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Posts posted by justashell

  1. Melissa B.---I've been reading up on porphyria---and other stuff too---but I think that somewhere, Porphyria was called the "royal" disease---due to lots of English

    royalty being afflicted with it.


    I have the same thoughts about Henry VIII being a cushie---he could have already been pre-disposed to the disease---and a head injury could have thrown things totally out of whack.


    I may be imagining things---but it seems like the documentary I saw on Henry VIII stated that he was a very nice fellow when he was younger---but turned into a royal tyrant later on. Of course being under tons of pressure doesn't help things either.

  2. I met a guy who was working on a local tv ad, and he had shoes with springs on them---very similar to what the dad is wearing. I wondered if they were therapeutic shoes---the guy said no---just comfortable.

    I looked to see if I could find the manufacturer---couldn't find that exact one---but there are others:


    I kept thinking that if I tried walking in them, I'd end up the same way I do when I wear heels---tottering around and worried about falling down.


    After reading this:



    I wonder if this gal (from Corvallis) didn't get a case of Cushings via the anti-inflammatory drugs that were destroying his liver or if she had some sort of underlying endocrine problem that never got noticed?


    Apparently, Helena Bonham Carter is a big fan too. I wonder if it's THAT HBC? The way she talks, it sounds like it could be.

  3. I remember seeing Tanya on the Today show (I think)---another guest was the founder (I think) of the Pituitary Network. He mentioned that often times patient's like Tanya are told there is nothing that can be done---but there are doctors/specialists out there who may be able to help.


    It's sad when something so obvious is going on---and people still treat you like you're a freak. Ugh. It just goes to show how ignorant we all can be.

  4. Thanks for sharing this---I've been told that "drug store" brands are pretty good about maintaining good quality control---but I still wonder about things---

    especially after the dog food/cat food melanin fiasco.


    A factory or plant might have good quality control---but they're taking the word of their suppliers, that they're being just as careful.

    Garbage in, garbage out.


    Don't know if anyone saw a recent Rachel Ray---she had Dr. G. Medical Examiner from Florida on---talking about how to be safe---shared a story about how a major pharmacy blunder caused the death of a young boy who had asthma.


    After taking his asthma pills, he started acting weird, eventually fell asleep and died. They did an autopsy and found that he had methadone in his system---the authorities first suspected the mother, but then they started looking at the medicine----the pills looked right---but they were wrong---somehow the pills were tainted with methadone---or were all methadone.


    Dr. G. said she couldn't imagine something like that happening---but it did. She went on to encourage everyone to:


    *double and triple check their medicines when they pick them up

    * to check them if they have any weird effects that they hadn't experienced before

    *and make sure that the pharmacy doesn't give them the someone else's meds or pills

    *realize that many medications have similar sounding names---and to make sure that you know which ones you are supposed to be taking

    *if you share a medicine cabinet with others---make sure that you mark your bottles with some sort of distinctive color---so you don't accidentally take someone else's when it's dark, you're tired, etc.

  5. My roid rages come and go---and they are nearly impossible for me to control---it's not a matter of choice---it's more like I'm in the fight of my life.


    I'm the same way---I'm usually very calm and don't get rattled---but talking to my pcp today, I told him that when I get bad, I'm a total, 100%, certified jerk. And I hate it.


    Check out your bp and your blood sugar when it happens---my bp and my blood sugar seem to be high when I'm raging.


    BP at doctor's office was high---they didn't say how high, but the machine took about four minutes to get a reading---and the cuff got so tight, I was about ready to cry.

    When I got home, my bp was 187/109 but my blood sugar (after eating) was just 72. I wasn't going into a rage today---although I was upset. Still trying to figure things out---but this seems to back up my theory that when my blood sugar is high, and my bp is high---I'm roid-raging.

  6. Thanks for setting me straight Monica. I have been looking at some other stuff about BPD---and I swear, I must be oozing cortisol right now---I'm so frigging mad!!!


    I was just complaining to our bishop from church who came by earlier this evening. His son just completed his first year of medical school, and we were talking about how he wished his son was here so he could look at the labs and reports that I have that cover the last 10 years. I've got what looks like hypokalemia, low DHEA-S's, polyuria, nocturia, polydipsia, etc., and more and more and more!!! It matches almost perfectly with Conn's syndrome or disease---where your adrenal glands are up to no good. The only thing I don't have is a headache---I don't get headaches very often.


