Prognosis: What does chronic mean?

Posted by tinadish @tinadish, Dec 3, 2018

@lisalucier Do you know what the word chronic means with a diagnosis of chronic cerebral small vessel ischemic disease? I thought I was a young 59-year-old, but this year I feel like I have aged a lot. Problems with balance, memory, spelling, strange body sensations etc. My neurologist doesn’t seem to explain things very well to me. Or maybe it’s just me. I also have PTSD, major recovery and depressive disorder, and anxiety. All seem to be getting worse. I need some answers and advice. Please help

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@tinadish Hi Tina. You've mentioned anxiety and trouble remembering things. I see you're 59 and those might be menopause symptoms. It affects women differently, but some experience a lot of anxiety. Every cell in a woman's body has estrogen receptors (even the brain) and when those levels drop, it just doesn't work as well. Sometimes there are multiple reasons for symptoms, and this could just be a part of it. Hot flashes and difficulty sleeping also go along with this. If you do bio-identical hormone replacement for this, estrogen needs to be balanced against progesterone, and your doctor needs to check to see how your body breaks down the hormones. If you don't break it down well, that is the trouble that can increase chances of hormone related cancers. The solution is simple in just taking a supplement from the doctor that aids in the detox. According to my doctor, the doses should be as low as possible that help with hot flashes because you don't want to cause the lining of the uterine wall to grow as it did during childbearing years. There are compounding pharmacies (also mail order ones) that make these hormones from soy derivatives. A functional medicine doctor or environmental allergy doctor (like mine) work with hormone replacement. Anxiety can also come from an overactive thyroid or if you are taking thyroid hormones, if the dose is too high. PTSD is treatable and there are therapists who specialize in that. I don't know if that stems from adult or childhood, but a good book about overcoming childhood trauma is this one I myself have experienced some long term anxiety and it's an awful feeling. I was able to figure out just why that happened to me and deprogram it. I was in need of spine surgery and this is what I was doing in the few years prior to that because I feared surgery. I also had trouble finding a surgeon willing to help me which is why I came to Mayo after 5 of them turned me down. I had spinal cord compression and it affected my arms. I'm an artist and I didn't want to loose that ability altogether. I can tell you that it worked. I overcame my fears after I figured out where they had come from in my past and how the present situation was triggering the memories of the fears. If you make friends with you fear, you can come to terms with it. My spine was fixed at Mayo, and my life was changed by all the things I did to help myself get through the experience. I no longer have these fears and I have a new confidence that was missing before. I started just by using music and deep breathing and learning to lower my blood pressure and I was measuring it before and after. I hope this gives you some hope that you can change your destiny. I'm glad you are exercising as that will help reduce stress and do wonders for your health. You may also want to read books by a Mayo doctor, Amit Sood The Guide to Stress Free Living gives you different ways to think about things and how to build resilience. I have them both and they are excellent. I didn't have these before I went through surgery, but reading them explained why my strategies to overcome my fears worked for me. Our brains are wired to pay extra attention to stressful events as a survival mechanism. Realizing that helps you recognize why it happens and opens the door to gain understanding.

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