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  • I suspect something may be wrong with my adrenal and pituitary glands

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    Old 03-04-2015, 10:58 AM   #1
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    I suspect something may be wrong with my adrenal and pituitary glands

    I have been researching lower back and gland problems, and from what I can tell, I have a majority of the symptoms associated with high cortisol production. I am in my late 30s right now and it has been debilitating.

    Would it be worth my time and money and see an endocrinologist? I have no insurance right now, but that may change. Here are my symptoms.
    • Excess centrally-located fat - I have had a steady "fat pouch" between my waist line and my belly button since childhood. My butt has also been fatty for just as long, regardless of how skinny every area is. In the past fifteen years, the fat area has spread up to my upper arms and down to close to my knees. My calves and forearms are skinny, and my hands and feet have almost zero fat on them.
    • Shortness of breath - I feel an almost crushing sensation and need to achieve the "perfect deep breath" to calm myself down whenever I exert myself or am faced with a stressful situation. Sometimes it can just come out of the blue. Granted, nose breathing does help, but having a deviated septum and sinus flare up ensures that I have one nostril completely sealed most of the time. I am forced to breath out of my mouth, which leads me to another side effect - throat mucus build up and heavy salivation. It's a vicious cycle. I sometimes put a "filter" over my mouth to reduce particle intake, especially when sleeping so I don't wake up coughing.
    • Anxiety disorder and depression diagnosis - I have been diagnosed with high anxiety and depression and have taken tranquilizers and anti-depressants in the past. I took them when I was a teenager, so I don't even know how well they would work right now. I'm pretty sure it was hormonal and not caused by trauma of any kind. I didn't have that bad of a childhood.
    • Poor libido - I don't have complete ED, but it comes and goes how easy it is to get stimulated. When I am super stressed, forget about it. I seem to have had a stunt in body hair growth as well. Most of the males in my family have pretty heavy chest hair growth, but mine seemed to stopped at my mid stomach sometime during puberty. Only a few follicles pop up, and some around my nipples. The thing is, hairs still keep popping up like I'm in a slow stage of puberty. Since cortisol interferes with adrenal testosterone, I think these symptoms are related.
    • Tingling in the lower back - Sometimes when I am just resting, I will feel my lower back have a surge of some sort. These surges seem random. They are not painful at all. They almost "tickle".
    • Difficulty falling asleep - This has been a problem since early early childhood, when I first started elementary school. When my body wants to go to sleep, it sleeps; when it doesn't, I can sit staring at the ceiling for hours. I've tried all the home remedies and over the counter sleep aids. Even meditation. The only way I can control it is to reduce sleep to 4-6 hours. So I either have to undersleep or throw off my schedule. I sleep through most alarm clocks. This is probably the biggest problem. I would say this severly handicaps my functionality. It did so when I was in high school and elementary, and it is why I am afraid of working after graduating college. I want to get treated before it becomes an issue on my professional record. It's also easy to get "amped up" right before going to sleep, and very difficult to come back down.
    • Stretch marks around my waist - They are not purple, but they are certainly noticable. They first showed up when I was medicated with psychiatric medication, but the lower back ones seem to be more recent.
    • Fat, expanding head - My head seems to have changed shape over the years. Part of it is from my mother (who is kind of a "melon head"), but it looks different than it did when I was 16. I can't even keep a very large baseball cap on my head.
    • Easily irritable - I had a bad temper problem as a kid, and it is still easy to make me blow my stack. Some things I get mad at don't even make any sense. The same thing one day can be brushed off, and the next day it will start a war. And yes, the "tingling feelings" in my back accompany these blow ups as well, usually on the cool down. It's hard to be a functional adult with this problem. People have told me to "grow up" or "get over it" or something similar all throughout my life. Most of my teenage psychiatric treatment was related to my temper initially. I used to liken it to the Incredible Hulk. It was like I would turn into a different person when angry.
    • Lower back pain - I think this might be a disc or injury, but I'll just throw it out there that I have always had some level of lower back pain. Lately it has gotten unbearably bad. I have to lie on my back and stomach a lot. I wore out my shoulder and neck out laying on my side.

    I think this may also tie back to the pituitary gland. I am about 6'7" or 6'8" (200cm) and I don't have the typical "long and lanky" basketball player build. Right now I weigh somewhere around 280 lbs. I would consider myself somewhat of a giant compared to most people in this area, and my family. I have been reading about Cushing's disease, and how that works. It doesn't look like I have the Cushing disease from what I have seen in photo searches. I may have a milder condition related to it. My body just looks "off", like the fat should be more distributed. I have very skinny wrists and ankles, but a lot of fat in the middle. I usually just wear baggy clothes to hide it.

    I would say the biggest problems are inability to sleep on a regular schedule, "smothering" sensations related to breathing, and the temper control issues. The fat stuff is purely aesthetic, but I would love to deal with that as well. I don't think my problems are helped any by having some form of Aspergers. Certain sounds, smells and visual stimuli aggravate me to no end, which triggers the stress hormones.

    Last edited by jacoder; 03-04-2015 at 11:08 AM.

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    Old 03-04-2015, 07:11 PM   #2
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    Re: I suspect something may be wrong with my adrenal and pituitary glands

    I think it is possible that you have some pituitary/adrenal dysfunction based on your symptoms. I would see an endocrinologist and ask for a pituitary panel including growth hormone for acromegaly, and serum cortisol levels to rule out Cushings. The two tests should be an adequate screen to see if you do have hormonal issues.

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    Old 03-11-2015, 06:56 PM   #3
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    Re: I suspect something may be wrong with my adrenal and pituitary glands

    Thanks for the reply. I will keep that in mind when I see one.

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    Old 07-19-2015, 04:15 AM   #4
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    Re: I suspect something may be wrong with my adrenal and pituitary glands

    I'm being tested for Cushings myself. Some results are back showing slight elevation of cortisol. So far I've had a 24 urine, salivary cortisol, but mine was just one swab, there are other testing methods. I'm waiting for results of a dexamethasone test where I took the pill at night and had blood drawn in the morning. There are other tests available as well. Find a good endocrinologist. The first one I went to only told me to stop eating bread and pasta. The one I go to now seems much more thorough.

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