UK woman Kirsty Lane began suffering from intense headaches, mood swings, irregular periods and leaking nipples back in 2013, but she put the symptoms down the stress.
“My mood was awful. I was constantly stroppy and really low,” she told The Sun.
After her husband confronted her about her unusual behaviour, Kirsty decided raise it with her GP.
“With the headaches and the fact I wasn’t menstruating, he knew something wasn’t right.”
The 26-year-old’s doctor said the contraceptive pill could be to blame, but it turned out to be something far more concerning.
A blood test revealed that the young nurse was living with prolactinoma – a tumour on the pituitary gland in the centre of her brain, which results in the overproduction of the hormone prolaction.
“Just hearing that word ‘tumour’ made me panic,” she said.
“That was really the only thing I listened to. I heard the word tumour and brain and I just thought I was dying.”
Although the condition isn't life-threatening, it can impair your vision and cause infertility among other side effects.
Fortunately, Kirsty didn’t need to undergo surgery and was treated with medication – which has stabilised her mood, eradicated her headaches and normalised her menstrual cycle – but she's speaking about her experience to raise awareness of the disease.
This article originally appeared on Women's Health.