Before I started taking birth control, I was fit and had clear skin, though I’d always had problems with facial oil. Once I started the pill, I immediately started gaining weight, got bad acne, and started growing facial hair, especially on my chin (and this is dark, coarse hair, even though I’m naturally blonde). I changed pills, and then stopped taking birth control, but things didn’t go back to normal. Seven years later I have been to numerous doctors, and the problems are only worse, including hair loss on my head. I'm borderline hypothyroid, though synthroid has not helped with my symptoms. I'm only slightly high in androgen, and I've been taking spironolactone and glumetza for it for over a year. It's gone down according to blood tests, but it's made no difference to me. My monthly cycle has gotten all messed up, but despite that and the other problems, they don't think I have PCOS because I don't seem to have cysts and my periods apparently aren't painful enough, though they are incredibly heavy. I had one gyno basically tell me to buy some rogaine and give up - it just must be hereditary. I know it's not - my mom has heavy monthly bleeding but that's the extent of it. Having an oily, hairy face, about 1/3 of hair left on my head, and being overweight is not normal or hereditary for me. Even my nails have gotten in on the act. They now have ridges, curl under if I try to grow them, and they constantly break. Awful nails I could deal with, but not the rest.
So what else could this be? What are the doctors not considering/checking for? I’m on tons of pills, and it feels it’s for nothing. They almost seem to make up problems I might have, diagnose and medicate me, then pat themselves on the back. All the while I’m still sitting here with the same dang problems.
I have been seeing several. They focus on something else, don't listen, or don't know. I've been seeing specialists for the past two years with no help! I've seen a gynecologist, endocrinologist, dermatologist... what type should actually be able to help me with these symptoms?
I'd say an endocrinologist is your best bet. I'd look into seeing a top endocrinologist at a good research hospital. For diagnosing rare or unusual problems, it's not easy to get answers from normal "specialists" sometimes, sadly.
Have they done imaging of your brain to have a look at your pituary gland? If I understand things right, an increase in intra-cranial pressure can cause empty sella syndrome which often changes the way the pituary gland (responsible for hormone levels and an important part of the endocrine system) works. It might be a stretch, but it sounds like you've been tested for so many things already. Anyway, I'd stick with the endocrinologist.
If it's any consolation, I had similar issues when I changed birth control pills and have had many of your symptoms for years and they are now mostly under control. I also have ESS since taking steroids and have to see my endocrinologist regularly still. In my own personal case, the thing that helped me the most has been homeopathic medicine which is big over here in Europe. I know it's not for everyone, but my theory was that it couldn't hurt and I was desperate enough to give it a go. I won't claim that it fixed everything, but it did help considerably to reverse the issues I was having.
Hoping you find your answers soon and wishing you well..
I've wondered about a brain scan. None of the doctors have suggested it, but I don't think there is anything else left to try. I've also wondered about homeopathic remedies. I'm willing to try, and there are stores in my area, I've just worried about treating the symptoms and not seeing the whole picture. I figure there has got to be some reason why I've got these problems. They can't all be unrelated.
There is a university/research hospital 30 or so miles away. I think an endocrinologist there might be the next step then. Thanks again for the help.
I think you're on the right track with the endocrinologist there. You're lucky to have a uni/research hospital so close to home. :)
One thing I never knew about homeopathic remedies is that they help the bodies to heal and rebalance which does eventually lead to symptom management, but they aren't really focused on symptoms, more just on the health of whatever part of your body you might try to support. Another thing that I think helped me was going on the candida diet for a couple of months. I didn't have candida, but my doctor recommended it to do kind of a reset and it did seem to help.
Again, I hope you find answers soon. I know it's not easy not getting them, but it's just a matter of time and finding the right doctor. All the best,
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