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  • Writer's pictureNorma Jean Dunning

CAH and PCOS : What's That ?

When I was about 16 years old, I started going through several blood tests to find out what was wrong with me. For a female of this age, my body wasn’t following the natural course.

The discovery was found that I had Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). Specifically, mine was Congenital adrenal hyperplasia with 3-Beta Hydroxylase Deficiency. Per, “Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is a group of inherited genetic disorders that affect the adrenal glands, a pair of walnut-sized organs above your kidneys. A person with CAH lacks one of the enzymes the adrenal glands use to produce hormones that help regulate metabolism, the immune system, blood pressure and other essential functions.”

Because of it, I was put on a number of prescriptions to try and help my body to create the right hormones. These prescriptions had a side effect of causing issues with my kidneys and liver. So, I had to continue to have blood work done on a yearly basis to make sure everything was functioning properly.

One of these prescriptions were Dexamethasone. It is an oral steroid and lucky for me one of the side effects is weight gain. I blame this for not being able to lose weight.

However, after my father passed. My health issues were pushed to the back burner. I stopped seeing doctors for this and everything else. I finished my prescriptions and went through the withdrawal effects of those.

Now I have insurance and I’m working on getting my body back in working order so I can get healthy. I’ve been through a couple of rounds of blood tests.

We have found that there is no longer any sign of CAH (I’m completely baffled by this as it is a genetic disorder and has no cure), but now they are saying I have PCOS. Which says is a symptom of CAH. states that, “Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine system disorder among women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may have enlarged ovaries that contain small collections of fluid — called follicles — located in each ovary as seen during an ultrasound exam.

Some of the symptoms of PCOS include, “weight gain and trouble losing weight, extra hair on the face and body, irregular periods, fertility problems, and depression.”

Neither of these conditions are curable, so I’ll live with it as I have. I’ll also take everything one step at a time. My fiancé and I have talked about the fact I may be infertile because of this and other issues.

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