Without a diagnosis after more than a year

News 25 March, 2018
  • Photo Hugo Duchaine
    With the help of medication, the body of Genevieve Comtois managed to evacuate all of the water it produces.

    Hugo Duchaine

    Sunday, 25 march, 2018 21:12

    Sunday, 25 march, 2018 21:12

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    A woman of 30 years old is trapped for more than a year of a mysterious illness. Despite the dozens of examination, and the doctors consulted, does anyone know why his body produces up to two pounds of water per day.

    “As long as one has not yet found [what I have], I am blocked in my life […] It scares me “, drops Genevieve Comtois, who lives in Joliette.

    Last year, The Newspaper had met the young woman while she was confined to her bed from the old hospital Saint-Luc, in Montreal, during the Holiday time. In a few weeks, the woman took more than 50 books.

    “I started to swell,” says today, laughing, Ms. Comtois. But at the time, she had been admitted to the emergency when his whole body was swollen, to such an extent that neither his shoes nor his pants only made him.

    Photo Courtesy

    The legs of Genevieve Comtois became so swollen with water that even his slippers to him were more.

    She left the hospital last January, but doctors are still unaware what is his illness. Back at the house, she takes diuretics to evacuate each day, the water produced by his body.

    Gastroscopy, colonoscopy, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and even two PET scans measure the activity of cells and organs of the body have not helped to elucidate the mystery.

    “I’m afraid we will never find any “, she says. “Diuretics, this is not a long-term solution, because it is not good for the kidneys “, she adds.

    Photo Hugo Duchaine

    Last year, the wife of Joliette had taken 50 pounds when she started to swell up everywhere.


    Without an accurate diagnosis, it fears that it will always be like the sword of Damocles above it. She dreads having difficulty finding life insurance, for example, and it is very expensive.

    It has also shelved her plans to travel. Without a stable condition, she does not think succeed to ensure.

    The president of the quebec association of orphan diseases, Gail Ouellette, argues that insurance companies are “fearful” as soon as a disease is more rare, and that it is always more difficult for these patients to be insured.

    Ms. Comtois is followed by the clinical research Institute of Montreal (IRCM), and receives a once-a-month transfusions of immunoglobulin. It is antibodies from the plasma in the blood.

    “We try to see if it works “, she said, about the new treatment, which could help reduce the diuretics she takes up to three times per day.

    “A guinea pig “

    It will also send soon a blood sample to analyze in the United States in a lab that specializes in genetic.

    “I’m a little bit like a guinea pig,” says Geneviève Comte. His body, ” she continues, still seems to produce as much water as before. She has recently forgotten two doses of diuretics in a day and she woke up with a swollen face.

    This summer, the young woman returned to work as a secretary in the City of Repentigny.