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100 years and very little knowledge. What we do know is that our hormones need to be in balance. When there is an imbalance, crazy things can happen. Weight change, sleep disturbance, fatigue, concentration.

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All these thing can wreak havoc on your life. Troubles in your relationships with loved once. Problems with your employer and your work habits. Changes in your personality. Depression. Anxiety. Changes in your immune system. Changes in how you react to and cope with stress in your life.

Sometimes, simply changing your eating habits can balance your hormones. Sometimes, correcting vitamin and mineral deficiencies can balance your hormones. Sometimes, both those fail and you you are still left with an imbalance. Proper testing can help identify hormone imbalance and proper treatment can bring the person back to their old self.

She believed she could so she did.

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Prevalence of Hypopituitarism in Veterans – 42%

Why are they not doing something with this information? At least 2 million of our Veterans are needlessly suffering when treatment is available!!

Research shows about 24% of US Veterans who return home from war suffer from PTSD. (With 21.8 million veterans of the U.S. armed forces as of 2014, that means about 5.2 million Veterans suffer from PTSD.) Research shows 42% of those Veterans who come home with PTSD actually have Hypopituitarism, and when treated, their PTSD symptoms (including depression, and other mental and physical health disorders) actually go away!

That means at least 2 million Veterans in the United States are needlessly suffering from undiagnosed hypopituitarism. And of Veterans diagnosed with a Traumatic Brain Injury from war, the percent who may have hypopituitarism could be as high as 80%.

What is hypopitutarism? It’s when the brain is not able to send signals to cells throughout the body to control all things homeostasis. Everything metabolic. Everything that makes you human. Blood, heart, bone, and muscle function, mental health, sleep cycle, reproductive function, ability to heal and fight infection, and much more. Without these brain signals, you are always unwell, and sentenced to a life of illness and certainly an early death.

When you google “Veterans and PTSD,” about 25 million results come back. When you google “Veterans and Hypopituitarism,” only 226,000 results come back. Yet nearly half of Veterans with PTSD actually have hypopituitarism. This awareness should spread like wildfire, 2 million veterans may get their lives back.

So why aren’t they getting a diagnosis? Because doctors don’t know to look for the symptoms and they don’t know the proper tests. The only doctors who are taught about Hypopit are endocrinologists, and they are taught that it is rare. They are misinformed by their textbooks and, admittedly, due to lack of research, there is gross missing information. Hypopit patients find medical professionals actually know very little about diagnosis, testing and treatment. Often times, Hypopit patients are put on anti-anxiety pills and antidepressants, instead of the treatment they need. A bandaid doesn’t fix a bullet hole, it may cover it up for a little while, but the problem still exists. We need the textbooks to teach doctors that Hypopit is not rare and we need to teach them that anyone who has symptoms and has experienced a traumatic event should be properly tested.

2010 – A recommendation was made by AMSUS (the Society of the Federal Health Professional) for hormonal testing of veterans who sustained and sort of traumatic brain injury.

Military Medicine – “Recent civilian data obtained in those sustaining head injuries, has found a high prevalence of pituitary dysfunction. Currently, there is no data available in the military population. We reviewed the literature for traumatic brain injury (TBI)-related hypopituitarism and found that the prevalence of anterior hypopituitarism may be as high as 30–80% after 24–36 months. Since many of the symptoms of hypopituitarism are similar to those of TBI, it is important to make clinicians caring for combat veterans aware of its occurrence. Herein, we provide an overview of the literature and recommendations for hormonal testing when TBI-related hypopituitarism is suspected.” Read the full article here:

http://publications.amsus.org/doi/abs/10.7205/MILMED-D-09-00189

2013- Science Daily reported, “Up to 20 percent of veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq have experienced at least one blast concussion. New research suggests that nearly half these veterans may have a problem so under-recognized that even military physicians may fail to look for it. A new study conducted by Charles W. Wilkinson, Elizabeth A. Colasurdo, Kathleen F. Pagulayan, Jane. B. Shofer, and Elaine R. Peskind, all of the VA Puget Sound Health Care System and the University of Washington in Seattle, has found that about 42 percent of screened veterans with blast injuries have irregular hormone levels indicative of hypopituitarism.” View the article here:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130422102029.htm

2013 – American Physiological Society (APS). “Nearly half of U.S. veterans found with blast concussions might have hormone deficiencies.” <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130422102029.htm>.

“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?

Sincerely,

Melissa Adams

Endocrine Advocate/Activist

galvanizesurvivors.wordpress.com