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Old 09-01-2008, 08:52 AM   #5
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Re: dark skin pigment with addisons

I couldn't help answer to this post.
I was JUST watching a program yesterday on t.v. that was about misdiagnosis mysteries and how these people who suffered with different illness's took so long to be diagnosed.
one of the woman happened to have addison's disease. it all started with her feeling exhausted all the time. anytime she felt in a comfortable position, she'd fall asleep. when she got home from work, she'd sit on the reclining chair in the living room and go right to sleep. she started losing weight. the dr. blamed it on stress and didn't even do a cbc panel on her.
the next dr she went to did the same thing.
then she started getting new symptoms. her skin looked like it was tan.
then her vision went bad and blurry.
she was craving salt. she'd eat pickles, she's eat chips of salt, (sea salt) right out of a bowl.

long story, shortened, when she was at work and her vision became blurred, she told her boss she had to go for help and that she felt sick. she called her son, son brought her to ER. they basically told her the same thing the other two dr's told her, but they finally did the blood work. sent her home, told her they'd call her with the results. she recieved a phone call to come back to the ER ASAP, because her heart muscle could just pop at any time due to an extremely high potassium level.
the kidneys had to work harder to get rid of the high levels which in turn, pigmented her skin like it was tan.
then they did the ACTH? level and found out more things. which led to her having addrenal insuffiency. they gave her medicine which she'd have to be on the rest of her life and she said she felt better almost immediately after being put on medication. AT the end of the show, they said she died in Oct. of 2007 due to other complications that had nothing to do with the addisons disease.
I was stunned to see what this poor woman and her husband went thru all that wasted time. I understand that this type of disease is rare and was even rarer when my mother in law was diagnosed with it back in the early 60's.

she had the same symptoms and almost died too because doctors were not familiar with this disease back then. she's on medication the rest of her life now.

they call the yellowing, jaundice, don't they?

I'm confused now. I thought yellowing had to do with the liver, not the kidneys. but on the t.v. show, they said it was her kidneys doing it because of such high potassium levels.