Medical Specialty >> Endocrinology

Doctors Lounge - Endocrinology Answers

Back to Endocrinology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/17/2017.

Forum Name: Endocrinology Topics

Question: Lethargy, hair loss, hirsutism and puzzled

 geenie - Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:59 am

First of all, I apologize, my post is a bit long! I will try to be as clear as possible... I've always been a very tired girl, even when I was a kid, I always had extreme trouble to wake up in the morning.

I have had phases in my life where I'd get extremely tired, to the point where I had to stop going to school / stop working completely. I'd also lose hair, gain weight and get a very low sex drive. Those phases started around 14 years old. Almost every episode fits with me trying to use birth control pills or depo-provera, but this might be just a coincidence. However, I have never been able to take BCP for more than 2 months because I throw them up (systematically, and quite violently).

That being said, I seem to be now stuck in one of those 'lethargic' phases, except that it's now been close to 2 years and I'm getting new symptoms / the old symptoms are getting worst. Prior to this, I was overweight but not obese, at 80kgs. I am now 100kgs. I gained most of the weight within the last year.

1 - I am extremely tired. I have a hard time waking up, I am sleepy and lethargic during the day, and I barely have enough energy to go back home at night. Sleep apnea has been ruled out.

2 - I am losing hair, a bunch of it, all over the head and there are now spots on my legs that are hairless.

3 - Hairs are growing on my chin and recently, on my breasts.

4 - My menstrual cycle went from 30 days to 45-50, with extremely heavy flow. I have severe mood swings during the first day of my period. Most of my symptoms get worse during that time too.

5 - If I get sick (like a cold), I'll be sick for much longer than any of my collegues, and I will be lethargic for the next couple weeks after that.

6 - I have a few dark spots on my chin as if my skin was dirty, I also have one spot on my right knee. They've been there for quite some time, I don't think I'm getting new ones, but these ones aren't disappearing.

7 - I recently started having puss-filled cysts in my armpits / genital area, worst when I have my period.

8 - I tend to feel dizzy when I shower, I have to lay my back on the wall to avoid falling.

9 - Most doctors I go to systematically test me for anemia because my face is so pale, I usually look like a ghost.

10 - I am driving everyone at work nuts because I tend to get cold easily and I need to be in a very hot environment to start feeling well again, so I turn the heat up while they're not looking...

11 - I do take a lot of caffeine in a day, probably more than average people but not excessive. I have severe withdrawal effects if I don't take anything caffeinated beverage for more than 24 hours (mostly headache, bad fatigue and nausea).

In addition to that, I noticed that I am also more prone to UTIs during that time. I've taken a lot of antibiotics in the past for diverse infections, and I now can't take levaquin because it makes me semi-comatose/unresponsive and gives me severe shoulder pain, go figure. Last time I took cipro for an infection, I disappeared from the face of the earth for a full week, I wouldn't even wake up to pick up the phone, not fun.

I had a few tests done here and there, but since I am not in my home country, it's a bit complicated to see doctors, and I am starting to be somewhat worried about the fact that I'm getting new symptoms and the old ones are getting worse every day.

I would greatly appreciate any input/advice as to what to look into next. Here are some of my test results :

Fasting blood glucose (taken every day for a week) has been steady around 80-86
Non-fasting (1 week) varied between 110-119, with a mean of 112.

Echography shows functional cyst on right ovary, enlarged ovaries but PCOS has been ruled out.

Sleep apnea has been ruled out.

Free Testosterone : 0,016pg/ml (0,8-10)
DELTA 4 ANDROSTENEDIONE 4,8 ng/ml (0,70 - 3,50)
FSH 3,7mUI/ml (4-12)
LH 7,08mUI/ml (2-8)
OESTRADIOL 44pg/ml (18-147)
SDHA 3,85ug/ml (0,35-4,25)
TSH 1,26 (0,25 - 5)

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 geenie - Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:47 am

I also forgot to mention that my gynecologist, during a routine breast exam, identified galactorrhea in both of my breasts and I had my prolactin levels tested, as stated in my above message.

However, they did not have me rest before doing the blood test, and I've read that you actually have to rest up for 20-30 minutes before drawing the blood (and it's what they had told me over the phone). Should I ask to redo the blood test or are these results reliable enough?

I have had my blood drawn at day 3 of my menstrual cycle, would I have to wait until my next period to test prolactin or can this be done at any time during the cycle?

Once again, any input would be much appreciated. Thank you.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us