Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thursday 6/12/08

Today was our follow-up appointment with Dr. A. The doctor came in excited, saying that the saliva test showed some things wrong and there were some things she could fix.

Jessica's cortisol level was just below the minimum range, with a daily total of 22 when the total daily level should be 23-42. Her DHEA was depressed and in zone 7 ("this zone represents a fatigue or suppression of the adrenals with overt deficits in either or both cortisol and DHEA production.") or showing Adrenal Fatigue. Dr. A's recommendation is to give Jessica small doses of the cortisol and DHEA (BHRT) for 3 months to give her adrenal glands time to rest and recuperate. Then after the 3 months, her body should be able to make it on her own.

The SIgA, which as Dr. A explained it is the nose/throat area's immune system, showed that she had a depressed level also. And Dr. A said we would boost that with vitamins.

Progesterone level was good, kidney & liver functions were good, no allergies to gluten/wheat, milk, soy, eggs, etc.

She also tested her flat/sitting/standing blood pressure. Her laying still blood pressure was 110/70, sitting bp was 112/68, and standing was 90/64. This sudden drop in blood pressure when you stand up from a sitting position is called orthostatic hypotension or orthostatic intolerance. She was checking this because this is a condition which results from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and affects almost everyone who has it. Dr. A said that there shouldn't be more than a 15 degree drop, and Jessica's dropped 22, so the doctor is checking into this.

We have heard of dramatic results from using anti-virals especially if within the first year with CFS, so we're going to start treatment with the anti-virals before starting the BHRT. (We don't want to start both at the same time, so we can tell what is working for her.) Dr. A is looking up what anti-viral, dosage amounts, and length of treatment, and will call in a couple of days with the prescription.

Dr. A said we were making her read [and research] a lot, and she was going to charge us extra for reading! Actually she said she enjoyed learning, and she's been good to want to help us. We've found there aren't many (especially in Arkansas) that know much about this. As Dr. A said today also, it was good to see something in writing to actually show what's going on with her. And it's exciting to see that we have treatment options to start now!


Sue Jackson said...

Great news that the doctor is willing to try the anti-viral!! The findings on adrenal function are very typical for CFS and are an effect of the illness and the immune system dysfunction. If the anti-viral helps to eradicate any remaining EBV in Jessica's system, that will get at the root cause of the illness, and the adrenal function (and everything else) should improve as a result.

I was also glad to hear that the doctor saw the OI effects for herself and confirmed that. If the anti-viral doesn't result in full recovery, then treating the OI will bring on dramatic improvement in all symptoms. OI treatment has been like a miracle for both of my boys, allowing them to mostly live like normal kids now.

And most of all, how wonderful that you've found a doctor who is willing to listen and learn!! That is so valuable. We've been fortunate in that regard as well, and it makes such a huge difference.

Can't wait to hear how Jessica responds to the anti-viral. She may get worse at first - that's actually a sign that the anti-viral is working for her. It's called a herx reaction. It occurs when an anti-viral or antibiotic kills off a lot of virus (or bacteria) all at once, and it moves out of the cells and into the bloodstream, causing a temporary worsening. So, if that happens, don't panic. Just wait it out and she should improve soon after.