Today I am not writing about food or fitness, instead I’m writing specifically about my own health status.
I’ve done my best to keep things to myself over the past few years while trying to figure out what is going on with me, however several of my symptoms like frequent memory gaps and brain fog, extreme fatigue, inability to focus, and progressive vision loss have become harder to hide. I’m sure many of you have noticed that I’ve been “off” for some time now, and you are right.
In short, I have a large, benign tumor in my pituitary gland — the pituitary gland is a pea-sized gland that sits under the hypothalamus at the base of the brain (behind the nose). It is referred to as the “master gland” because it communicates with the hypothalamus and secretes several hormones that target all of the other glands throughout the body, signaling them to create other hormones responsible for almost all of the body’s processes including growth, development, and reproduction.
Pituitary adenomas are relatively common and many times go undiagnosed or are diagnosed accidentally. However, they are usually suspected when an individual exhibits symptoms of endocrine dysfunction, more commonly excess hormone production in the cases of Cushing’s disease (excess ACTH) or acromegaly (excess growth hormone) to name a few. About 25% of individuals with pituitary tumors do not have hypersecretory syndromes and instead they are only found once they’ve grown large and their mass effect creates pituitary insufficiency which is the case with myself. Due to the size of the tumor, my normal pituitary function has been suppressed so everything else down the line is also affected. The mass has also grown upwards to stretch and compress my optic nerve and I have lost my peripheral vision.
I know this information may come as a shock which is why I did not want to discuss it with anyone and cause alarm. Fortunately, I am in good hands at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles and the procedure I am undergoing is pretty straightforward but the recovery will be more involved. I will be out for a few weeks and then unable to teach classes for the month of June.
I am so grateful for and confident in the incredible team we have in place to cover for me while I’m away. I hope that even though I’m taking a break, you continue to attend your workouts at Titan. Please do not worry about me, I will be fine and will send an update as soon as I can. I am forever grateful for your support and look forward to seeing you all again soon.