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Addison's Disease Message Board


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Re: Question
Dec 1, 2004
I have secondary adrenal insufficiency and of the symptoms listed I had:

need for excessive amounts of sleep
chronic, worsening fatigue
Muscle and joint pain
muscle weakness
lowered resistance to infection
Salt cravings
low stamina
apathy or depression
low self-esteem

I should note that most of the above symptoms I didn't know I had until after I was diagnosed and looking back I realized things. For instance, I was really enjoying salted sunflower seeds often eating a large pack a day. I was having trouble opening jars of pickles (which I loved...salt again) which my wife opened easily, I was very apathetic, but denied it too myself. So if you had asked me at the time I would have said I really only had fatigue and even then it was intermittent so I didn't reported that to my doctor (except in passing, to which she replied, "everyone is tired these days", which is true).

but I also had the opposite of some of the listed symptoms:

elevated blood pressure
increased appetite
weight gain
sugar cravings
hot flashes and ability to tolerate cold
elevated blood sugar
very loose stool but not diahrea

Again most of those I either didn't know about or could ignore, except for the weight gain, which my wife and I used to laugh about because she was pregnant and I was gaining the weight. I actually read in a magazine that happens sometimes to husbands and hence I ignored that symptom as well.

I also had several other symptoms like:

night sweats (waking up hot and soaking wet for no reason)
heart palpitations
rapid heart rate (over 100 resting)
sore tongue and mouth
vision disturbances
muscle loss
head hair growth (was kinda happy my pattern baldness was going away)
dry pealing skin

So you can see that adrenal insufficiency comes in many disguises and often has symptoms that were contradictory. For instance if you have both adrenal insufficiency and hypothyroid (as I did), then you get symptoms of both hypothyroid and hyperthyroid at the same time. In fact, my doctor dismissed my symtpoms, saying I was making them up because you couldn't have such contradictory symptoms. But it turns out you can, in the face of adrenal and thyroid problems simultaneously.

I should also note it took over 10 years for the symptoms to become serious enough to lead to a crisis. For most of that time my symptoms came and went often disappearing for weeks at a time. The transient nature of the symptoms is what often makes this disease hard to detect. A good nights rest, a vacation, a good day at work would make the symptoms disappear and reinforce the idea my doctors had that I was just working too hard and not getting enough rest and relaxation. [after all I had just started a new business, my wife was pregnant, I bought a new house, and my day job work load was heavy.....all good reason to be tired and irritable].

You see adrenal insufficiency means that for much of the time you have "adrenal sufficiency". It's only when you get stressed, like getting the flu, or a bad day at work that your body can't produce enough cortisol to satisfy the need and so leads to a spiraling down into fatigue, depression and the arrival of weird symptoms. Otherwise, you are pretty much normal. In fact all my simple blood tests showed I had normal cortisol levels. But a stimulation test finally showed I had zero cortisol reserve.

Sheesh I was a mess!!
Re: Question
Dec 2, 2004
[QUOTE=orion]I have secondary adrenal insufficiency and of the symptoms listed I had:

need for excessive amounts of sleep
chronic, worsening fatigue
Muscle and joint pain
muscle weakness
lowered resistance to infection
Salt cravings
low stamina
apathy or depression
low self-esteem

I should note that most of the above symptoms I didn't know I had until after I was diagnosed and looking back I realized things. For instance, I was really enjoying salted sunflower seeds often eating a large pack a day. I was having trouble opening jars of pickles (which I loved...salt again) which my wife opened easily, I was very apathetic, but denied it too myself. So if you had asked me at the time I would have said I really only had fatigue and even then it was intermittent so I didn't reported that to my doctor (except in passing, to which she replied, "everyone is tired these days", which is true).

but I also had the opposite of some of the listed symptoms:

elevated blood pressure
increased appetite
weight gain
sugar cravings
hot flashes and ability to tolerate cold
elevated blood sugar
very loose stool but not diahrea

Again most of those I either didn't know about or could ignore, except for the weight gain, which my wife and I used to laugh about because she was pregnant and I was gaining the weight. I actually read in a magazine that happens sometimes to husbands and hence I ignored that symptom as well.

I also had several other symptoms like:

night sweats (waking up hot and soaking wet for no reason)
heart palpitations
rapid heart rate (over 100 resting)
sore tongue and mouth
vision disturbances
muscle loss
head hair growth (was kinda happy my pattern baldness was going away)
dry pealing skin

So you can see that adrenal insufficiency comes in many disguises and often has symptoms that were contradictory. For instance if you have both adrenal insufficiency and hypothyroid (as I did), then you get symptoms of both hypothyroid and hyperthyroid at the same time. In fact, my doctor dismissed my symtpoms, saying I was making them up because you couldn't have such contradictory symptoms. But it turns out you can, in the face of adrenal and thyroid problems simultaneously.

I should also note it took over 10 years for the symptoms to become serious enough to lead to a crisis. For most of that time my symptoms came and went often disappearing for weeks at a time. The transient nature of the symptoms is what often makes this disease hard to detect. A good nights rest, a vacation, a good day at work would make the symptoms disappear and reinforce the idea my doctors had that I was just working too hard and not getting enough rest and relaxation. [after all I had just started a new business, my wife was pregnant, I bought a new house, and my day job work load was heavy.....all good reason to be tired and irritable].

You see adrenal insufficiency means that for much of the time you have "adrenal sufficiency". It's only when you get stressed, like getting the flu, or a bad day at work that your body can't produce enough cortisol to satisfy the need and so leads to a spiraling down into fatigue, depression and the arrival of weird symptoms. Otherwise, you are pretty much normal. In fact all my simple blood tests showed I had normal cortisol levels. But a stimulation test finally showed I had zero cortisol reserve.

Sheesh I was a mess!![/QUOTE]
WoW, thanks for your input..Thats how I get when I take my thyroid meds a mixture between hypo and hyper. As a mater of fact since Ive been on thyroid meds my low blood sugar has gotten worse Ive gained more weight as a matter of fact everything has gotten worse except the muscle weakness that cleared up.Thats why Im so strongly leaning toward the adrenline thing and I cant get not one dr to listen to me and Ive been to about 6 already.

Whats really odd is when I take my predinzone (sp?) for my asthma "which has been a long time thank god since Ive had attack" thats when I feel normal. I have no low sugar symptoms and I have tons of energy.I actually feel normal.Another thing that has got me really worried and thrown off..Ijust had a severe sugery .Rod implanted in my leg b/c of a serious car wreck about 3 weeks ago and Im not recovering to well from it..Im constantly shaking for no reason.Ijust keep telling myself hey its your nerves pop a xanax like the doc said , but I really just dont know.
take care...





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