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Addison's Disease Message Board

Addison's Disease Board Index

Nick, have you looked into taking DHEA? Did they test your DHEA levels when you had your cortisol and Testosterone levels checked, usually it is checked the same time. I also have been told that I am pre-diabetic, I have insulin resistance. All these things were checked at the same time, I have low cortisol, DHEA, progesterone, estrogen. My endo has put me on Cortef, pregnenolone and DHEA. I was afraid to take the DHEA at first because I am a woman, and didn't want to end up with a hairy face, but you being a man it is a perfectly safe thing for you to take and it will raise your testosterone levels. There are also things that you can do on your own to help with your dizziness and fatigue, follow a diabetic diet, you don't have to follow it to the tee, but alot of it is helpful. the Mountain Dew must go!! You will end up with diabetes if you continue to drowned your body in this toxic substance, the sugar and caffeine constantly being put into your body is causing your adrenals to work overtime and wearing them down. Also, white flour, sugar, noodles, white rice, it is best to avoid them completely, they are empty carbs. I know it's almost impossible to completely take these things out of your diet, but try to avoid them as much as possible. Eat mostly protein for breakfast, that means NO DOUGHNUTS, no pun intended!! LOL, have a breakfast burrito made with a corn tortilla, or McDonalds has a breakfast platter that is eggs and sausage, you guys get a discount or something right? Just don't eat that hashbrown thing, UHG!! I'm trying to think of things that you can eat while on patrol other than the basic hamburgers and fries. I know how hard it is for police officers to be able to have a good healthy meal. I used to own a graphic design co. with 2 officers, and my brother in-law is a sherrif's deputy. You guys work so hard and spend your lunches and dinners in the car, plus the rotating shifts make things hard too. But all this fast food will just make you worse. If you are put on meds but you don't adjust your diet it will not help you. there are alot of books out there that have info about what should be eaten and what to avoid, one real good book is "adrenal fatigue the 21st century stress syndrome" by James Wilson. Also take probiotics, you possibly have candida overgrowth in you intestinal track from all the Mountain Dew. You can buy this OTC. And when you get up in the morning drink some sea salt water, this will help replenish the sodium that your body loses with the low cortisol. Have you had your thyroid checked? Hope this was of some help. And good luck with everything. Sarah
DIAL/Nick, how are you doing? It's been a month or so. Hope you're still able to hang in there.

Regarding the salt recommendations, let me vote for that too. I still have trouble drinking salt water, so I add it to my food (which I never did for 30 years) and take salt tablets with meals. Along the lines of what earlier posters state, the carbs often call me, and when salt calls me as well, I reach for salty corn chips, etc... which take me into that carb cycle. Salting food and taking the salt tablets helps stem those cravings. I am also taking 0.2mg Florinef and that's taken my AM BP way up to a 108/78 average (still too low for a 6'1" 220# male).

My MD (who is an internist and is very helpful but amateur on the adrenals) ordered hair mineral analysis, and I'll have to say it's right on with testing the minerals pertinent to the adrenals, analyzing levels and ratios and making recommendations. Right now she has me on 40mg cortef (25/10/5), 120mg pregnenolone, 0.2mg florinef and a 2 sprays of sublingual DHEA (we started out lower but slowly and carefully increased as indicated by my response or lack thereof). With all that I wear a MedicAlert tag for Adrenal Insufficiency.

My blood sugar does the same as what you're describing, and it is tied to adrenal function. You can hope along with me that once your adrenals are treated and stable your own insulin will work better. Until then, do as everyone else already posted - eliminate those simple carbs and sugars. Have you tried stevia as a sweetener? Some brands leave a bitter aftertaste, others are quite usable.

Thanks Nexis for that tip on how to find a knowledgable endo. I still feel I need the next step in my 15-year decline and search for a doctor who can figure out root cause and stabilize treatment. Of course, one of the top docs listed when I searched was the CEO of a Dallas Endo group and he's the one that wouldn't listen to me, spoke down to me and told me that "nobody is salt deficient," that it's all in my head that I feel better taking salt tabs. But this gives me a lead to find a Dr that might have a clue.

Good morning DIAL,
I don't know how far you can get with this, or how fast, without med insurance. Ouch!
1. You've got to get the candida under control. Diet will get you only so far... you'll probably need some anti-fungal(s) too. But as mentioned by others, cut out not only the sugars but also simple carbs, which are converted quickly to sugar. Stick to eggs, peanut butter, simple meats, nuts, etc. Careful with juices too. Eat tart fruits (strawberries, blueberries, granny smith apples), not sweet.
2. If you haven't already, learn more about the hormone cascade that starts with cholesterol, pregnenolone, cortisol, DHEA and many others. What the doctors need to figure out is what you're low on and why... where the process is breaking down and where supplementation makes sense. Is your cholesterol high? normal? low? If it's low (mine was 119 total at one point), your body might not have the raw materials to produce hormones.
3. Get your thyroid results from that doctor... the numbers. Have them mail you a copy with the lab results. "Normal" can mean almost anything. Then read up on how the reference ranges are determined. Keep in mind that adrenals and thyroid are related... not always, but many forum members have issues with both.
4. The cortisol levels you mentioned do seem low (keep in mind... I'm not a Dr, nor are most or all in this group). That alone could really kick you. But I remember when my MD looked at my cortisol levels (saliva test, in my case), she looked at me and said I was in the bottom 5 percentile... that anybody she's seen that low can't get out of bed or get to work. Pushing myself through a 45-workweek, I suddenly went from feeling guilty, lazy and wondering if it's "all in my head" to feeling pretty heroic for pulling off what I was doing. If your naturopath is your main medical consultant at this time, see what kind of supplementation you should do. DHEA makes sense to me, and also something to support your adrenal function would seem in order. Perhaps also pregnenolone, which you can get at a health food store. But be careful here, research it yourself and take expert advice, not just my post!
5. Salt. If you're blacking out and feeling real weak, AND if your BP is low, add extra salt. You may already be craving it. IF you're not craving it, or if your BP is high, do not do this. For me it took florinef (generic = fludrocortisone) to finally lick the blackouts.
6. Do everything you can to get quality sleep. If you're not sleeping well, your body is not able to repair itself.
7. Hot baths! Especially if you're prone to picking up colds or infections, I feel a regular, daily artificial fever is good for a body. Fill the tub at 105F, and you'll end up with about a 102F "fever" for about an hour to kill the bugs. btw - what is your temp, and is it steady or variable? That can help you pinpoint adrenal or thyroid issues. Track with a "metabolic temperature graph." One school of thought says that a low body temp is indicative of thyroid issues, whereas a body temp that bounces up and down is indicative of adrenal issues.
8. Exercise, but gingerly. I've worked back up to a 20 minute walk, but no more yet. I'm 52 and should still be able to run/jog. Even hand-washing my car is too strenuous for me, reducing me to a quivering blob of protoplasm (or so it feels).
9. Make sure you get some sunlight. I get Seasonal Affective Disorder down here in Texas of all places, because when I'm feeling that way, I tend to stay indoors.
10. "Hakuna Matata." De-stress. Do whatever you can to calm the body, reduce the noise, the pounding rhythms, etc.. If you're type A like me, that one's real difficult.

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