression: I have had mild to moderate depression my entire life. I have been on various mild anti-depressants and logged hundreds of hours of cognitive therapy. Nothing seems to beat it. For the most part, I just deal with it. Although I'd love to someday be depression-free. Right now I am on Lexapro 20mg/day. It doesn't seem to make much difference. Nothing too traumatic in my childhood/past. I get moderate to severe depression during PMS.

Weight Gain: When I was 15 I started on the birth control Depo Provera Shot. I don't know if there's a correlation -- but within 2 years I had blown up like a ballon. From 135 lbs. to 185lbs. No change in diet or exercise. Despite numerous attempts at improved diet and exercise, my weight has steadily increased. I stopped the Depo shots at age 18.

That's all I've got. PLEASE, any ideas, help or suggestions would be great!!!

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8 Replies:

  • Hello,You need to find another doctor. PCOS is a complex hormonal problem that originates in your ovaries. It effects everything and it is a tough cookie to sort out. Please find another doctor. All your symptoms show PCOS and there may not be a cure but there are options. Look at NIH for clinical trials and get another doctor. Start asking for someone who loves to work with women who have PCOS. Good Luck! Lynn
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 23, 2006
    • 06:14 PM
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  • Hi.. i completely agree with the last poster.. you need to find another doctor as there are things which can be done for PCOS thou there is no cure, there IS treatment! .. being put onto the pill is one of the things which is usually done to try to balance the hormones better and there is other medication too. My regular GP sent me to a womans specialist for it. PCOS doesnt just affect the reproductive system. PCOS will cause symptoms as you have eg mood swings, weight gain, thick dark hair etc. I too have PCOS and get or have had all your symptoms. ". I never had an ultrasound -- but she said my bloodwork indicated PCOS." With PCOS.. if you had an ultrasound, it should show up with is called the "string of pearl" affect. For proper diagnoses my doctor told me that it is based on history, the blood test and also the ultrasound.. with all three things confirming. Have you had insulin levels tested as well??? (not just the standard glucose tests). I know my doctor did that test as well. People with PCOS often are insulin resistant. Im having my PCOS treated naturally and are having amazing affects (Ive still got problems thou with weight gain), but for the very first time in a very very long time (since i cant remember when).. my body ovulated this month, to my amazement!, actually when it was supposed too!, hence not putting me throu many weeks of severe mood swings and downers (throu ***l) due to my body trying to ovulate but not managing to do so. (I'd even attempted suicide due to the severely of my PCOS etc, it gives me major hormonal problems) So something Im doing has certainly worked as Ive gone to being very bad cause of it.. to feeling very good.. no severe mood swings at all!!!! My doctor as she knows I really dislike taking drugs.. told me about a study done in which 1000 mg daily of calicum (I take it with magnesium) was shown to help many with PCOS symptoms. (I've also been having treatments from a homoeopath). One of these things now has me ovulating normally.... best luck.. but do find another doctor to treat you.... and try the calicum (I was on it for a couple of mths before I had improvement).
    taniaaust1 2267 Replies
    • November 23, 2006
    • 11:13 PM
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  • Dear Lynn and taniaaust1 -- thank you so much for taking the time to share your insights and experiences. You both seemed to zero in on PCOS. I will pursue this further ... everytime I go to a doctor they tend to treat it like it's a "made up" or non-serious condition. Hopefully I can find someone who is different.Anyone else out there ... please give me your two-cents. I'd really love to get to the bottom of this!THANK YOU!Michelle
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 24, 2006
    • 02:45 AM
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  • hi thereYour symptoms really seemed like endocrine problem...I'd also like to know your mense amount and periodIs it regular and normal in amount?Because if you have PCOS, you mense should be something wrong... Besides, I suggest you have your throid function testedHypothyroidism can also cause depression, weight gain and general fatigueOne more possibility is a more high level problem: pituitary gland tumorThis should also be checked.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 24, 2006
    • 07:17 AM
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  • You defiintely sound insulin resistant and this is linked with POCS. An MRI is definitely a go to make sure you are clear of any tumor. And as suggested from another reply have your ovaries ultrasound to see if that string of pearls is present. "You might have...." is never good. An ITT (insulin tolerance test) will evaluate your insulin, corisol and growht hormone. You don't have to be diabetic, or have a tumor, or be overweight to be insulin resistant. I'm insulin resistant without all the usual reasons and am in the middle of being essessed after 16 years of being misdiagnosed and then down right ignored. An GTT will show if you are insulin resistant, but best to get the ITT through an endocrinologist. Don't accept no from doctors, it is your life, and after seven years enough is enough. I was not firm enough and it is now 16 years for me and any progress i have made has not been due to any concern from doctors.Visit www.womentowomen.com You will find heaps of easily understood info and doctors there who are really into all the above.All the best.Agape,searchingsam
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 24, 2006
    • 10:22 AM
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  • Sounds Like a endocrine problem.If PCOS has fully been eliminated than your physican should consider testing for Cushing's Syndrome. It is a rare endocrine disease that most physicans are relucatant to test for,To test for this disease order a cortisol test and an ACTH. Cushing's Syndrome Causes unexplained dramatic weight gain, Mood swings and secondary masculine characteristics such as heavy hair growth, and changes in blood sugar. There are several other adrenal/ pituitary diseases that can cause your symptoms. But PCOS and Cushing's Syndrome best describe you symptoms. In Cushing's syndrome the fat distribution is usually in the trunk and face region while the limbs have less wgt gain. Make sure your physican has done every test to rule out PCOS .Many physicans especially are relucant to test for rare endocrine diseases, please be steadfast in demanding diagnosis, best of luck.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 25, 2006
    • 05:01 AM
    • 0
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  • Yes, do insist on being tested for Cushing's Syndrome, with the hair growth described and everything else, you sound like a candidate, especially as mentioined by the previous post, if your limbs are thin but your trunk isn't, this is a very distinguishing factor form Syndrome X or other endocrine disorders.All the best.Agape,Searchingsam
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 25, 2006
    • 02:49 PM
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  • your doctor is wrong. There are things and drugs that can help PCOS. I have it too. Plus a special diet. Definately get the other's suggestions tested too - but there ARE things that can help you.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 25, 2006
    • 11:24 PM
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