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Addison's Disease Message Board

Addison's Disease Board Index

I recently had a 24hr urine collection done by an endo to measure my adrenal and thyroid function. When the results came back he told me I was fine. However upon talking to another doctor I know who isn't an endo but does specializes in hormone therapy, told me that I was practically in adrenal failure. Now I am not sure who to believe. Would any of you be willing to look at my labs and give me some sort of sense as to what they mean?

ACTH, Plasma 17.3pg/ml (reference 7.2-63.3)
Coritisol, Serum 14.3pg/ml (reference 2.3-19.4) (AM reference 6.2-19.4) (PM reference 2.3-11.9)
Cortisol, Urinary Free <1ug/l (reference undefined)
Cortisol, Urinary Free 24 hr <2ug/24hr (reference 0-50

I have multiple symptoms also. Severe fatigue, weakness, joint pain, headaches, low blood pressure, no appetite, vomit frequently especially in the mornings and sometime I continue to feel sick all day, low grade fevers, memory loss, irritability, abdominal issues, underskin rashes, weird skin color, low salt, low potassium, and sometimes I fight with the urge to just faint. I really can't find much info myself on these lab ranges especially because every lab is different. I have seem multiple different doctors to try and figure out whats going on with me. Right Now I am under the care of a rheumy and an infectious disesae specialist, however no one seems to be able to pinpoint exactly what is wrong with me. I would appreciate any thoughts or ideas anyone might have. Thank you all for listening.

We are in the United States. About a month ago, my 22-year old son was very ill and without health insurance, so he did not want to go to the hospital. We finally convinced him and after blood testing he was immediately hospitalized because his sodium levels were abnormally low and his potassium levels were high and he was experiencing orthostatic hypotension (when he stood up he became very dizzy because his heart rate elevated, but his blood pressure dropped significantly).

These are ALL symptoms of an "adrenal crisis," which untreated can be life threatening. Since my son did not want to seek medical help, I specifically asked every one of his doctors "How serious was this?" They ALL replied, "very serious; untreated it could be fatal."

(1) A simple blood test can confirm if your sodium and potassium levels are abnormal and

(2) A blood pressure comparision lying down and then after standing can confirm if you are experiencing orthostatic hypotension. These can easily be performed in an emergency room.

Acute adrenal crisis is a life-threatening condition that occurs when there is not enough cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal glands.

In adrenal crisis, patients need an immediate injection of hydrocortisone through a vein. or muscle (intramuscular). Also, stabilization of your sodium and potassium levels should be done slowly to prevent brain swelling.

You will need to go to the hospital for treatment and monitoring. If infection caused the crisis, you may need antibiotic therapy.

Just because someone has an "adrenal crisis" does not necessarily mean they have Addison's disease. BUT, a crisis can be the beginning of this disease, whether caused by heriditary reasons (autoimmune disorders) or caused by other "events" such as a virus, etc.

If you have any family or friends who can read this and help you, PLEASE share this with them. Persons in "adrenal crisis" or who have untreated Addison's disease are also affected psychologically -- their blood chemistry is so dangerously imbalanced these patients are unable to care for themselves or make important correct decisions. They are very confused, which appears to be the case, here. If you don't have anyone close, then please just go to the emergency room, as someone previously suggested. Your very life may be in danger.


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