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Forum Name: Endocrinology Topics

Question: Concerns related to wife's inconsistent use of medication


 cet9280 - Sat Dec 09, 2006 8:40 am

My wife is 25 years old and suffers from an underactive pituitary gland. She is prescribed:

Synthroid 112 mcg daily for thyroid disease
Prednisone 5mg daily for adrenal insufficiency
Estratest, daily from days 1-25 for hormones
Provera 5mg, daily from days 16-25, also for hormones

I'm concerned because she doesn't go to her endocrinologist or take her medicine consistently. In fact her endocrinologist recently dropped her as a patient for missing 3 consecutive appointments. She either doesn't take her medicine at all, or will take it sporadically, missing a day here and there. For reasons that must be psychological, she simply doesn't care of herself. What are the possible consequences to this type of behavior? I believe that during the longest periods without her taking her medicine, she exhibits very irrational behavior. Is this possible? I love her very much...please help. Thank you.
 Dr. K. Eisele - Tue Dec 19, 2006 12:35 am

User avatar cet9280:

I would speculate that your wife has a case of denial. Many people in their twenties still feel "immortal" in some sense. Your wife may be feeling insecure about her health, and inconsistent use of medicines is her way of proving to herself, and possibly to everyone else, that she is just fine.

The endocrinological system (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenals) is one of those very important systems of the body that makes everything else work the way it is supposed to work. That includes mental status. I think that your wife's irrational behavior while off her medications makes perfect sense.

Consequences of not taking medicines as prescribed cover the spectrum from mild to serious. Perhaps she needs some education about these issues.

If your wife is simply trying to avoid having to admit that she is ill, she should be reassured that a lot of people, even those in their twenties, have medical problems. It's simply a fact of life.

I think it would be best for you to accompany your wife to her family doctor for a special appointment for the purposes of education. While you're there, she can get a referral to see a new endocrinologist. She needs to understand the potential consequences of not taking her medicine as prescribed.

Another possibility is that her medicines cause her to have side effects. Often, patients are prescribed medication that they suffer side effects from and they don't say anything to their doctor about it because it doesn't occur to them that there may be a simple way to alleviate the side effects. Then, the prescribing doctor doesn't know there is a problem, and the patient tends to have the idea that the doctor does not really care about them.

Best of luck to you and your wife.

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