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Addison's Disease Message Board

Addison's Disease Board Index

Hi All,
For those of you diagnosed with Addison's, have you always exhibited high potassium and low DHEA as many of the text books describe?

When I first started having problems about 3 years ago, routine blood tests identified low potassium levels and low-normal DHEA levels. The doctor's, however, didn't test my cortisol levels at the time.

It was recently discovered that my cortisol levels are low and ACTH is high and tests done at the same time showed high DHEA levels and low normal potassium.

I have an ACTH stim test scheduled for tomorrow which should help to explain the cortisol results, however, I can't make sense of the potassium and DHEA. Everything I have read about low cortisol references the risk of high potassium and low DHEA, not what I am seeing.

I was supplementing with DHEA (due to the early low DHEA results I had) so maybe I took too much. However, that doesn't exlpain the potassium.

If any of you have experienced similar issues I'd love to hear about it.

Alison :)

I am in the same boat. I have had a lot of work up and EVERYTHING points to adrenal fatigue. I read a book on it and it seems I am the "perfect" candidate for it.

What really throws me off is that my Potassium is low as well. My sodium is even a little high. My blood pressure does occassionally drop off, for instance after I work out, but typically it runs around 130/70. Those w/adrenal fatigue are said to have low blood pressure, hence the need for sodium and the typically high potassium found in the body.

The book, "Adrenal Fatigue - the 21st Century Stress Syndrome," by Dr. James Wilson does refer to a small group of people having AF w/high blood pressure. To me this equals low potassium and high sodium.

One thing I have researched and I am going to discuss with my endo is the potential for my body to be over producing Aldosterone, which is controlled by the adrenals and would cause the conservation of sodium and and secretion of potassium in the body.

I did try adding more salt to my diet...nothing extreme because at this point a extreme reaction would send me to the hospital, and it definitely didn't help me out. Now I'm trying to increase my potassium through a higher food source intake to see how that affects me.

Do you urinate a lot? Are you thirsty alot?

Let us know how you are doing and what you found out in the last 6 months. I hope you are doing well.

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