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Addison's Disease Message Board

Addison's Disease Board Index

This all is SO confusing. I have been dx'd with adrenal "burnout" or adrenal failure as my doc calls it. He says I don't have Addison's because I don't have adrenal antibodies. Dr. says it's pituitary related.

Others with adrenal insufficiency have said their dose of 10-12 hydrocortison is way too low. I'm on 37.5 or cortisone acetate (equal to 25 <0r 30?> Cortef) and people tell me I'm on a really high dose. The doc has already said I will be on it for life. No weaning off. Is my dose too high if I'm responding so well to the treatment? How would I know?

How does one know if they are getting to much or too little cortisone replacement? Most docs don't have that many adrenal patients and go by the book I suppose. Just FYI I have hypothyroid and gastroparesis (paralyzed stomach) as well.
This is all I know about why I was diagnosed: My symptoms and blood tests. Some of this is thyroid. Much is adrenal related:

These symptoms were relieved or greatly lessened with the cortisone
replacement I have been on for 5 weeks:

Adrenal rushes for no reason that make me shake and my heart
palpitate for 15-30 minutes (Same for any minor annoyance or being startled)

Daily headaches and severe neck/shoulder muscle pain for 2 years
(neck pain has returned the last 14 days)

Focus, concentration, brain fog, memory loss. Short term for
sure, but most of the last 3 years has been erased from my life.

Weight loss 50 lbs in the last year

Blood pressure falling from 120/80 to 80-90 over 60 in the last

Hair like straw and falling out a LOT.


Dry skin that kinda "hurt" when it was stretched my moving

Really brittle nails

Light sensitivity - I had to have half the bulbs in my office

Bi-polar depression

Extreme anxiety
These have remained the same:

Severe constipation - need triple dose of Rx now to go at all.
Nothing will pass w/o the meds

Gastroparesis - paralyzed stomach (slow transit time) mostly
liquid diet for the last year.

Tired in the evenings

Gained 5 lbs in the last month

Tests for cortisol and ACTH and DHEA (yes I have other tests if
anyone has questions)

Dec 14, 2004, 3pm - not on any cortisone replacement
AM cortisol - 5.4 (range 6-28)
DHEA sulfate - 200 (range 44-352)
ACTH - 14 (range 7-10am 9-52, range female on oral contraceptive
5-29). I don't know which ACTH range I am in. I'm 41 hysto on estradiol
patch. I was going by the 7-10am range. My test was at 8am

Dec 23, 2004, 2pm - not on any cortisone replacement
AM cortisol - 13.2 (range 6-28)
ACTH - 20 (range 7-10am 9-52, range female on oral contraceptive

Jan 13, 2005, 9am
Aldosterone - 5 (range upright 4-31) (didn't test supine)
Renin - .5 (range <5.3)

Feb 26, 2005, 9am
Cortisol baseline - 14 (range 7-25)
DHEA sulfate - 243 (range 35-430)
ACTH - 11 (range 6-58)

March 4, 2005, 8am - Started cortisone acetate 37.5mg this day.
Dx adrenal failure.
Cortisol baseline - 16 (range 7-25)
ACTH - 11 (range 6-53)
Adrenal antibody - pending. (I just noticed that)

Wendy in Oklahoma

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