    If they'd just open their eyes and think about it, they'd help people! What is their pathological personality disorder? Honestly, I've demonstrated over and over that I'm not helpless---but they seem to be stuck on some island of denial and delusion.




    Thanks for setting me straight Monica. I have been looking at some other stuff about BPD---and I swear, I must be oozing cortisol right now---I'm so frigging mad!!!


    I was just complaining to our bishop from church who came by earlier this evening. His son just completed his first year of medical school, and we were talking about how he wished his son was here so he could look at the labs and reports that I have that cover the last 10 years. I've got what looks like hypokalemia, low DHEA-S's, polyuria, nocturia, polydipsia, etc., and more and more and more!!! It matches almost perfectly with Conn's syndrome or disease---where your adrenal glands are up to no good. The only thing I don't have is a headache---I don't get headaches very often.

    OUr bishop, who has known me for more than 18 years, said that he doesn't know anyone who has had more physical problems and illnesses. Yeah, I know. I've been dealing with them for more than 50 years---but I keep getting blamed for them. I'm tired of it. Why would I want to do this to myself?


    If they'd just open their eyes and think about it, they'd help people! What is their pathological personality disorder? Honestly, I've demonstrated over and over that I'm not helpless---but they seem to be stuck on some island of denial and delusion.

  7. They didn't mention that these folks tended to be fat. Oh, I forgot. That's 'cause we're lazy and we eat too much.


    I don't know if it's the cortisol talking, but I find this all offensive. Personality??? Oh wait, now I remember---'cause I've seen the notes talk about suspected borderline personality disorder. What kind of borderline and non-border line personality disorder do doctors, lawyers, politicians, etc., have when they make misdx's, when they drink too much, lie, cheat and steal??? Oh, yeah, they have a DISEASE---not a personality disorder.


    I don't think it's the cortisol talking, I think that I'm just disgusted by the whole load of crap.


    BIG PS: Monica---this is in no way aimed at you---but at the friggin' idiots who come up with this crap. If you ask me, all diseases are physical.



    Borderline Personality Disorder

    Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is one of the most controversial diagnoses in psychology today. Since it was first introduced in the DSM, psychologists and psychiatrists have been trying to give the somewhat amorphous concepts behind BPD a concrete form. Kernberg's explication of what he calls Borderline Personality Organization is the most general, while Gunderson, though a psychoanalyst, is considered by many to have taken the most scientific approach to defining BPD. The Diagnostic Interview for Borderlines and the DIB-Revised were developed from research done by Gunderson, Kolb, and Zanarini. Finally, there is the "official" DSM-IV definition.


    Some researchers, like Judith Herman, believe that BPD is a name given to a particular manifestation of post-traumatic stress disorder: in Trauma and Recovery, she theorizes that when PTSD takes a form that emphasizes heavily its elements of identity and relationship disturbance, it gets called BPD; when the somatic (body) elements are emphasized, it gets called hysteria, and when the dissociative/deformation of consciousness elements are the focus, it gets called DID/MPD. Others believe that the term "borderline personality" has been so misunderstood and misused that trying to refine it is pointless and suggest instead simply scrapping the term.



    What causes Borderline Personality Disorder?

    It would be remiss to discuss BPD without including a comment about Linehan's work. In contrast to the symptom list approaches detailed below, Linehan has developed a comprehensive sociobiological theory which appears to be borne out by the successes found in controlled studies of her Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.


    Linehan theorizes that borderlines are born with an innate biological tendency to react more intensely to lower levels of stress than others and to take longer to recover. They peak "higher" emotionally on less provocation and take longer coming down. In addition, they were raised in environments in which their beliefs about themselves and their environment were continually devalued and invalidated. These factors combine to create adults who are uncertain of the truth of their own feelings and who are confronted by three basic dialectics they have failed to master (and thus rush frantically from pole to pole of):


    * vulnerability vs invalidation

    * active passivity (tendency to be passive when confronted with a problem and actively seek a rescuer) vs apparent competence (appearing to be capable when in reality internally things are falling apart)

    * unremitting crises vs inhibited grief.


