Sheehan's Syndrome?

Have you suffered from HELLP syndrome or had a pregnancy complicated by an underlying disorder? Discuss your concerns here
alviarin
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Re : Sheehan's Syndrome?

Postby alviarin » Fri Dec 26, 2008 03:01 pm

Hi Kathy, welcome to the forums.

I don't know of a link between Sheehan's and psychiatric illness, but a quick internet search on "Sheehan's and psychosis" turned up a few case studies where Sheehan's patients presented with psychosis. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?db=pubmed&cmd=Search&Term=sheehan%27s%20and%20psychosis&itool=QuerySuggestion

I know this doesn't relate to your original question, but I have read there may be a link between bipolar disorder and thyroid disease. One study found higher rates of autoimmune thyroid disease in those with bipolar disorder. In extreme and rare cases (Hashimoto's encephalopathy), autoimmune thyroid disease can even cause symptoms of psychosis.

Have you ever had a full thyroid panel run- not just TSH- but testing thyroid hormone levels (T3&T4) and checking for antithyroid antibodies? It might be worth checking into if you haven't already.

Hope this helps.

katwj76
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Re : Sheehan's Syndrome?

Postby katwj76 » Fri Dec 26, 2008 01:23 pm

I just read an article in November's O magazine, in which a mother describes having PE and what sounds like HELLP, and then was later diagnosed with Sheehan's syndrome. I felt like I could have written the article! I had my first baby at 29 weeks gestation because of HELLP. After, my milk never came in, and I experienced severe Post-partum depression/psychosis. After my second baby (34 weeks due to Gall-bladder disease and slight PE), my milk did not come in either, and I hit rock bottom emotionally the third day after her birth. I was diagnosed as having post-partum onset Bipolar One Disorder.

So as I have been doing research to see if maybe my psychiatric illness (which is now so severe that I am home collecting SSD) is or was connected to the HELLP syndrome from my first pregnancy. My 29 weeker will be six on the 20th of Januaray, and I have been fighting this mental illness since January 23rd, 2003.

Does anyone know of a link between Sheehan's and psychiatric illness>

bellemama
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Re : Sheehan's Syndrome?

Postby bellemama » Fri Dec 05, 2008 04:04 pm

Yes, that's my goal -- being a case study! LOL.

Thanks, it is miserable and I know so many of us suffer postpartum with "mysterious" ailments after HELLP and PE. You think someone would be curious as to why...

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caryn
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Re : Sheehan's Syndrome?

Postby caryn » Thu Dec 04, 2008 06:14 pm

Maybe you'll end up as a case study in PubMed, sigh.

I'm glad they're trying to get to the bottom of this; you've spent so long being miserable postpartum...

bellemama
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Re : Sheehan's Syndrome?

Postby bellemama » Thu Dec 04, 2008 04:55 pm

Oh yeah, I was severely anemic with Charlie, to the point where they were concerned about doing the csection. I'm still very amenic, but I don't tolerate iron supplements at all, so it's slow going. I take iron as I can, and Bcomplex daily, plus a bunch of other supplements.

Caryn, my milk did come in, which was a nice surprise. I even had an oversupply problem when I was home. But I couldn't pump successfully and eventually couldn't produce enough.

Apparently, there are two parts to the pituitary, each of which make different hormones. Damage caused by HELLP or pg or whatever doesn't necessarily destroy or affect all of the tissue, so not all of the hormones may be effected. For example, my TSH and growth hormone are low, but my estradiol and FSH are high and my prolactin was in the normal range when I was bfing. Oddly enough, many pituitary tumors are diagnosed because someone doesn't stop lactating or starts without being pg -- but with a damaged pituirary, you can have a "last gasp" of prolactin production and then mlik supply problems, like I did.

I can't prove that I have full-blown Sheehan's but my hormone levels clearly indicate that SOMETHING happened to effect my pituitary and then thyroid during my first HELLP pg, and it only got worse with this second pg.

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caryn
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Re : Sheehan's Syndrome?

Postby caryn » Wed Dec 03, 2008 04:41 pm

Val, I know Catherine's said that the pituitary squeeze (from the cerebral edema) can affect prolactin production and later breastfeeding. Did your milk come in postpartum with your HELLP pregnancy? That might be an indicator of damage as well...

alviarin
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Re : Sheehan's Syndrome?

Postby alviarin » Wed Dec 03, 2008 04:13 pm

Thanks for the update. I'm glad you found a doctor you are happy with.

One other thing I forgot to mention earlier- with all that blood loss you probably depleted your iron levels. You might want to get your iron stores or ferritin levels checked. Anemia can also cause tachycardia and hair loss.

After I had my son I had low hemoglobin, but not quite low enough to require a transfusion. It took me three months of prescription iron supplements to get my levels up and to feel human again.

Keep us posted on your progress, and I hope you feel better soon!

bellemama
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Re : Sheehan's Syndrome?

Postby bellemama » Wed Dec 03, 2008 03:35 pm

Thanks for the thoughts, Alanna.

That's what I did -- I met with a dr. with a more natural approach. We're waiting for the cortisol/adrenal tests right now, but she feels that I am both hypothyroid and hypopituitary (not full-blown Sheehan's, but it is clear that my pituitary was damaged at some point, probably from my HELLP pg). I started a bunch of supplements and am going on Armour, just to see if it will kick start my pituitary/thyroid into functioning again. It's nice to have found a dr. that takes me seriously and is willing to actually treat the symptoms.

alviarin
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Re : Sheehan's Syndrome?

Postby alviarin » Sat Nov 08, 2008 05:11 pm

quote:
Originally posted by AmbersJourney

What is Sheehan's syndrome?



"Sheehan syndrome is a condition that may occur in a woman who has a severe uterine hemorrhage during childbirth. The resulting severe blood loss causes tissue death in her pituitary gland and leads to hypopituitarism following the birth.
...
"The pituitary gland, which is located at the base of the brain, produces hormones that help regulate growth, reproduction, and metabolism."


http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001175.htm

alviarin
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Re : Sheehan's Syndrome?

Postby alviarin » Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:02 am

Are you on thyroid meds now? MY endo would probably treat at those levels, since she relies more on free T3 and free T4 than TSH.

In your shoes I would ask about getting your morning cortisol and ACTH levels tested to rule out an adrenal problem. Adrenal insufficiency or Addison's disease can cause heat intolerance & weight loss, and is something that should be ruled out before starting thyroid meds. I might also ask about rT3 also, since you have some bad abdominal pain that is still under investigation.

Although most people who are hypothyroid gain weight, some lose weight since they feel weak and have no appetite.

The atenolol might be affecting your T3 levels somewhat since beta blockers inhibit conversion of T4 to T3 (T3 being the more active form of the thyroid hormone). Beta-blockers can even be used to treat hyperthyroidism. Most people with a normal gland have no trouble adjusting to meds that inhibit thyroid function, but for someone whose thyroid gland is struggling or not functioning correctly it could have an impact.

Is there any way you could get a second opinion from another endocrinologist? Maybe one with more experience with Sheehan's? (since it sound like your docs are currently stumped).



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