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Addison's Disease Message Board


Addison's Disease Board Index


Hey everyone! :yawn: (I'm sorry this is sooooo long)

I have a never ending fatigue, and stiff neck. This all started when I went through a series of stressful event (Got married, bought my first house, totaled my car, got into financial trouble, changed jobs) all within 6 months.

The Fatigue started in Sept of 2005. I started to notice that I was yawning more, and my strength in weights was going down. I worked out 6 days a week. I ate 6-7 meals a day containing only healthy proteins, fats and carbs. I would eat tons of veggies, and drink TONS of water daily. I didn't smoke, drink, or do drugs. I had lost of 90lbs, and was on my way to have a very nice body. Until..... January of this year.

I noticed more and more, when I got off work, that I just wanted to sleep, instead of lift weight. I didn't want to even get off the couch. I thought it was an electrolyte imbalance, at first. This went on for another 6 weeks, until I couldn't workout anymore. I went to the doctor to have some bloodwork ran, because things just didn't seem right. I thought I had Mono, or something.

Well, before getting my results, I took a vacation to sunny Florida. I was there for 5 days, and I enjoyed every bit of it. I didn't stress out, or think about bills. On the last day, I started to notice that I was feeling better. This got better day after day. 3 days after being home, I was 100% energized!!! I could lift weights, my strengh was back.... It was awesome! :blob_fire Until.... 3 days after that. I started feeling run down, and drained again. Of course, I spun into a little depressions, and started eating nothing but junk food for the past 6 months. As you can imagine, I've gained a lot of weight back. When I saw the doctor for my lab results after returning from Florida, they were all normal. No mono, not anemic, liver/thyroid/Cholest.... EVERYTHING WAS PERFECT. My doctor told me I was a text book of health.

I'll list everything I've done so far at the bottom, but the only thing that showed problems was my Saliva test. Here are the results

DHEA-S 3.8 --------- Normal ranges are between 3-10.

This is my Cortisol levels

Morning (3.8) ---- Normal range is 3-10
Noon (0.9) ---- Normal range is 2-4
Evening (0.1) ---- Normal range is 1-2
Night (0.1) ---- Normal range is 0.5-1.5

I'm tired from the minute I wake, until the minute I fall asleep. It worse in the evening. I've tried just about every supplement possible. I'm taking Isocort now, along with Vitamin C, B6, B5, Mag, Multi, DHEA, B12, E. I've been eating a very healthy diet, and trying to exercise daily for 20-30 minutes. I get atleast 8 hours of sleep a night.

I have an endo appt on Jan 22nd. I'm going to have her run as many tests as possible. I'm seeing my PCP this thursday, showing her these results, and asking to be placed on Cortef. She's a DO, so I'm hoping this will happen.

Has anyone seen results this low? Do you recommend Cortef? Isocort isn't doing anything for me, been taking it for 5 weeks now.


Here is what I've tests/been tested for.


-Blood tests : EBV/CMV, standard blood panel, Lyme disease
-EKG and 24H Heart rate monitor
-Pulminary chamber test for lungs
-Accpuncture
-Therapy : 3 different types of SSRI's (Paxil, Effexor, and Prozac)
-Mold tests in home. Normal readings, house in great condition
-Allergy test (skin injections) common and foods 1 and 2
-Sleep study
-Dietary change (Multiple times)
-Quit using aspertame
-Candidia cleanse
-Humaworm (dewormer)
-Saliva Test : 4 x's Coritsol and DHEA-S
Here are the tests you need. Don't start a steriod replacement without a firm diagnosis. For me yawning was a sign of low cortisol.

Be sure they do the ACTH stim test correctly. Keep an eye on your level of DHEA. Not good to get too much. Also some brands of DHEA replacement do not work.


Diagnostic Testing for Addison's Disease

TEST 1: Electrolyte profile:

OBJECT: To determine if the patient exhibits a normal serum (blood) sodium and potassium levels.

THE TEST: A blood draw followed by automated determination of sodium and potassium levels as well as other standard blood markers.

NORMAL RESULT (will vary somewhat from lab to lab): Sodium 135-150 mEq/L; Potassium 3.5-5.2 mEq/L

PRIMARY ADDISONIAN: Will show significantly below normal values of sodium and a elevated (above normal) levels of potassium.

REASON FOR ABNORMALITY: Low or no production of aldosterone from the adrenal cortex. This steroidal hormone regulates our mineral balance and is called a mineralocorticoid. Primary Addisonians lose sodium and retain potassium. Abnormal values here, in additon to physical signs and symptoms, require the next test.


TEST 2: The ACTH stimulation test:

OBJECT: To determine if the patient's adrenal glands can respond to the ACTH message from the pituitary to increase cortisol production in the adrenal cortex.

THE TEST: The test is usually given first thing in the morning when normal cortisol levels are highest. Blood is withdrawn from the patient to establish a baseline (No instructions regarding necessity for fasting). The patient is given 250 micrograms (ug) of ACTH (Cortrosyn, Cosyntropin, or Synacthen) by injection in saline at one time. Blood is drawn at 30 minutes and/or 60 minutes and the serum cortisol level is determined.

NORMAL RESULTS: Normal pre-injection levels of cortisol are 5-25 ug/dL (138-690 nmol/L). The value should double at 30-60 minutes with a minimum of 20 ug/dL (552 nmol/L). PRIMARY ADDISONIAN: There will be no or little increase in cortisol levels upon ACTH injection. Notes: It is stated in several places that a single test of cortisol levels, or even 24 h urinary levels of cortisol and its metabolites, are NOT DIAGNOSTIC! In the normal individual cortisol levels are seen to pulse. Low cortisol production in either the serum or the urine after ACTH stimulation is diagnostic of Addisons disease.

SECONDARY ADDISONIAN (Pituitary malfunction): Low cortisol production can be seen if the patient has "functional adrenal cortical atrophy" due to prolonged absence of normal ACTH secretion. This type of patient would not show the typical hyper-pigmentation of primary Addisons.

REASON FOR ABNORMALITY: Due to autoimmune, or other destruction of enzymatic (biocatalytic) machinery of the adrenal gland, there is no response to ACTH and no production of cortisol and other adrenal steroids necessary for life. If this test gives normal results and the patient has other signs and symptoms then one of the following tests is required.





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