I went to the doctor for a check up several weeks ago and found out I have a fungal infection (candida) that has inflamed my system. The last house I lived in was filled with mold and the landlord couldn't be bothered. Combined with an already compromised immunity system, it has created a fairly large infection that has affected me physically and emotionally. Dr. Elliot placed me on a super restricted diet based on the Candida/GAPS protocol and says she is concerned about my remaining adrenal gland, adding if I don't start babying it, I may lose a lot of its function and be forced to take hormones. She got my attention, and then some.
Since surgery, I've haven't found my physical health to be as perfect as the doctors told me it would be. "You will feel 10 years younger," said one endocrinologist. Well, not quite, but I can say that I feel WAY better than when I had Conn's. To this day, I continue to have normal blood pressure, aldosterone levels and potassium levels, and all the other side effects are gone, well worth the price of laproscopy. As with anything, it's a balance, some days are great, others I struggle with blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) and stress--hoping I don't crash, which I have embarrassingly done-- at the gym, in a grocery store, at a friend's house, and almost when I was pulled over for reckless driving--when my low blood sugar almost killed me.
So, now I have something new to obsess over, a fungal infection with a Latin name that means something pretty. It's not though. It's insidious and can take years to kill it.
It would love to know how all this will play out on the remaining gland. If anyone reading has experienced candida post-Conn's, I would be eager to hear from you. Doctors are still unsure how people with one adrenal can handle other diseases. I've asked, believe me. Dr. Elliot advises preventative measures through diet, stress relief, meditation and yoga. Other than that, quien sabe?
I contacted my Baltimore endocrinologist to ask her questions about this, but I couldn't get an appointment, I was no longer a patient, she doesn't consult re: post op questions, especially seven years later. Something seems wrong there. When I tried to get a new doctor in Santa Fe, and explained my past medical history, I got the same suspicious look I received when I first described my Conn's, symptoms eight years ago. I call it the "You can't really have had all those symptoms, don't you think it may be menopause?" look. It's amazing how many doctors still do not know what Conn's is or truly listen to patients.
So, it seems I am taking another swim in deep hormonal waters, but this time I have changed my direction, Where I once trusted western medicine, I now question it. After moving to a very alternative town (Santa Fe, NM), where the majority population is distrustful of all modern medicine, the norm being Eastern/Alternative based, I am gradually becoming one of "them." A convert where I now challenge the free flowing prescriptions that were dished out in large portions like apple pie. Things I once took for granted, my diet, have replaced my need for the instant sugary quick fix treats I once craved, literally, and I am now taking control of an area no one ever told me about until I moved across country.
Finally, I am listening to Dr. Elliott, who for close to four years, said my diet was more than likely causing inflammation. She has her medical degree--but felt her patients deserved more than prescriptions and generic diagnoses, so she became a Naturopath. She subscribes to the mind-body relationship--where diet and emotional well being is crucial to one's health. I am now abiding her words and eliminating all the stuff she told me causes inflammation. It helps that I can get an appointment to ask her questions anytime.
One thing is for sure, this inflammatory condition from a nasty fungus is not going to be my new designer disease, no way. I battled Conn's and lived, so now I'll battle this, and maybe when I win, I'll start to feel like I'm ten years younger, just like that Baltimore endocrinologist I didn't hire told me. (He Googled Conn's during our initial appointment).
By the way, an over abundance of anti-biotics, corticosteroids, immuno-suppressive drugs and a bad American diet can cause candida. I have experienced all of these, in large volumes. I wouldn't be surprised if some of you have too.