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Addison's Disease Message Board

Addison's Disease Board Index

I urge you not to let your BP get below 90 systolic (the top number). A systolic of 63 is not compatible with life for 99% of the population! When you go below 90 your vital organs are not getting properly perfused, the brain, the heart, and the kidneys. It's no wonder you are exhausted after a week of work! I know you said your financial situation is not the best, but you must consider that if you wait too long you would begin to have other issues, heart failure, kidney failure, not to mention accidents that could happen when you are hypoglycemic. Please be careful! The next time your BP gets that low and you are dazed and confused like you were, you seriously need to get yourself to the emergency room! Now that I have scared you to bits...

Ask your MD to order the ACTH Stim test and ensure it is done first thing in the morning by a laboratory that knows what it is doing. It can be a tricky test if not done correctly. Your MD can also do a baseline, random Coritsol, but I trust this less, because what the body produces goes through such a pendulum swing that the 'results' have a wide range of normal. The Coritsol result does not take into account the time of day. In the am you should have a Cortisol level closer to 20, but the lab says a level of 6 is OK. If the MD had just checked my Cortisol in the am they would have seen a result of 5 and thought I was kind of low and not worried about it. With the ACTH stim test they were able to see that my body had very little reaction and saw that I had a serious problem. If you aren't aware (ignore this if you know this already!), the ACTH Stim test tests a baseline cortisol first, then they inject you with a precursor hormone which stimulates the adrenal glands to respond. They then draw your blood 30, 60, and 90 minutes after the IV injection to see if your adrenals truly did respond. This test is the best diagnostic tool for Adrenal Insufficiency that I know of. A normal result would be a nice bell curve reaction, usually in 30 minutes you see a double number from the baseline cortisol, or well above 20. Then it should taper down nicely and gradually come down. Mine went from 5 to 9 to 7 to 5. My endocrinologist called this a flat reaction. It showed I had some response, but not enough to survive on a daily basis. I hope you find some answers soon, for it sounds like you need it!

Please do take care of yourself! I'll be praying for you! :wave:

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