“Are You Able To Her?” An Open Letter to Endocrinologists and Other Doctors

May 18, 2015

Dear Doctor,

This letter is brought to your attention by a woman whom believes she has a hypopituitarism, due to Sheehan’s Syndrome (SS). She has a history of a traumatic birth and many symptoms related to this illness. Not every case of SS is textbook. The textbook has missing information and misinformation, admittedly, due to a lack of research. Researchers, including Sheehan himself, admitted that the onset of hypopituitarism during childbirth is much more common than realized. Many women are forced to live with symptoms an average of 13 years before they are diagnosed. The NCBI has a journal with some Newer Advances in Sheehan’s Syndrome (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3183525/) While there is still some misinformation, it is better information than the textbooks.

The autopsies of women who died from a severe hemorrhage revealed the posterior pituitary showed no sign of atrophy, so Sheehan made an assumption in the 1930s. New information reveals that both the anterior and posterior can be damaged in cases of SS. I, myself, hemorrhaged following the birth of my son in 1998 and have been on anterior replacement for a few years. Recently, testing of my posterior function confirmed I am complete Panhypopituitary. I was tested for Oxytocin and a 24-hour urine came back at 216 in a range of 250-1300. I have since started replacement therapy. You can read my 30 day blog called Oxytocin Guinea Pig on galvanizesurvivors.wordpress.com.

The event of childbirth can cause hormone deficiencies. There can be a varying degree of damage to the endocrine system during delivery. Some cases, women have regular periods and are able to conceive again naturally. All women are different, with different pregnancies and different deliveries. They lose different amounts of blood, and handle the trauma differently. Not every case of Sheehan’s Syndrome is the result of malpractice, many events were unavoidable. (Pride and ego should have no part in the diagnosis process.)

Knowledge and proper testing are key to an accurate diagnosis. I am asking you to do the research- look into endocrine deficiencies and order the proper tests to measure every hormone of her endocrine system. I’ve had to do the research myself and fight every step of the way. It shouldn’t be like that. As her doctor, you should be qualified to give proper treatment. If she doesn’t have Sheehan’s Syndrome, there is something else going on and she is desperately seeking better health. Are you able to help her?


Melissa Adams

Endocrine Advocate/Activist