Thursday, 20 September 2012

About my health issues

As you might have read so far, I was born with several birth defects due to a lack of growth hormone which has left me dependent on Cortisone acetate, a corticosteroid supplement that i have been taking since bring diagnosed with pan hypopituitarism (pituitary development disorder) at age 13.

I was also told my thyroid wasn't functioning so I would take thyroxine as well.
After cat scans and later MRI scans it was shown that my pituitary gland was under-developed at birth. In measurements it is only 2/3 the size it should be. There is also the pituitary stalk absent, which is where most of my problem starts.

From my research, the stalk helps connect the pituitary gland with other areas of the brain and neurological function.

It is needed in regulation of cortisone, male and female hormones, immune response and other important functions.

When I get sick my immune system crashes rather than rises to fight infection and virus, so I must raise my cortisone acetate intake if needed.


Due to taking corticosteroids for over 27 years I am now diagnosed with Cushings Disease. I have a layer of fat or hump behind my neck, folds of fat on my back and under-arms, hypoglycemic, cortisone leaches the calcium from your boned so I have Osteoarthritis in lumbar.

I big problem with being dependent on a twice-daily cortisone dose is that it affects my sleep, mood, bloating, stomach, etc.

I also have to be careful when it comes to physical or emotional stress as it can cause me to go into Addisonial crisis (adrenal insufficiency - electrolyte imbalance, hypoglycemia, dizzyness, memory loss, sweating, fever, etc).

If left untreated I have been told that I can go into a coma an die. As you can tell I go out of my way to avoid that

O I drink lots of water to rehydrate myself
O attempt to replace electrolytes without sending my blood sugars up
O limit physical activity in the sun so I don't sweat excessively and lose fluid & salts
O limit my contact with people who are sick with colds or flu when in cold/ flu season
O eat meals rich in garlic, ginger, green vegetables, vitamin c
O juice up vegetables with an apple, lemon and lime
O be careful where I eat out and make sure they can cater to my gluten-free diet. I ask a lot of questions about ingredients in a menu item and suggest some possible changes to best meet my dietary needs

Growing up my bone age was three years behind chronological (real) age so at the age of 16 2/3 I was started on a government-funded growth hormone injection called somatodien. I was on it for a few years until holidaying with my father in Queensland I missed a check-up required for me to continue to get funding from the government. I am currently 5ft 1 1/2.

I had no male and female hormones or follicle stimulating hormone which meant lack of development until I was put on hormone replacement therapy in my early 20s. I developed breasts and hips and would experience a period cycle but when I later went off hormone replacement to see if my body might be capable of falling pregnant.

Unfortunately my body still wasn't capable of producing male and female hormones and blood tests showed me in the pre-menarche / post menopausal range. I went through change of life at age 24 on my honeymoon. Fun!

I am once more back on hormone replacement therapy - this time in he form of a slow release patch that I change twice a week. I am also on Tegretal for mood stabilization.

I have the contents of a health food store in my home (which I will itemize late)

As you can see, for me eating out or buying food products can be pretty tricky. What I eat can directly result in pain and discomfort so I take my diet and health very seriously.

An instant on the lips
A lifetime on the hips
So savour every bite!