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Addison's Disease Message Board

Addison's Disease Board Index

[COLOR=Indigo][FONT=Garamond]Hi Heb12,

I've had very similar symptoms to yours, however we are also considering Temporal Lobe Epilepsy or a similar neurological condition due to some seizure-like episodes, phantom smells, sleep terrors and a host of other bizarre symptoms.

18 months ago I had a 24 hour urine test for a pheochromocytoma (spelling?) after some perplexing adrenaline effects. The test was negative. My GP didn't tell me that the tests were more likely to work if taken while symptoms were present, nor did she tell me the contraceptive pill might effect the outcome of the test. My symptoms cleared up, though over the past year I have noticed an infrequent but severe tremor and occassional agitation unrelated to external conditions.

In early December 2004 I suffered sudden abdominal pain around 10pm at night - the most severe pain I have ever experienced. Doubled-over, I barely managed to make it to the bathroom for vomiting and diarrhea lasting for some hours with extreme dizziness and weakness so bad I could barely lift my arm.

Since then I have had four more similar episodes, the most recent being 2 weeks ago, when I called the paramedics (for the second time in 6 weeks)and was rushed to hospital in acute pain with incessant vomiting, profuse sweating and pallor, intense heat followed by a dramatic drop in body temperature, blackouts and strange feelings of detatchment, delirium and vague hallucinatory effects such as bright sunlight when I shut my eyes. At the hospital I was administered morphine and other drugs to control the pain and vomiting and abruptly sent home with my frantic parents. I experienced distressing seizure-like experiences around a dozen times that night and the next morning went back to my local doctor in despair.

At this point my previously supportive doctor began to concur with the suspicions of the numerous specialists I had seen and suggested I might be suffering anxiety-related symptoms. I tried to explain that I had been very happy in life when the symptoms struck, and that even if I was [I]psychotic[/I] I didn't think I could induce such tremendous pain and certainly not the flashing lights, loss of consciousness and other troubling symptoms. She reassured me that she knew me well and had seen me endure very stressful situations previously without suffering health problems. However she waved my low blood pressure and heart-rate of 180bpm off as anxiety symptoms and sent me home where I suffered nausea, dizziness and upper-abdominal pain so bad that I could barely raise my head without fighting the compulsion to vomit.

I'm going to see a neurologist in 5 weeks time and hope for a diagnosis, but in the meantime, even if my problem doesn't turn out to be an adrenal tumor, I sympathise with your distress and frustration about being diagnosed with anxiety. I don't doubt that anxiety can cause health problems, but at the end of the day, only you know how anxious you are, and if you feel stable emotionally, there's nothing more frustrating or less helpful than having serious health issues dismissed for these reasons.

I worry about the current trend to blame stress and anxiety for health problems and often feel that doctors are not necessarily qualified to make a diagnosis of psychological problems anyway. I also feel that at times the stress diagnosis can be dangerous. My sister petitioned doctors for two years about symptoms indicating serious problems. Doctor's consistently told her to cheer up, change her lifestyle, take time off work, or stop being so neurotic. Eventually she was hospitalised and a cancerous tumor the size of a football was found on the outside of her stomach. It's especially difficult for women, I think, because the medical proffession sometimes approaches women as emotional, neurotic, and prone to hypochondria. I'll hop off my soapbox now! I wish you the best for your diagnosis and wellbeing,


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