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Addison's Disease Message Board

Addison's Disease Board Index


I had a life changing illness this year that nearly took my life in July. Started off with a crushing headache which progressed to a fever, shaking chills, extreme confusion/lethargy and extremely low Blood Pressure. Sent to ER and given fluid resucitation which didn't help my low BP. Blood platelets were low as well as WBC count. Cortisol measured a 7 on the one occasion it was read. Sent to ICU and put on vasopressors and then in ICU for 1 week. Diagnosed as Septic Shock though no source was ever truly found. Looking back now, as i learn more, i'm wondering whether this could have been an adrenal crisis. What do you think?

After home from hospital my blood pressure never fully recovered. I was dizzy all the time, unable to drive a car, exercise intolerant, hypoglycemic, blood pressure readings ranging from 70-85/45-55. In a nutshell, very sick. Unable to work and barely able to manage my kids and household without lots of help.

In September (2 months later) I went to see an endocrinologist who ordered a cortisol blood level, which was 13.5. He did not feel it necessary to do a ACTH stim test to rule out AI/Addisons. He basically said I would be loosing weight if I had AI. I have lots of the symptoms like hyper pigmentation, lifelong low BP, episodes of shock level low BP and general fatigue.

(I remember one time in the past giving blood and having to spend the whole afternoon lying down at the donation center since i was passing out ever time i stood. Is that maybe another warning sign?)

That same month I met with an infectious disease doc who prescribed florinef, on the basis of my cortisol only being 7 during my illness. To him, that alone would confirm AI since being that sick is a time when cortisol should be high. Do you agree?

Lots of side effects with the Florinef, but the blood pressure finally came back and i was getting my life back...I weaned off it and was fine for one month drug free until a recent colonoscopy nearly sent me back to that horrible nightmare low BP state again. I was given twilight anesthesia and a routine colonoscopy. Upon waking my BP was 72/40 and I thought I would pass out. It took nearly 3 days for my BP to recover to a normal level again. That can't be normal, right?

I guess i'm wondering if you think this all sounds like I may have adrenal insufficiency. I've been checked out by a cardiologist who ruled out any heart issue.

Also, wondering...

*any others a normal weight with AI/Addisons?
*can you shed light on the difference between blood cortisol and urine or saliva readings. Which is the most accurate?

Thank you in advance for any thoughts you may have!!!!

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