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Dr Sharmyn McGraw podcast
April 21, 2022

Tracking a Mystery Disease to the Pituitary Gland | Sharmyn McGraw

by Anthony Effinger

The Think Neuro podcast from Pacific Neuroscience Institute takes you into the clinic, operating room and laboratory with doctors and surgeons who are tackling the most challenging brain diseases and disorders. Host: Anthony Effinger

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Episode 27: Show Notes

Sharmyn McGraw knows as much about pituitary disease as some doctors. She learned about it after struggling for years with a medical mystery that began in 1993.

First, she began to feel anxious. Then, she began to gain weight, and she developed a rash. Much of her hair fell out. Her eyes began to yellow and her face puffed up. Different doctors gave her different explanations. They told her she was allergic to caffeine.

That she was just retaining water. That she was beginning menopause. In the end, none of those things turned out to be true. She finally figured out that she had Cushing’s Disease, which is caused by excess production of the hormone cortisol, which, in her case, was caused by a tumor on her pituitary gland.

Listen to this episode to find out how Sharmyn got to the bottom of her medical mystery with the help of Dr. Dan Kelly, and how she uses years of knowledge to help others suffering from pituitary diseases through the support group she founded at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute.

About Dr. McGraw

Sharmyn McGraw

Sharmyn’s in-depth understanding of pituitary disorders comes from not only being a patient herself but also knowing personally hundreds of patient throughout the years and from many parts of the world. Her story speaks about the barriers that kept her searching for seven years for an answer to an insidious illness that nearly took her life, and the importance of persistence which led her to a correct diagnosis for Cushing’s disease, a life-threatening hormonal imbalance caused by a pituitary brain tumor.

For nearly two decades Sharmyn has been dedicated to helping medical professionals as well as the public to understand the importance of education and public awareness about the critical role hormones play in our quality of life.

Check Out More Think Neuro Podcast Episodes

About the Author

Anthony Effinger

Anthony Effinger

Think Neuro's host is Anthony Effinger, an award-winning journalist who is fascinated with neuroscience and the workings of the brain. Anthony spent 24 years at Bloomberg News, where he covered all aspects of finance, with forays into science and health. In 2006, the Association of Health Care Journalists awarded him first prize for Playing the Odds, an in-depth piece on the changing strategies used to treat prostate cancer. These days, he is a staff writer at Willamette Week, a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper in Portland, Oregon, where he lives with his wife and two children.

Last updated: June 1st, 2022