If you’ve only known me in the last 15 years, you’ve only known the low-energy me. You can all roll your eyes as I discuss my stupid adrenals again. I had a tumor and they removed one adrenal, thereby saving my life and dooming me to fatigue.
I’m so tired of being tired.
I saw an endocrinologist last week who thought there was another reason. She thought the adrenal problem was a red herring for a thyroid problem. We were both eager to get the results back and both hoped they would prove thyroid problems so we could fix the problem and the fatigue and all the other side effects.
Did you catch that? We were both hoping my thyroid was failing.
And, it turns out, it’s not. Not yet anyway. Her educated guess was that it might last me another 5 years. And though all thyroid levels were normal, it could in fact be in the process of attacking itself, but hasn’t gotten far enough into the attack yet for it to show. There is an antibody they measure to see if the immune system is attacking itself. My antibody levels were there, but not showing a clear attack. Yet. Cortisone levels were normal (which I already take a twice daily steroid to keep in the normal level.) The only thing awry were my DHEA levels.
Guess what part of the body makes and regulates DHEA? The little fucking adrenals, of course.
So I get to take a DHEA supplement for 4 months and re-test my levels. Let me tell you what is printed right on the bottle (which you can buy over the counter and which some athletes are accused of abusing and is banned in the NCAA)
“Possible side effects include acne, hair loss, hair growth on the face (in women), aggressiveness, irritability, and increased levels of estrogen.”
Let’s just say I’m not thrilled to be taking twice the dose listed on the bottle. (The bottle that threatens death and destruction of you take more than one pill a day – my Dr. wants me to take two.)
I understand that because I am below normal, hopefully I will just be replacing what my missing adrenal was supposed to be producing, therefore not really, you know, growing a beard.
But if the side effects are so weird, shouldn’t I try to go without, you ask? Well, another quick search on Dr. Google (I have a Master’s, PhD and Doctorate in Dr. Google) stated that low DHEA levels in woman is a very, very, very high indicator of breast cancer. Actually, the low DHEA aren’t an indicator, but almost all women who have breast cancer also have low DHEA. So, yeah, a beard and acne it is.
Oh and irritable. I don’t think it’s possible for me to get any more irritable than I am right now.
Of course the sites that sell DHEA tout it’s weight loss abilities (which I could use right about now), it’s fatigue busting abilities (ditto), boosting the immune system (ditto) and fighting brain fog (ditto).
So fasten your seatbelt and keep all hands inside the vehicle. This may be a bumpy ride.