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Self Diagnosing Medical Conditions  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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Is it okay to self-diagnose medical conditions today?

Based on everything I have read, all the rabbit paths I have been down and returned to and started again, I have come to the conclusion that I have a certain medical condition. It does not even matter what it is, my question is, am I allowed to feel like I know what is wrong with me? I mean I know no one knows my body better then me, and in this informational world, there is a host of information at my fingertips. BUT I am just a dumb sheep farmer. I do not want to be one of those people that go to Doctor Google, nor become a hypochondriac through information overload.

So how did I come to the conclusion I came too? By first starting with what I knew I had as confirmed by MRI. Some information came from Dr's, PCP's, Specialists, and clinicians. Some did come from the internet; the CDC, the Mayo Clinic, and admittedly yes, Wikipedia. A lot of the confirmation came from testing; blood tests, urine tests, phycology tests, and MRI, x-rays, CAT scans, and ultrasounds.

In many ways I feel like I am merely the person who put everything together. Literally, some pieces did not fit, so I back-tracked until they did. One condition remained with the potential cause, the symptoms matching, the test results confirming, and finally a statement on the condition saying: "Generally, the finding of a combination of a low pituitary hormone together with a low hormone from the effector gland is indicative of hypopituitarism".

But I am not a Dr. More importantly, Why does it matter?

Because 3 years of medical advice is not helping me. I have been out of work for a year, so I need to get back to farming. If I can point an understanding Dr in the right direction, I can get the right help.
 
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I 100% think that you have to be informed going into your doctor but still be open to what they recommend.
You have to demand the test that you think will give your provider more info.
You have to tell your doctor who you want to get referred to.
You have to know the top 5 home remedies and try them out for a while.
You have to know the top 5 most likely reason for your symptoms, and then say do I really have to bring my child or myself to the doctor, is it a ER visit at the Hospital in the next town or a local Health Center, or just mention it at the next annual checkup.

There is normally never just one solution to a health problem, and doctors don't always give you all the possible solutions. Also like everyone else doctors look out for themselves 1st, followed by insurance companies rules/quota, then you finally.

 
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Many times my mother or myself have identified medical problems before getting a doctor's confirmation.   Even more often we've identified effective treatments after the doctor was ineffective.

I generally take the approach of trying any likely home remedies that are unlikely to have unforseen consequences and going to a doctor if they are not effective. If you think you have a treatable condition and need a doctor's cooperation to access such treatment then explaining your worries and reasoning seems a responsible action.
 
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Are their tests that can confirm your self-diagnosis? I believe you mentioned something to do with hormones/thyroid in your previous post so I would think there are probably blood tests that can say whether things are out of balance.

And yes you can self diagnose but try to research tests and then have it confirmed if at all possible (and if it is impossible to confirm, which isn't likely, then you need to know that). Once you have a definitive diagnosis I have found that laymen can do a LOT of their own research and often become just as up to date on the latest studies/treatments/risks/procedures as the  doctors. It isn't always easy but it can be done.

Once you have identified a confirmatory test (hopefully one that isn't too expensive) then I would tell the doc I want the test run  (tell, not ask, there is a difference).
 
Travis Johnson
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Lucrecia Anderson wrote:Are their tests that can confirm your self-diagnosis? I believe you mentioned something to do with hormones/thyroid in your previous post so I would think there are probably blood tests that can say whether things are out of balance.



Yes, that is what I am basing my self-diagnosis on.

Because of the length and intensity of my sickness I have had an incredible amount of testing done, once...in one sitting, 14 vials of blood were drawn if that tells you anything. But because I have cancer, my blood is drawn every 6 weeks. Other testing has been CAT Scans, MRI's, X-Ray, Ultra Sounds, etc...and a whole sled of specialists. Most of the time I can answer the Dr's questions as they ask them drawing from this experience. For example, when someone asked me about potential gall stones, they could not find the ultrasound images, but from a discussion I had with a gastronomist Dr, I already knew I had them.

But Dr's have said I am an oddity, I have a Pitutary Issue, and then Thyroid Cancer...but when I stated they had to be related, they said they were two seperate issues. That seemed highly unlikely. What is the chances of a person having (2) rare diseses...especially when one controls the other? In the information on Hypopituitarism, it states the two are linked, it sends toxins to subsquent endrenal glands.

Hypopituiatarism information states: ""Generally, the finding of a combination of a low pituitary hormone together with a low hormone from the effector gland is indicative of hypopituitarism". From testing, my testerone should be 4.0 for a person of my gender, age, height and weight, and I am routinely at .08 in levels...very low so we know my pituatary hormones are low, and we know my "effector gland" was low because I had Hashamotos Disease so bad that my Thyroid was removed where cancer was later discovered.

