Specialist for a very special illness
September 14, 2012 9:04 PM Subscribe
Gastroenterologist for brain cooties?
posted by lunalaguna to health & fitness (9 answers total)
After 12 years, nearly 20 psych drugs, three therapists, three psychiatrists, and a few endocrinologists, I'm faced with the fact that I have a highly treatment resistant mix of agitated depression, GAD, panic and Bipolar II-ish symptoms with comorbid hypothyroidism. (Official diagnosis is Bipolar II and GAD. Hypothyroidism is under control for now.)
I am running out of feasible med options, and I have a very frustrated psychiatrist who's stumped, even after consulting with a specialized pharmacologist. Complicating matters is his general unwillingness to treat me aggressively because I seem "high functioning," and because -- in my mixed states -- I tend to become obsessed with my health. It sounds like a positive thing, but believe me, it's not.
During our last session, he admitted he was reaching but brought up the possibility of either: 1) an autoimmune disorder being partially responsible for my symptoms, or 2) a metabolic or GI reason behind my insane sensitivity and intolerance to nearly all medications, psych or otherwise.
Now, my question is not what drugs to take next or what therapy to explore. I'm heading into a long medical leave to try to get some of this under control, and my therapist, partner, and I are working on a plan for me to get by without meds if necessary.
My question is whether -- as my pdoc suggests -- a gastroenterologist might be able to help me.
If so, what should I mention, and what would he/she be looking for? I have a lot aches and pains and strong physical symptoms of anxiety and agitation, like a high heart rate and tremor. There's dry skin and hair, but that can be explained by the thyroid issues. I also currently have mild bloating, water retention, and acid reflux, plus strong sugar cravings, but I'd bet most of that is from my recent increase in Lithium. Blood panels have been normal.
So, any diagnostic guesses? GI, autoimmune, or metabolic issues that mimic or exacerbate mood disorders?