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Addison's Disease Message Board

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Hi Dial,

I am so glad I saw your post because I was just going through my links deleting things!!

You need salt. LOTS AND LOTS of salt and please buy a blood pressure monitor and take your temps several times a day. See if your BP and temp has gotten lower.

You need to have your Aldosterone + Renin levels tested immediately. I have low aldosterone and cortisol and have the symptoms that you do. I am guessing you are going into shock when your episodes occur. I found a way to stop it IMMEDIATELY when it starts to happen. I sit right down on the floor and chug salt water and I carry salt water with me everywhere now.

I'm guessing that when you have your episodes- your BP and temp has nose-dived- that's what mine does but the salt makes me well. I can't even describe how good the salt water feels when I am sitting on the floor. I will be all shaky and my head is spinning and my legs are cramping up and the salt hits me within seconds and I will feel warmth go down my legs and I will get all tingly and warm and my head clears up and my legs relax and stop shaking.

And even when I'm not having an episode- I have zero energy and I have been a hyper person my whole life!! I honestly had the energy of 3 ppl up untila, year ago and coffee would make me Flyyyyyy!!! Now- coffee does nothing and I'm tired and weak all day long:( I wonder if sunlight is bothering you too like it is me- my eyes burn all the time from bright lights.

But you should make the salt water ahead of time and carry it with you because during the episodes- if you are like me- I can't control my hands very well. They get all sluggish and slow and I can't move my fingers good so making the drink is hard during an episode. Having a little sugar during the day is also important- so munch on raisins or something off and on all day.

And your Cortisol level is horrendous and the Dr that said you should be at least a 5 is an idiot Im sorry to say. Cortisol AND Aldosterone are Diurnal hormones. They should be at the top of the range in the morning and be at the bottom of the range in the evenings- that is how the Human body works. That's why we have energy in the mornings and not much energy in the evenings. Those levels should be like a ski-slope during the day- starting at their HIGHEST points at 8 am.

A normal cortisol test is usually 5-25- thats what my range was on my Lab sheets. You should be around 5 in the middle of the night when you are asleep!! You should be at the TOP of that range at 8 am- ideally 20-25.

Research Aldosterone please. It controls your electrolyte balance and salt+sugar levels and fluid in your body. Aldosterone also plays a part in muscle strength. It controls your BP too. Cortisol is equally important.

Low aldosterone + Low cortisol + High renin/Acth = Primary Adrenal Insuf./ Addisons
Low adlosterone + Low Cortisol + Low Renin/Acth = Secondary Adrenal insuff,/Pituitary gland problem

That's why it's so important to have your Renin and ACTH levels tested too- to see WHERE the problem lies- even though the treatment may be the same. There's lotsa things that cause Secondary Adrenal Insufficiency also- like kidney disease, liver disease, hypopituitarism, pituitary lesions/growths- so please research that too.

Here is a TON of links. The BEST advice I have been given is on the first link.

Aldosterone- webmd


Hormone linear chart

I am seeing an Endocrinologist- but he isn't very bright ( he performed the ACTH test wrong and doesn't order the correct blood tests) but I learned from that message board about the salt and some other things I can do to help myself.

Good luck to you. Please get all the information you can and request the tests you want done because Dr's are sadly not very good at diagnosing hormonal problems. Get copies of all your bloodwork too- they can't deny too them BTW. That way- you can research better on what you need for tests and medication.

Good luck and God bless and I'm sorry. It sucks being this tired and weak and shaky but the salt will let you function - at least it does with me until my Endo gets me on the correct meds.

Well I saw my endo, and she said my base Cortisol was at 11. This to me seems to be in the low normal range. Then after the ACTH test it went to 21. She stated that means your Adrenals are fine. The problem I have with that is the last two cortisol blood draws were at 2.3 and 2.9. they were both at a LAB. quick in and out. the ACTH was done at a hospital, and to say the least I was unconfortable and stressed to have to go to out patient and get an IV in my arm, which would explain my elevated Cortisol level. She said I only need to worry about my low testosterone of 199. I said my DHEA is low, if I take DHEA, wont that bring the Testosterone up? she stated no, I cant make DHEA without Testosterone and wants me to take the shot every two weeks. I'm not sure thats a smart move. Then I said what about my blood sugar issue? its been hitting 195 off just half a cup of soda! She sated there was no corilation between Low testosterone and glucose leves. I've read plenty that states other wise. Also Iv'e read plenty that low Cortisol and low DHEA has a direct effect on blood glucose. Im so frustrated and confused! please help any one!???

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