    DBT tries to teach clients to balance these by giving them training in skills of mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance, and emotional regulation.


    Kernberg's Borderline Personality Organization

    Diagnoses of BPO are based on three categories of criteria. The first, and most important, category, comprises two signs:


    * the absence of psychosis (i.e., the ability to perceive reality accurately)

    * impaired ego integration - a diffuse and internally contradictory concept of self. Kernberg is quoted as saying, "Borderlines can describe themselves for five hours without your getting a realistic picture of what they're like."


    The second category is termed "nonspecific signs" and includes such things as low anxiety tolerance, poor impulse control, and an undeveloped or poor ability to enjoy work or hobbies in a meaningful way.


    Kernberg believes that borderlines are distinguished from neurotics by the presence of "primitive defenses." Chief among these is splitting, in which a person or thing is seen as all good or all bad. Note that something which is all good one day can be all bad the next, which is related to another symptom: borderlines have problems with object constancy in people -- they read each action of people in their lives as if there were no prior context; they don't have a sense of continuity and consistency about people and things in their lives. They have a hard time experiencing an absent loved one as a loving presence in their minds. They also have difficulty seeing all of the actions taken by a person over a period of time as part of an integrated whole, and tend instead to analyze individual actions in an attempt to divine their individual meanings. People are defined by how they lasted interacted with the borderline.


    Other primitive defenses cited include magical thinking (beliefs that thoughts can cause events), omnipotence, projection of unpleasant characteristics in the self onto others and projective identification, a process where the borderline tries to elicit in others the feelings s/he is having. Kernberg also includes as signs of BPO chaotic, extreme relationships with others; an inability to retain the soothing memory of a loved one; transient psychotic episodes; denial; and emotional amnesia. About the last, Linehan says, "Borderline individuals are so completely in each mood, they have great difficulty conceptualizing, remembering what it's like to be in another mood."

    Gunderson's conception of BPD

    Gunderson, a psychoanalyst, is respected by researchers in many diverse areas of psychology and psychiatry. His focus tends to be on the differential diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, and Cauwels gives Gunderson's criteria in order of their importance:


    * Intense unstable relationships in which the borderline always ends up getting hurt. Gunderson admits that this symptom is somewhat general, but considers it so central to BPD that he says he would hesitate to diagnose a patient as BPD without its presence.

    * Repetitive self-destructive behavior, often designed to prompt rescue.

    * Chronic fear of abandonment and panic when forced to be alone.

    * Distorted thoughts/perceptions, particularly in terms of relationships and interactions with others.

    * Hypersensitivity, meaning an unusual sensitivity to nonverbal communication. Gunderson notes that this can be confused with distortion if practitioners are not careful (somewhat similar to Herman's statement that, while survivors of intense long-term trauma may have unrealistic notions of the power realities of the situation they were in, their notions are likely to be closer to reality than the therapist might think).

    * Impulsive behaviors that often embarrass the borderline later.

    * Poor social adaptation: in a way, borderlines tend not to know or understand the rules regarding performance in job and academic settings.


    The Diagnostic Interview for Borderlines, Revised

    Gunderson and his colleague, Jonathan Kolb, tried to make the diagnosis of BPD by constructing a clinical interview to assess borderline characteristics in patients. The DIB was revised in 1989 to sharpen its ability to differentiate between BPD and other personality disorders. It considers symptoms that fall under four main headings:


    1. Affect

    * chronic/major depression

    * helplessness

    * hopelessness

    * worthlessness

    * guilt

    * anger (including frequent expressions of anger)

    * anxiety

    * loneliness

    * boredom

    * emptiness

    2. Cognition

    * odd thinking

    * unusual perceptions

    * nondelusional paranoia

    * quasipsychosis

    3. Impulse action patterns

    * substance abuse/dependence

    * sexual deviance

    * manipulative suicide gestures

    * other impulsive behaviors

    4. Interpersonal relationships

    * intolerance of aloneness

    * abandonment, engulfment, annihilation fears

    * counterdependency

    * stormy relationships

    * manipulativeness

    * dependency

    * devaluation

    * masochism/sadism

    * demandingness

    * entitlement



    The DIB-R is the most influential and best-known "test" for diagnosing BPD. Use of it has led researchers to identify four behavior patterns they consider peculiar to BPD: abandonment, engulfment, annihilation fears; demandingness and entitlement; treatment regressions; and ability to arouse inappropriately close or hostile treatment relationships.


