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  • Something is wrong but doctors won't take me seriously

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    Old 08-26-2015, 10:34 PM   #1
    Ladyrubyred
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    Something is wrong but doctors won't take me seriously

    For reference, I am a 24 year old female.

    Please bear with me as this doesn't seem hormone related but it is very much so.

    About 3 years ago I started having a problem with my veins. They started becoming more visible, as if coming up to the surface of my skin. I would often find spider veins would appear in new areas literally over night. I started developing more and more broken capillaries in most places of my body and my veins would get bluer and more engorged. Over time these became painful. My legs, hands, arms, shoulders, breasts, waist/hips and feet look like I drew on myself with blue and red pen. I'm starting to look like those plastic models they have to show the whole circulatory system. Now I find them developing on my face.

    I think it makes me look diseased, and generally not pleasant to look at. Everyday its getting worse and its affecting both my confidence and my level of comfort (the painful clusters of veins I have).

    My research wielded very little and my gut instinct told me it was my hormones. I have always suffered from heavy, severely crippling (pain), irregular periods. I have been tested for PCOS which I do not have.

    I have been to see 4 different doctors about this, all of which will not take me seriously. The first doctor even suggested it was all in my head!
    They would keep sending me for blood tests which always came back normal.
    I've had some hormones tested, blood count, glucose, thyroid (I cant remember all of them) etc. All okay.
    The 3rd doctor decided to do blood tests again but this time she had all my female hormones checked. I didn't hear back from my clinic so once again assumed there was nothing wrong.

    So off I go again to do the same old song and dance with the 4th doctor. Hes patient, listens, and suggests some of my symptoms (which I will list below) can be attributed to my depression so he refers me to a counsellor. Fair enough, its long overdue I saw one anyway.

    He decides to look over my last blood results while printing off my reference and just says out loud, "Your PROLACTIN levels are unusually high"
    . Asks me if I have PCOS and I say no. He tells me he'll look into it and get back to me later as he can't see a reason why it's high from my medical history.
    First thing that goes through my mind, "why did my last doctor not review my results, spot this and call me?", and second, "I have to go home and research this".

    And so I did. Prolactin is responsible for so many things! And one thing I found which could possibly explain -- maybe -- the problem I mentioned.

    This is from Wikipedia so I can't say how trustworthy it is but it matches:

    "... As a growth factor, binding to cytokine like receptors, it also has profound influence on hematopoiesis, angiogenesis and is involved in the regulation of blood clotting through several pathways..." [Wikipedia]

    When you then go into the ANGIOGENESIS page:

    "Angiogenesis is the physiological process through which new blood vessels form from pre-existing vessels. This is distinct from vasculogenesis, which is the de novo formation of endothelial cells from mesoderm cell precursors. The first vessels in the developing embryo form through vasculogenesis, which angiogenesis is responsible for most, if not all, blood vessel growth during development and in disease.

    Angiogenesis is a normal and vital process in growth and development, as well as in wound healing and in the formation of granulation tissue.
    " [Wikipedia]

    I read that high prolactin levels can cause weight gain, and make it difficult to lose it. As well as tiredness, and irregular periods.

    Here are my other list of symptoms:
    tiredness/fatigue and generally feeling sluggish or lethargic
    sudden unexplained weight gain
    buffalo hump
    hot sweats and cold sweats
    excessive sweating
    heat intolerance
    restless sleep
    non-refreshing sleep
    poor balance and coordination
    brainfog (poor memory, difficulty remembering to do everyday tasks, hard to concentrate, slow reactions to questions)
    speech problems (stuttering, mispronunciation, mixing up tenses, forgetting simple words, forgetting to include words and end up creating broken sentences)
    unable to regulate body temperature
    stiffness in neck and lower back
    emotional instability and oversensitivity
    dizziness if I get up too quickly
    tinnitus in both ears
    acne
    frequent headaches, sometimes migraines
    anxiety and irritablily
    depression
    sore feet from standing for short periods of time
    swollen/puffy ankles
    worst case of veins all on the right side of my body
    Hirsutism (runs in the family)
    If it is my hormones, or one hormone which can cause the others to go out of wack... it could explain some of my symptoms above like depression, tiredness and the weight gain.

    I'm still waiting to hear back from my doctor but I'm not hopeful. I see myself going back to my clinic and requesting to see ANOTHER doctor yet again.

    Would like to know peoples opinions. I feel like for most of this I'm just throwing stuff out there and hoping one will eventually fit.

    Last edited by Ladyrubyred; 08-26-2015 at 11:04 PM. Reason: Formatting

     
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    Old 08-28-2015, 04:43 PM   #2
    STLouisgal
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    Re: Something is wrong but doctors won't take me seriously

    Are these doctors you have seen endocrinologists? A high prolactin level can be an indication of a pituitary tumor which can certainly mess with hormone levels especially thyroid and adrenal. Buffalo hump and some of your other symptoms could indicate Cushing's Syndrome but of course your symptoms are common to other conditions too. If you have been a regular user of corticosteroids (such as those used for asthma) those can cause Cushing's (as can a pituitary tumor).

    It is frustrating when we are brushed off by doctors when we know very well that something is wrong. Hoping you get answers soon!

     
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    Old 08-28-2015, 05:15 PM   #3
    Ladyrubyred
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    Re: Something is wrong but doctors won't take me seriously

    Hi! Thanks for replying

    No they have been my local GPs, I would need to get a reference from them to see an endocrinologist and it doesn't seem like they will do it any time soon.

    My doctor called me back and said that, basically, there was nothing to worry about. To just focus on my mental health, and to lose some weight which he thought could be exacerbating some of my symptoms.

    It's so frustrating! I have been brushed off once again. They keep telling me I'm fine but none of this feels fine. It feels wrong and just not normal.

    A quick Google search tells me elevated prolactin levels are in the range of 30 - 200 ng/ml but I am pretty sure I heard him tell me mine was at 536! I will have to call my clinic on Monday morning and ask for my lab results to double check.

    Not sure how else to proceed from here. Doctor told me I was free to book an appointment to see him again at any time I wanted.

    Edit: Forgot to answer, no I haven't used corticosteroids.

    Last edited by Ladyrubyred; 08-28-2015 at 05:19 PM.

     
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    Old 08-28-2015, 06:34 PM   #4
    STLouisgal
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    Re: Something is wrong but doctors won't take me seriously

    Getting a copy of your lab results and other medical records can be helpful when seeking answers and seeing other doctors.

     
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