Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Health Update

Who wants to talk about weird hormone problems?! If ovulation and hormone issues make your tummy churn, this blog post is not for you!

I've always had hormone issues, and I think it's safe to say they've resulted from my pesky little friend Herman the brain tumour. Herman is a little jerk who has set up camp on my hypothalamus, and has done a particularly good job at messing things up. I was diagnosed with hypopituitarism in 2011, which means that my body does not make enough hormones. Particularly, my estrogen, progesterone, LH and FSH have been impacted.

In October I had extensive hormone testing done to see whether or not this was still the case. I had the GnRH study done, which meant I was given a synthetic hormone to see whether or not my pituitary and hypothalamus respond correctly. I had this test done about 8 years ago, and it showed that my hypothalamus and pituitary do not properly "communicate" with each other, which means that the proper amount of hormone is not being synthesized. This time, the tests STILL showed that my hypothalamus and pituitary don't want to talk to each other... I think Herman is intercepting all the important intel.

The tests also show that my estrogen levels are still low, which isn't really a good thing. Estrogen is vital for bone health in women, and my endocrinologist is concerned that I haven't been on any form of estrogen for quite some time. I got sent for a bone density scan (let me tell you, Alberta Health Services does not make this easy if you're under 50) and got the results back last week. The scan showed that my bones are right between being "normal" and "slightly abnormal". Confusing, right? Well let me explain:

When you have a bone density scan, you're given a score and it compares your bones to the bones of those around you who are your age. A score of -1 and higher is normal, a score of -1 to -2.5 means you have low bone density, and a score of -2.5 and lower means you likely have osteoporosis. My score was -1.

So what are we going to do about all of this? Well, I need some more blood work done. My endocrinologist wants to send me for weekly blood work for 8 weeks to see if I ovulate, because at this point we aren't sure that is happening. Some more testing needs to be done as my anti-mullerian hormone level was extremely high, which either means I have polycystic ovarian syndrome (which they don't think is likely) or because I don't ovulate (which is the going theory). After that blood work is done, I'll be starting on estrogen replacement therapy, as the endocrinologist thinks I will be osteoporotic by the age of 40 if we don't get on this now. I'm getting a referral to a reproductive endocrinologist in the new year just to see what my options are for having kids in the future (let me repeat that very important word... FUTURE). I'm also getting a referral to a medical geneticist just so I have someone to keep an eye on all my NF issues.

So, there you go! There's my latest health update! This will also be my last blog post for 2017 so I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a fantastic New Year! Thanks to each and everyone of you who read my blog this year, it means so much to me!



- Court


2 comments:

  1. Courtney, you explain things very well and put them altogether. It's smart to get ahead of the game on these issues. If I don't see you, have a good Christmas.

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  2. As always, very eloquently written, and openly honest. This Momma is so proud of you for sharing your journey with others, who will no doubt benefit from your vulnerability!

    xo Momma

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