    DSM-IV criteria

    The DSM-IV gives these nine criteria; a diagnosis requires that the subject present with at least five of these. In I Hate You -- Don't Leave Me! Jerold Kriesman and Hal Straus refer to BPD as "emotional hemophilia; [a borderline] lacks the clotting mechanism needed to moderate his spurts of feeling. Stimulate a passion, and the borderline emotionally bleeds to death."


    Traits involving emotions:

    Quite frequently people with BPD have a very hard time controlling their emotions. They may feel ruled by them. One researcher (Marsha Linehan) said, "People with BPD are like people with third degree burns over 90% of their bodies. Lacking emotional skin, they feel agony at the slightest touch or movement."


    1. Shifts in mood lasting only a few hours.


    2. Anger that is inappropriate, intense or uncontrollable.


    Traits involving behavior:

    3. Self-destructive acts, such as self-mutilation or suicidal threats and gestures that happen more than once


    4. Two potentially self-damaging impulsive behaviors. These could include alcohol and other drug abuse, compulsive spending, gambling, eating disorders, shoplifting, reckless driving, compulsive sexual behavior.


    Traits involving identity

    5. Marked, persistent identity disturbance shown by uncertainty in at least two areas. These areas can include self-image, sexual orientation, career choice or other long-term goals, friendships, values. People with BPD may not feel like they know who they are, or what they think, or what their opinions are, or what religion they should be. Instead, they may try to be what they think other people want them to be. Someone with BPD said, "I have a hard time figuring out my personality. I tend to be whomever I'm with."


    6. Chronic feelings of emptiness or boredom. Someone with BPD said, "I remember describing the feeling of having a deep hole in my stomach. An emptiness that I didn't know how to fill. My therapist told me that was from almost a "lack of a life". The more things you get into your life, the more relationships you get involved in, all of that fills that hole. As a borderline, I had no life. There were times when I couldn't stay in the same room with other people. It almost felt like what I think a panic attack would feel like."


    Traits involving relationships

    7. Unstable, chaotic intense relationships characterized by splitting (see below).


    8. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment


    * Splitting: the self and others are viewed as "all good" or "all bad." Someone with BPD said, "One day I would think my doctor was the best and I loved her, but if she challenged me in any way I hated her. There was no middle ground as in like. In my world, people were either the best or the worst. I couldn't understand the concept of middle ground."

    * Alternating clinging and distancing behaviors (I Hate You, Don't Leave Me). Sometimes you want to be close to someone. But when you get close it feels TOO close and you feel like you have to get some space. This happens often.

    * Great difficulty trusting people and themselves. Early trust may have been shattered by people who were close to you.

    * Sensitivity to criticism or rejection.

    * Feeling of "needing" someone else to survive

    * Heavy need for affection and reassurance

    * Some people with BPD may have an unusually high degree of interpersonal sensitivity, insight and empathy


    9. Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms


    This means feeling "out of it," or not being able to remember what you said or did. This mostly happens in times of severe stress.


    Miscellaneous attributes of people with BPD:


    * People with BPD are often bright, witty, funny, life of the party.

    * They may have problems with object constancy. When a person leaves (even temporarily), they may have a problem recreating or remembering feelings of love that were present between themselves and the other. Often, BPD patients want to keep something belonging to the loved one around during separations.

    * They frequently have difficulty tolerating aloneness, even for short periods of time.

    * Their lives may be a chaotic landscape of job losses, interrupted educational pursuits, broken engagements, hospitalizations.

    * Many have a background of childhood physical, sexual, or emotional abuse or physical/emotional neglect.






    I think I hear someone barking up the wrong tree.

  8. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000852.htm


    Definition Return to top


    Acanthosis nigricans is a skin disorder characterized by dark, thick, velvety skin in body folds and creases.


