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Addison's Disease Message Board

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Hi all,

Glad to have found this group! I have a rather long story to tell if anyone cares to read it. Just recently, I found out that I might have an adrenal problem.

Initial Onset Of Symptoms - September 08/04. 22 year-old male

Prior to the date mentioned above, I had no health problem to my knowledge. At exactly 6:00 PM on this day, everything went numb (face, hands, legs), heart rate went through the roof, shortness of breath onset, followed by a massive headache. I called 911 and was rushed to the hospital.

In the ambulance, O2 level was 85%, BP 180/120. After adminstering oxgen, those levels returned to normal within 5 minutes. The hospitals diagnosis was lead poisoning (I'm an electronics tech who works with solder). I didn't really buy that diagnosis, but accepted it, as I was feeling normal again. Shortly there after, I was released.

Later on that night, two hours after being released, the symptoms came back (not quite as bad), so I just "stuck it out". A few days later, while in my family doctors office, the same exact thing happened, and again, I was taken to the hospital in an ambulance (only two blocks away). Doctor thought for sure it was a heart attack.

This time at the hospital, they ran extensive testing and bloodwork. Stress test and Echo were perfect, no heavy metal poisoning, CBC normal. O2 was in the high 80's, but returned to normal when given oxygen. Hospital said this was a mystery and released me.

The next day, I schedule an appointment to see my family doctor again, this time he suspects Lyme and scheduled an appointment to see an infectious disease doctor. It was not Lyme (ELISA and Western Blots performed)

Infectious disease doctor ran very extensive bloodwork as well. Two markers appeared that were not there just days before, positive ANA and elevated Cortisol level. ANA was 3.3, Cortisol was 18.6 (with max being 12.0). He sent me to a Rheumatologist.

Rheumatologist ran Lupus and other autoimmune screening tests, all negative. The bloodwork once again revealed an overly high Cortisol level (this time 20, with 12.0 being max). This was Cortisol PM, taken at around 3:00 PM in the afternoon.

This is where I am currently at, 9 months since the onset of symptoms with no diagnosis. The next appointment is to see an Endo in October (very busy doctor)

At this time, I have unexplained Tachycardia, and take 50 mg of Atenolol.

Below is a list of symptoms:

Tachycardia (unexplained)

Shortness of Breath (severe at times, worse laying down)

Mysterious Red Skin Rashes On Arms

75 lbs Weight Loss (was once 250 lbs)

Extreme Dizziness

Intermittent Numbness

Vision Changes (nearly blind in left eye)


I suppose my main question is, could an elevated Cortisol level cause all of these symptoms out of no where?

Since this time, I have been trying to find ways to reduce the Cortisol (quit smoking, chewing), avoid caffiene, etc.

What could cause such a sudden increase in Cortisol production?

Best Regards,


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