Tuesday, June 30, 2015

endoskeptic

There is still a whole lot of skepticism in the world of endocrinology, about some of what's being attributed to hormones like somatropin, cortisol, and oxytocin.  Among medical practitioners in general, and in turn, the general population.  This is because so much of this information is very new, and still inconclusive.  There is very strong evidence that hormones do a lot more than is well understood, but they've still got a ways to go before that makes it into textbooks.

Oxytocin, for example.  If you look it up, you will find some claiming all sorts of nutty sounding things on one side, and some very dry established science, on the other.  The truth is most likely somewhere in between.  Oxytocin requires the pituitary gland to cross into the brain, and I have to ask, if it doesn't have any function in the brain, why does it have such a distinct process for getting there?  For its textbook functions, it doesn't need to get there  at all.

I've learned that it's also common for endocrinologists to be trained to treat symptoms, rather than risk screwing with the endocrine system itself.  In part, because it can have all sorts of unforeseen results.  Supplement one hormone, and another spikes, too.  There is an unpredictability to it, highly indicative that they still have a hell of a lot left to learn.

Incidentally, this could even be yet another explanation for be why I've been feeling bad- my dosage just went up, and that might be throwing off something else.  If my doctor actually gave a fuck, she'd be testing me for that sort of thing, but she doesn't seem terribly thrilled to be treating me at all.

She's just getting through her fellowship, following the lead of the head endocrinologist, though.  He told me that he doesn't like treating the deficiency, because of how expensive it is, and what a pain in the ass insurance companies are about it.  He prefers to treat symptoms as they arise, caused by the deficiency.  It's much more straight forward ..and affordable.

I have a few issues with that. In many of these instances, hormones are like nutrients.  They don't just cause physiological change.  They can be more like conduits to healthy functionality.  In their deficiency, in anyone, various systems begin to deteriorate.  When you supplement the deficiency, you don't cure those symptoms, so much as prevent further deterioration.  This, in turn, gives the body (or mind) a chance to recover.

He'd prefer to let the deterioration keep going, and just keep patching me up, as I fall apart.  Uh yeah, I'd kind of prefer not to be falling apart in the first place, if at all possible.  My doctor is basically telling me that he prefers to wait for deterioration to occur, becoming obvious and problematic enough to treat.

As for mental health type symptoms, they never really reach that point, and the jury is still out on whether hormones impact anything like that at all, so doctors often err on the side of what the textbooks say, with a big pinch of personal bias, regarding how they feel about mental health in general.

This is still new science, really and this makes it all so complicated.  Some of it a decade or two old, in terms of when they started doing the research, but that research and figuring out what to do with the data still seems to be ongoing.

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