    Causes Return to top


    Acanthosis nigricans can affect otherwise healthy people, or it can be associated with medical problems. Some cases are genetically inherited. It is most common among people of African descent.


    Obesity can lead to acanthosis nigricans, as can many endocrine disorders. It is frequently found in people with diabetes.


    Some drugs, particularly hormones such as human growth hormone or oral contraceptives ("the pill"), can also cause acanthosis nigricans.


    People with lymphoma or cancers of the gastrointestinal or genitourinary tracts can also develop severe cases of acanthosis nigricans.


    Symptoms Return to top


    Acanthosis nigricans usually appears slowly and doesn't cause any symptoms other than skin changes.


    Eventually, dark, velvety skin with very visible markings and creases appears in the armpits, groin, and neck. Sometimes, the lips, palms, soles of feet, or other areas may be affected.


    Exams and Tests Return to top


    Your physician can usually diagnose acanthosis nigricans by simply looking at your skin. A skin biopsy may be needed in unusual cases.


    If no clear cause of acanthosis nigricans is obvious, it may be necessary to search for one. Your physician may order blood tests, an endoscopy, or x-rays to eliminate the possibility of diabetes or cancer as the cause.


    Treatment Return to top


    Because acanthosis nigricans itself usually only causes changes to the appearance of the skin, no particular treatment is needed.


    It is important, however, to attempt to treat any underlying medical problem that may be causing these skin changes.


    Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top


    Acanthosis nigricans often fades if the cause can be found and treated.


    When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top


    Call your physician if you develop areas of thick, dark, velvety skin.


    References Return to top


    Morelli JG. Diseases of the Epidermis. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap. 656.


    Update Date: 7/11/2008


    Updated by: Michael Lehrer, M.D., Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.





    I think they're overlooking a whole lot of stuff. It sounds like your endocrine system is going bonkers---did you get a pit MRI with contrast? Any chance you could ask Dr. McC to look at it and see what he thinks?

    It sure sounds like things are changing rapidly---I hate it when doctors won't test frequently---I think it's the only way to get a good idea of what is going on---after all---when they draw blood for labs---it's like they're looking at a tiny piece of a tiny picture---not all the stuff that's going on with you.

  9. What is the relationship between thyroid and cortisol?


    Why does diabetes get all the attention?


    Do you believe there is a chance that the ubiquitous artificial light we are exposed to causes some disruption of the pineal, pituitary or other glands?


    Do fictional shows like "House" and documentary shows like the one that featured you, "The Science of Obesity", help develop interest in endocrine research?


    How can we help further endocrine research?


    Why are so many doctors (other than you) so dismissive of patients symptoms?


    What can we do to help our doctors figure out complex medical issues?


    What changes would you like to see in the field of medicine?


    What would you as a doctor like the public to know?


    What changes would you like to see in the field of medicine?


    What have been the biggest changes you've seen in the field of medicine?

  10. I woke up in time to watch it.


    It's surprising to me that so many doctors STILL missed it, when her symptoms were so dramatic!


    A couple of things I wasn't too keen on:


    1) They never mentioned that this can be caused by other things.

    2) Apparently, two pills "cure" this condition.


    At the end of the second case, I turned to my husband and said: "Those have been mentioned on the message boards too."

    As they shared the second gal's story, I kept telling my husband that it was interesting that all of this started around the time this girl started experiencing her first period. I would have liked a bit more of an explanation as to whether this was related to endocrine changes.

  11. Very interesting...I have had a couple of EKG's and one Echocardiogram in the last couple of years due to things doctors have noticed.

    One of the first symptoms of my thyroid/adrenal/pituitary problems was exercise intolerance---I would be ok one day/hour/minute----and near death the next. After seeing my second frowny heart on the exercise machine at the health club, I went to the doctor. He didn't see anything at the time---but apparently things are becoming more and more apparent as I go along.

    Thank goodness for GH!

  12. Just chiming in here---I happened to see Mystery Diagnosis (Sharm's story) and realized that I may be suffering from Cushings. Later on, I saw Sam's story---and I realized that Cushings is not only not so rare---but that it could hit at any age.

    Thank goodness to all involved for sharing their experiences---and helping raise awareness and hope---for the rest of us.

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