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Addison's Disease Message Board

Addison's Disease Board Index

Ok, here is my symptom list:

[*]Difficulty handling daily or excessive stress
[*]General feeling of weakness and being tired
[*]Taking longer then previously to get over illness or heal
[*]Rarely feel rested in the morning after 7 hours sleep, (getting out of bed in the morning is frequently a Hurculean task)
[*]Panic attacks / hyperventilation / heart palpitations / feeling like someone is standing on my chest during times of great sudden stress
[*]Inability to exercize or perform strenuous physical activity without it making me much weaker for a day or more (used to run Cross Country / Track in High School, but something suddenly changed where I couldn't breathe during my normal running pace and it's never been same since)
[*]Symptoms frequenty get worse around 3:00p-4:00p
[*]Frequent problems with mind wandering / excessive daydreaming / feeling drowsy if reading, driving, or being mentally inactive for over 20 minutes
[*]Problems with focus, short-term memory, concentration, etc, (even though my IQ has been clocked in the low 150's)
[*]Frequent bouts of depression and hopelessness
[*]Recent labido issues and low-to-no motivation or drive
[*]Don't enjoy things or activities I used to enjoy
[*]Impared social skills and awareness, emotional distress in most social activities, little / no social life or friends
[*]Mild psychotic episodes (usually goes along with the depression / hopelessness where I can't find a way out and it all comes caving in, but there are no physical outbursts and I still have a pretty good grip on reality)
[*]Work performance has gone down the drain. Basically, I'm in "Zombie" mode most of the time where my body is there, but I'm next to useless
[*]Occasional headaches, or light-headedness / dizziness (sometimes when still just sitting down)
[*]Unable to finish college because of a learning disability probably related to all of the above

Basically, I'm dead in the mornings. My head feels like it's full of Jell-o, and my body usually overrides my need to get out of bed. We need to get my daughter off to school in the morning, but my wife has both Lyme Disease and (under treated) Hypothyroidism, so it's pretty much up to me to get the family going in the mornings. (If I don't wake up early to get my wife her pain meds, she's not able to get out of bed).

There are occasionally days where I'm clear headed and semi able to function, but I spend those days mainly wondering at what time of the day it will all come back. We have yet to find any rhyme or reason for the temporary remission or the up/downs, (and it doesn't fit Bi-Polar I, II, or Rapid-Cycling).

I have no stamina, drive, career sense, and during times of stress or challenge I "lose it" and have panic attacks instead of "stepping up". Motivation at work/home is basically gone, because it doesn't matter how much I may happen to succeed it won't change my health, so why use more of my dwindling energy stores trying?

It's been like this as long as I can remember, but recently with both my Daughter and Son starting to show signs of the same social / emotional / mental markers I did when I was a kid. I now have to deal with the stress of knowing they'll probably end up the same way when they hit adulthood, on top of dealing with my health and my wife's disability, (and the strain our relationship takes from all the stress).

No smoking / no alcohol / no drugs / no coffee or caffinated drinks / no credit-card debt / no console video games / no unhealthy obsessions, and we try to eat healthy home cooked meals with very few fast-food trips, (and even then we only order small portions - no combos or Happy Meals). I am probably too inactive, but anytime I try to exercise I just end up almost fainting from anything over a gentle pace, and I feel weak for the next day or two, (and my GP still insists the answer is that I need to exercise more). :(

I have an abnormal ACTH Stim test (more then doubled but still under 20), flattened Cortisol daily rhythm, and elevated ACTH vs. Cortisol, as well as Low T, Low FSH, Low LH, and Thyroid results that look like something is blocking my T3 from being absorbed, (but still in the normal range, and not HypoT or HyperT). I also have abnormal Pregnenolone, DHEA-s, and IGF-1, so my Endo is confused and convinced that my labs are flukes and probably thinks it's all in my head. (I frequently see a Shrink w/ the wife, and he's yet to tell me I'm crazy, so I doubt it's all cognative based especially since my kids, Father, and some siblings show similar mental traits).

So, does that sound like something that would need some leave to seek treatment and keep it all from crashing down?
When the pituitary is failing it can go through periods of over production trying to compensate for the previous low values. My ACTH would sometimes be high normal, my blood cortisol was always normal, as was my IGF-1. However hormones are in constant flux driving values high and low throughout the day and they interact with each other.

In my case when I had the insulin induced hypoglycemia tests (ITT) it was inconclusive three times. On the fourth try the test clearly showed I had almost no growth hormone, no sex hormones and zero adrenal reserve. All that despite "normal" blood values during the day (except thyroid).

You can't base a diagnosis on simple blood tests. If you are having unusual symptoms and strange hormone responses then the ITT is the only way to determine if your pituitary is functioning with a normal reserve.

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