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Jody P's Story

Well, I am not sure where to start -- so I'll try to start back to my teen years. All through my teens I have always been fatigued and experienced headaches, which ranged from seeming like a sinus headache or migraine and usually treated with tylenol or ibuprofen. But if I could sleep these headaches went away. In my early twenties I began experiencing hair growth on my abdomen and while pregnant with my first son I lost 30 lbs in the first two trimesters, but gained 60 in the last trimester. I even remember the nurse asking me if I shaved my stomach, but I dismissed it to my Italian, Hispanic and Russian ancestry.

Additionally, I have always been depressed and moody. I mainly thought most of this was due to some issues that occurred during my childhood. I am in my thirties now and began seeing the doctor due to occasional dizziness and lack of concentration, but the hair on my face and abdomen is getting worse, in addition to my lack of libido which occasionally can cause issues in a relationship. I was diagnosed with PCOS over 10 years ago by a gynecologist who indicated I could not have children, but had just had my first son who is now 12, I also have an 11year old and 20 month old and in each pregnancy lost 30 to 40 lbs in the 1st two trimesters - but was still told PCOS results in infertility - but have not experienced this issue. I do however, have menses issues where I may not have a period for 6 to 8 months.

Anyway, about a year ago I was sent to an endrocrinologist due to my high testosterone levels and at this time my cortisol was within normal range. My face is always red with bumps and my midsection is protruding like an apple. He put me on 1000mg twice a day of Metformin for the PCOS diagnosis and I attempted to take it for a few months, but the cramps and diarrhea were too much to handle while at work - so I stopped.

In the meantime, I was laid off w/ no insurance and just went back to him again with a testosterone level of 141 and random cortisol of 23 - he dismissed the possible Cushings symptoms but after I showed him the purple striae on my stomach with the excess hair he agreed to due a 24 hr urine and gave me an rx for dexamethasone to rule out Cushings. I also told him, about the headaches that appear to be sinus headaches and go away with sleep, the lack of concentration, the buffalo hump that has provided me with the nickname the hunchback of Notre Dame, and that my mother and older sister have the same physical and mental issues I do. My mother passed at the age of 68 and my sister has been in the hospital for years, diagnosed with hypo thyroid, heart attacks due to stress, reoccurring tumors on her parathyroid, etc.

I will be taking the blood test today and I hope I do not have this disease but would be relieved if I knew what exactly was causing all of this havoc and if it is inherited to pass the information down for generations to come. Wish me luck. Jody

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