Friday, January 11, 2008

Friends, therapy, and adrenal glands

I always look forward to my little coffee klatches with my friend Kristin during our sons' group therapy sessions. And, despite the fact that the Dunkin Donuts coffee was really nasty today (usually not the case), it turned out to be an amazing thing.

In addition to the 3 million things that we try to cram into a conversation that is far too short, and giggling at her daughter's antics (she's a hoot!), we happened onto the topic of hormones, endocrine problems, etc.

First off, I should probably give some background for folks who don't know me well. Kristin and I both have Aspie kids. We both live it 24/7. She is my only friend who really, truly, GETS the mess that is my life, sometimes. I don't have to explain it to her, she just KNOWS what is in my head. And one of the things parents with kids on the Autistic Spectrum have to deal with is doing incredible amounts of research into alternative treatments, diets, neurology, studies that are being formed, studies that have been completed (far too few that are reliable), and the AMA's avoidance of actually having any reliable treatments or therapies for our kids. I have earned my own special brand of medical degree from having to find out answers for myself that the medical community (who should know and acknowledge much of this) refuses to admit even exists. Kristin is in the same boat. We share lots of information and data. We compare notes on doctors, therapies, digestive enzymes, and nutritional supplements.

I have been to a series of doctors through the years for problems that I have had relating to depression, inability to lose weight, significant hair loss that won't grow back (I have had to wear wigs for the last 5 years), and thyroid problems. Other than with helping me with the low thyroid, I can't find answers. Kristin mentioned that she had a discussion with her doctor about how hormones and adrenal function can affect metabolism. Kristin promised to send me some info, but since my email is mysteriously down, I can't receive anything.

I googled adrenal gland function and got a heck of an interesting read. I have many of the symptoms of adrenal failure and my hair loss could be explained by this. I can't wait to get more information. It finally might be something worth pursuing.

Then, I called my mom and mentioned this to her and she told me that my Grandmother had and my Aunt has a condition called ichthyosis. It is caused from adrenal dysfunction. So, I have a direct family history of adrenal problems and didn't even know it. Score another one for the self-made medical degree!

It's nice to have hope that I can feel better. I can't imagine what I would do with hair that actually grows out of my own head. I'd like to find out.

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