My Visit to the Endocrinologist
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
I've been trying to see an endocrinologist (hormone specialist doctor) for over a year. It took me nine months and a new family doctor to get a referral, and then another six months for the appointment to roll around. I finally saw him yesterday. It was a bit anticlimactic but a step in the right direction, I hope.
I'd had some tests leading up to it, trying to get to the bottom of my symptoms. With my problematic cycles, thinning hair, thicker-than-usual body hair, historical weight issues, blood pressure and energy crashes, I have most of the classic symptoms of PCOS (Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome). But hormone tests didn't put me in the diagnosable ranges, and two sets of ultrasounds earlier this year and last show that my ovaries are not polycystic. I was also tested for elevated cortisol but that turned out to be okay as well. Which is good, because elevated cortisol usually means a pituitary or adrenal tumor, which was a scary, scary thought. I already had this news before yesterday, from going over my test results with my GP. But I was hoping the endocrinologist could maybe help shed some light on what might actually be going on. Ruling out bad diseases is great but being left with a vague question mark is hard.
The doctor was nice and easy to talk to, although I was really nervous. I'm always nervous when I see a doctor. Basically he said that I don't have all the clinical symptoms of PCOS but it's close. (Not exactly affirming, but it'll have to do). He says I've been pretty much doing the right things, that my weight loss was the best thing I could have done. He said that I should double my metformin and cut out the spironolactone and progesterone and see whether the metformin alone can regulate my cycle. My menses have been regular for the past 16 months with the progesterone trigger, but that hardly seems worthwhile, because the doctor says that my hormone levels indicate that I am not ovulating. Which means I'm infertile. Which is very sad at 33.
However the good news is that it might still be reversible. I'm to do another round of blood tests in August after taking my adjusted medication prescription for a few months and see him again at afterwards to see how my levels look then. I think it'll be a mess at first without the progesterone to trigger things, but maybe it'll settle down after a while.
I had been hoping for some big information breakthrough, like when I started eating low-glycemic. Instead, it sound like this will be a long, slow tweaking process. Hopefully it'll eventually lead to my concentration and energy levels steadying, and maybe even fertility one day. Part of me is still mad that losing all this weight has not fixed my body. At least I'm tracking things and moving forward step by little step.