Another clincher for me is iron in the blood. I know from my experience with the GI doctor my iron is skyhigh, yet I do not have hemochromtoisis, a gentic liver disease that keeps a person from getting rid of excess iron. That is a part of Hypopituiatarism though. My GI Dr said, :we may never know why that is", I think I now know...

Another clincher is my seizures. Cancer of the Pituatary pressing on the brain causes temporal lobe epilepsy, something I simply call seizures because I am not a Dr

The other sympthoms match: extreme fatigue, unable to handle stress, cancer continuing to be found in my blood despite surgery...





 
Travis Johnson
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I am not asking anyone to confirm or deny this specific issue, but as a farmer I play this game with every sick lamb that I have ever had.

Over the years, as my experience has increased, I have been able to save more lambs. But this is why I will go to the ends of the earth to defend Drs. Just as I treat lambs based on experience and probability, it has saved hundreds of lambs, but if I come across an odd case, and I treat it for what I think is say...a selenium deficiency, and it is actually a niacin deficiency, that lamb dies.

Drs do this too. My primary care physician is not a bad person, in fact she is wonderful, it is just that she thinks I am unwilling to go through with her instructions (get more sleep) to improve my situation like most of her patients, instead of being a patient with a real odd medical case.
 
S Bengi
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If I may, I would also encourage you do the usual.
1) sleep 8hrs (10pm-6am), possible 3:15pm to 3:45 nap.
2) drink 1gallon+ of pure water
3) eat balance diet with half of your plate greens/herbs/mushroom, less processed, kefir, etc
4) stress management, which we all know can be hard
5) Full range of motion activities (yoga/climbing/etc), I think you already do well with activity.

You can do a log and show your doc that you do get 8hrs sleep per day. I don't think it is going to cure anything but it might slow down the rate of decline. And it just rules out a low hanging fruit.

The human body have so many interdependent systems, feedback loops it is scary. We are just figuring them out. If it is hard for a mechanic or computer technician to find and fix root problems and we humans invented it, I can only imagine how lost doctors are in the grand scheme of things.


I have seen some studies showing correlation but not necessarily causation data for low PTH accompanied with high blood iron and visa-versa.
https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Correlation-between-parathyroid-hormone-and-serum-ferritin-levels-in-studied-patients_fig1_284183881
 
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Travis Johnson wrote:Is it okay to self-diagnose medical conditions today?



Giving a bunch of salt, but in short, my answer is DAMN YES.

The reason I strongly believe self-diagnosis is appropriate is that nobody knows what you feel, what your body says, and what you have been doing on a day-to-day basis better than yourself. And I find it irresponsible by medical "professionals" to dismiss what patients believe has happened to them and their own personal experience. other stuff, too, I just don't trust "doctors", because I do not believe they have my best interests in mind, as much as they would like to say otherwise. So, simply put, I value people's personal experiences and think it is hubris and arrogant of others to think that they fully understand what another person is going through, because one's mind and one's body are a dynamic interplay between one's thoughts, actions, and the wider world around them. And it is only me who fully knows what I experience in my mind, in my body, and from the world around me. So, it is only me who can make the choice of what caused a problem, so long as I am armed with enough knowledge and enough self-awareness of what I am doing and listening for that feedback from myself.
 
Travis Johnson
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S Bengi wrote:If I may, I would also encourage you do the usual....



It is interesting that you brought this up because I already know I have this issue. My surgeon warned me of it before surgery, but during surgery, my Thyroid, typically the size of a walnut, was the size of a mans fist. Because it was gray and lumpy, the surgeon removed all of my Thyroid and had it retested. The pre-surgery biopsy showed my Thyroid was not cancerous, but post-surgery pathology showed it was all through it.

But what should have taken an hour in surgery, took 4 hours. In doing so the cords that run up along my windpipe were damaged.

I noted this to my endocrinologist, but she said my Calcium and D3 levels looked good, that was when I knew she was not reading my charts. Every appointment I list my medications and supplements and after surgery I was never able to go off my D3 and Calcium, when I did I had a host of problems. She said optimum was 40 and I was at 37, that was when I informed her I was taking 50,000 units of D3 and 2400 mg of calcium, imagine how low I would be if I did NOT take them.

I don't like her so I talk pretty plain to her, so she just said, "well moving on". But I knew from that, they are not putting all the pieces together.


….

But I do not think it is this because not all the pieces fit.
 
