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Old 11-17-2005, 01:35 PM   #9
skcoffman skcoffman is offline
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Re: How do I know how far along my adrenal insufficiency is?

I was like you...misdiagnosed and sick. In fact, the doctors said it was arthritis. I took tylenol until my head was dizzy, no relief. This was the early stage. In 1986, I began to sleep most of the time. I would sit and think I needed to get up, but couldn't move because of no energy. I finally went to an internist. He put me in the hospital for tests and I began vomiting and freezing. I was poked and prodded, until someone did an adrenal stimulation test...zip, zero, nada...very little function. I was given predinisone, salt tablets, and synthryoid, because I now had a name...Schmidt's disease.

I did pretty well for 5 years if you can call blowing up like a balloon - good. I had another stimulation test and was transferred to cortisone because it was "less dangerous then the predinisone".

I didn't have enough stress to have much trouble until 2002, then I had two surgeries to remove thyroid cancer. I have had more trouble since. I keep Gatorade at all times and enough medicine to take more if I suddenly get the chills, fevers, joint pain, vomiting, or diarrhea that strikes suddenly and without warning. I have had the pigmented skin and white patches, dry itchy skin, depression, and salt cravings for 20 years. It's really been a "fun" disease, but I am still alive.

I would suggest you find someone to do an adrenal stimulation test. It should be done in a hospital setting, because it has to be precisely done, chilled, and sent to whatever lab does them. Addison's disguises itself as a number of other diseases. Good luck on finding help. It is out there if you can make someone do the tests.
SK