About My Diagnosis

When I was 16 years old I went from being a varsity cross country and track runner and an AP student to being bedridden in the matter of a few days. I stopped running, dropped out of school, and saw over 20 different doctors and specialists. I didn’t know what had suddenly made me incapable of functioning, and unfortunately neither did my doctors. After two years of turmoil, I was eventually diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS) and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). Two years after that, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Endometriosis, and Non-diabetic hypoglycemia. Below is more information on each of these diagnoses. 

ME/CFS: The medical community as a whole knows very little about myalgic encephalomyelitis. Some doctors think that it is caused by (or at least correlates with) inflammation in the brain and spinal cord. It is characterized by extreme fatigue that worsens with exercise but doesn’t improve with sleep, neurological abnormalities (such as brain fog, depression, anxiety, difficulty remembering things, difficulty learning new things), sleep disturbances, pain, headaches, and an inability to do things that were previously easy (such as showering, eating, and walking). There is no diagnostic test for ME, no cure for ME, and no determination of the longevity of it’s effects. For more information, please visit these sites! 

Ted Talk: What happens when you have a disease doctors can’t diagnose

National Alliance for ME

What is ME/CFS

POTS: POTS is a group of symptoms rather than a disease. It is diagnosed through a blood pressure test. Essentially, blood is not effectively pumped through the body. As blood pools to the legs, not enough blood reaches the heart. This can cause difficulty breathing, pain, headaches, difficulty concentrating, exercise intolerance, shaking, nausea, lightheadedness, and heart palpitations. For more information, please visit these sites!

POTS understanding

Mayo Clinic: POTS in adolescents

Fibromyalgia: Fibromyalgia is associated with widespread pain, mood disorders, and cognitive disruptions. There is no cure and there is very little information on how it starts or what causes it. Essentially, once someone has fibromyalgia, their brain starts to change. This change increases the number of pain receptors in the brain and makes the brain react stronger to pain signals. For more information, please visit these sites!

Mayo Clinic: Fibromyalgia

Everything You Need to Know About Fibromyalgia

Non-diabetic hypoglycemia: This is a condition that occurs in people who have a low blood glucose level. It is usually caused by diabetes, but there are rare cases of non-diabetic people having it. In these cases, it can be related to being pre-diabetic, having a disease that attacks your heart or liver, or having a hormone imbalance. The symptoms of hypoglycemia include fainting, sweating, anxiety, shaking, weakness, and confusion. For more information, please visit these sites!

Hormone Health Network: Non-diabetic Hypoglycemia

Mayo Clinic: Hypoglycemia

Endometriosis: Endometriosis involves tissue that usually lines the uterus growing in other places in the body. As the tissue grows outside of the uterus, it continues to grow and shed as it would inside the uterus. Eventually, the tissue creates adhesions within the body. These adhesions glue organs and tissue together, causing pain, infertility, and excessive bleeding. For more information, please visit these sites!

Mayo Clinic: Endometriosis

Women’s Health and Endometriosis