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I find nurse practitioners to be much better at diagnosing than MDs. They tend to be much better listeners and to put the whole picture together. Unfortunately medical science is nowhere near as advanced as we commonly assume... it's easier for a NP to admit this and use her brain than it is for an MD to go against the rigorous asshole-conditioning-training they had to endure to get their certification. An MD has to pretend she has the answers even when there are none, a NP has the freedom to use context to look for the underlying problems and possible solutions.
It's unfortunate that modern cancer treatments are so destructive to the immune and endocrine systems. I don't think that at this point, there's going to be one underlying condition that can be treated with one magical pill or anything. Your glands all work together, they don't function in isolation so when there's a problem with the thyroid, it's going to affect pituitary function and everything else. Without a thyroid, there's a whole lot of functionality missing from your body. One of the conveyor belts in the factory of bodily well being is broken. It didn't happen overnight. There's no reason to think all the other glands were fine while this one wasn't.
Lots of things can cause it. Pollutants... viruses... toxins... radiation... we don't know why they affect some people so badly while leaving others apparently unscathed. Whatever triggered cancerous growth in your thyroid, be it virus, toxin or whatever, probably affected other parts of your body as well.
If there's a specific test to measure pituitary hormone levels, you can probably talk a nurse practitioner into running it if you explain why (assuming insurance will cover it.) Otherwise I would research whatever OTC treatments could be helpful for the condition you've identified and start on that, if there is one.
Bottom line... in my experience doctors are poor diagnosers because they don't listen and they're rigid in their thinking. It's easier to get confirmation for a disorder you've identified yourself by talking to a nurse practitioner. They're generally less pressed for time and more interested in treating your underlying conditions. They can prescribe tests and medications.
 
S Bengi
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You might have to change your doctor. If it was a simple checkup I would say it doesn't matter which doctor or the personality. But in your case it requires a long term journey of discovery and it doesn't seem like it is good interpersonal fit for you too. And it doesn't sound like her skill is in the top 1% where you can at least say okay even though she is XYZ personally, I can let it slide because she gets the job done.

Sometimes you have to type up a list of what you want done and what reasons/test/symptoms you have that make you want that specific step to be done. You can do it as a flash card to glance at while you talk or just straight give it to them.
 
Lucrecia Anderson
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Travis is there a reason you aren't on hormone therapy for your low testosterone among other things?

If there is no real downside (i.e. increasing the cancer risk) from hormone therapy then I would talk to a doc (maybe a new doc?) about that. Hormone ranges etc...are tricky things open to interpretation, I might also consider sending the numbers to a specialist to get their take on the levels (some docs think a level is fine while others will say it can cause problems etc...)
 
S Bengi
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Every italicized has been removed/hypo-. So it will be alot of artificial hormones.
And the other non-italicized ones depend on the italicized ones to work.
These guys control: heart/liver/kidney/gonad/stomach/lungs/muscle/minerals+energy/bone/fat/hair/mental health

Hypothalamus+Pituitary Gland (when this breaks everything else stops or overcompensate and burnout)
Growth hormone: problems in maintaining proper amounts of body fat/muscle/bone mass/emotional well-being
Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH): Stimulates the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones
Adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH): Stimulates the adrenal gland to produce several related steroid hormones
Luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH): Stimulates the Testes/Ovaries to produces hormones
Prolactin: Hormone that stimulates milk production in females

Pituitary Gland Only
Antidiuretic hormone (vasopressin): Controls water loss by the kidneys
Oxytocin: Contracts the uterus during childbirth and stimulates milk production
The hormones secreted by the posterior pituitary are actually produced in the brain and carried to the pituitary gland through nerves. They are stored in the pituitary gland.

Thyroid Gland+Hypothalamus+Pituitary Gland
It produces thyroid hormones that regulate the body's metabolism.
It also plays a role in bone growth and development of the brain and nervous system in children.
The pituitary gland controls the release of thyroid hormones.
Thyroid hormones also help maintain normal blood pressure, heart rate, digestion, muscle tone, and reproductive functions.

Parathyroid Glands+Hypothalamus+Pituitary Gland
They release parathyroid hormone, which plays a role in regulating calcium levels in the blood and bone metabolism.


Adrenal Glands+Hypothalamus+Pituitary Gland
Corticosteroids, which regulate the body's metabolism, the balance of salt and water in the body, the immune system, and sexual function.
Catecholamines(adrenaline). help the body cope with physical and emotional stress by increasing the heart rate and blood pressure.

Pineal Body
Melatonin, which may help regulate the wake-sleep cycle of the body.

Reproductive Glands+Hypothalamus+Pituitary Gland
Androgens(testosterone):sexual development, growth of facial/pubic hair, as well as sperm production.

Pancreas+Thyroid Gland+Hypothalamus+Pituitary Gland
exocrine pancreas, secretes digestive enzymes.
the endocrine pancreas, secretes hormones called insulin and glucagon. These hormones regulate the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood.
 
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