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Diagnose me! Any ideas welcome(19 Posts)
So I’m at the end of the tether with my wishy washy local nhs services. At this stage (no gp appointments available until mid December) , I’m going to try and get some private investigations done but I really don’t know what’s wrong with me, and I don’t know where to start... ultrasound? Chest x ray? I have no idea, I can’t spend a fortune.
So. Any ideas as to what could be wrong with me are welcome!
Mid thirties , 5 children.
Average build, generally fit.
But. Lately I have a myriad of symptoms . The last year certainly. I’ve had full bloods done , And an ecg. The only thing slightly low was haematocrit, but the doctor don’t think this was a problem...I only noticed it was out of range as I asked for my blood results.
Exhaustion , chest pain and breathlessness before periods. From ovulation to period, so for two weeks, I wake each day with dull abdominal pain.
I wake in the night to pee where I never used to.
I have dreadful pre menstrual water retention that makes me look as though I’ve gained a stone.
I get indigestion. I find my usual walk home with gentle hills and running on escalators etc much more knackering now than I did with 9 months of 11b baby in my belly . I can sleep in the day no problem, I’m wiped out.
In the days before my period I cough like a lifelong smoker (I’m not one).
If I make a gp appointment it’s usually a few tests, wait for results, then nothing. An emergency or walk in appointment gets me 5 minutes with a practice nurse, who generally try to reassure me I’m not having a heart attack, and dismiss the suggestion that my problems are anything to do with my periods.
It’s almost as though, because I have five children and a job, there’s an expectation I’ll be knackered with mysterious ‘women’s problems’.
On the one hand I just want to get on with my life, not feel wiped out for two weeks of the month.
But on another level I’m quite worried there could be something more serious going on, and I’m just not able to get through the system to get any help.
Any advice appreciated 😊
Also I take no medication, no hormonal contraception, don’t drink, don’t smoke , eat fairly healthy diet (and no gluten).
Oh and just to add... my periods otherwise are non eventful these days, light bleeding for 4 or 5 days.. never any significant blood loss.
And I’d love recommendations of how to move forward, like what I could book privately to help myself quickly . Private gynaecologist? Ultrasound? Not sure where to start
I’d start at private gynaecologist as you suggest and request an ultrasound since your issues are very cyclical. Ovarian cysts maybe?
I’ll try and find a private gynae asap...
Is the reason you don't eat gluten because you suffer from celiac disease?
I suffered from psoriasis @ozymandiusking, severe as a child... I cut gluten at 18 and never had a spot since
Breathlessness and chest pains are serious symptoms. It sounds like you have been seen during an attack and anything serious has been ruled out but I would still go to A and E with those symptoms. It is easier to make a diagnosis while you have the symptoms too.
Have you been investigated for asthma? You can develop it at any age and hormonal fluctuations can cause an inflammatory response/trigger an attack.
Did the GP check your thyroid function? Tiredness, breathlessness, frequent urination could be linked to that. Did they check your hormone levels? You are quite young for perimenopause, is there any history of early menopause in your family? Anxiety could also cause many of those symptoms. Perimenopause could also cause anxiety, thyroid issues, trigger asthma.
You could try a private GP appointment or a gynaecologist could be a good place to start, as they will also check things like thyroid etc.
Abdominal pain, needing to urinate more frequently, bloating ('water retention'), and to a lesser extent indigestion could all be signs of an ovarian cyst(s).
To see a private Gynae, you'll need a GP referral. You'll pay approx £200-250 for the consultation and then if needed, for a standard abdominal and pelvic ultrasound (not internal) you'll pay around £400.
I came across this site which allows you to book scans without a referral, the combined upper abdo and pelvic scan which i linked below is only around £180 which is much cheaper than going private, but without actually speaking to a doctor, it's hard to say whether it would actually be needed or not.
I haven't used the above company so can't vouch for them in anyway.
Also, how long ago was your blood test? Could it have dropped since then? Were your ferritin levels checked? Low ferritin could account for the exhaustion and is often marked as 'normal' when it could definitely benefit from being considerably higher.
I’ve had quite a few internal scans at ultrasound direct (company linked above). They can tell you if you have cysts (they diagnosed them for me). Good luck in getting a diagnosis.
Early menopause? You are very young but certainly shouldn’t be ruled out just due to your age. You can get a private gynae appt if you don’t want to wait for gp referral.
My perimenopause symptoms started with chest pain and breathlessness. So much so that it was in and out of a&e for a few weeks as it really scared me. I was then tested and treated for asthma, cardiac issues, glucose intolerance and joint pain and I had ultrasounds on all abdomen both external and internal before anyone realised it could be menopause!
Are you sure it's nothing to do with your heart? I went to the doctor with breathlessness, had an ECG and got rushed off to the hospital in an ambulance. It turned out to be heart failure and a heart beating much faster than it should be. The doctors said I should have gone to the GP much sooner. Get your blood pressure checked. Most surgeries and pharmacies will have a BP. monitor and you can do it yourself.
OP said she had full blood tests AND an ECG.
She has seen the GP /nurse many times about these symptoms.
She may have anxiety that is making the symptoms worse.
How much sleep do you get, OP?
Thank you everyone.
Yes I had full bloods, ferritin, thyroid etc.
I have them all in print, on paper apparently I’m in rude health
I’m not sure about menopause but certainly no family history of early menopause that I know of (on the contrary the women in the older generations of my family have had children well in to their forties) but it may be just me.
My partner has a blood pressure monitor at home so I check my bp occasionally and it’s fine. gp found the same .
I’m not anxious and I don’t have health anxiety as such, just finding it really tricky to access proper investigative procedure within a reasonable time frame.
My last pregnancy was very difficult due to excruciating back pain , not the spd type . I couldn’t eat properly because any pressure from a full bowel (tmi) left me in agony, so I lived for the last 3 months on tiny ice pops and painkillers. (All previous pgs complication free) It was suggested then that the symptoms sounded like an ovarian cyst, but they couldn’t do proper imaging procedures due to the pregnancy. The pain diminished after birth, and I was referred for a lumber sacral mri which showed a herniated disc, so that was the diagnosis in the end... they decided there was no need to look for cysts.
Thank you for the info re private gynae, I think this will have to be the route I take.
I think the pregnancy issue which was a big mystery to everyone has made my medical notes look like those of a hypochondriac.
I sleep brilliantly, except that my body now wakes me to pee once in the night , then wakes me again at 6am with this dull abdo ache. But otherwise I love my bed, get plenty of early nights.
@Kahlua4me interesting. how did they diagnose and were there any recommendations to manage the symptoms (breathlessness particularly)?
Anaemia / vitamin deficiency
Auto immune disease
It was the cardiologist who actually mentioned the menopause first! She was writing my notes up after all her tests were clear and noticed that I was born in the same year as her so suggested it could be that! I then saw a female gp who agreed as my symptoms were all to disjointed to be anything else.
I was then referred to gynae who recommended hrt but I am resisting at the moment as it involves mirena coil which I am not keen on. Was advised to take a good multi vitamin and a brisk half hour walk every day. As well as looking at menopause matters online.
The breathlessness and pain has mostly gone now but when it happens I can just wait patiently for it to go without panicking there’s something wrong.
I think you do need to follow up on the cysts route though if only to rule it out...
Up above someone said you need a GP referral for a private gynaecologist. You do if insurance are covering the private costs.
Otherwise anyone can book an appointment with a private doctor as they please, it is merely recommended that you see a GP first so they can advise if it's necessary or not
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