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Old 12-08-2005, 07:53 PM   #1
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clarification please?

Hi all! I have never posted here, usually post in the Fibromyalgia board. My story is that doctors aren't really positive what I have but they think it might be FMS. I came to this board because I remember my history teacher saying that FDR had Addison's so I thought I'd check it out..lol. Anyway, I noticed that a few of the people who have posted here have brought up FM and so I was just wondering what exactly Addison's is and if it can be misdiagnosed as FM for some reason? I saw something about an "Addisonian Crisis" and it kinda sounded like when I ended up in the hospital over the summer but not sure... I got really lightheaded and could barely walk or stay conscious yadda yadda but wouldn't they have probably noticed something pointing to an Addisonian crisis?
Thank you for any help!
~kelley

 
Old 12-09-2005, 09:39 PM   #2
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Re: clarification please?

Kelley, Addison's can be diagnosed as many other things including CFS and fibro. It would be a good idea to ask your doc to test your adrenals, preferably with ACTH stimulation test. If your doc won't do the test,then go to an osteopath as they are terrific with the adrenals, thyroid too hypothyroid is common in low cortisol).


Quote:
Originally Posted by kelley_bsb
Hi all! I have never posted here, usually post in the Fibromyalgia board. My story is that doctors aren't really positive what I have but they think it might be FMS. I came to this board because I remember my history teacher saying that FDR had Addison's so I thought I'd check it out..lol. Anyway, I noticed that a few of the people who have posted here have brought up FM and so I was just wondering what exactly Addison's is and if it can be misdiagnosed as FM for some reason? I saw something about an "Addisonian Crisis" and it kinda sounded like when I ended up in the hospital over the summer but not sure... I got really lightheaded and could barely walk or stay conscious yadda yadda but wouldn't they have probably noticed something pointing to an Addisonian crisis?
Thank you for any help!
~kelley

 
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Old 12-11-2005, 10:42 AM   #3
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Re: clarification please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kelley_bsb
Hi all! I have never posted here, usually post in the Fibromyalgia board. My story is that doctors aren't really positive what I have but they think it might be FMS.
What symptoms do you have? Some related to addisons include: fatigue, morning backache that goes away as the day progresses, weight loss/gain, muscle pains mostly in your legs, reduced exercise capacity, memory problems, frequent infections (ear/nose/sinus/throat), skin darkening (only some people have this), vision changes, and periods of great energy followed by great fatigue.

 
Old 12-12-2005, 09:39 PM   #4
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Re: clarification please?

Well if I were describe my symptoms they would be exactly what you have just said. My backache and leg aches are usually really bad when I first wake up but sometimes they will come back if I have been carying a backpack or been sitting in a position too long. I don't have darkening of the skin..well, the knuckles on my toes are always kinda dark reddish but a lot of times my feet turn massively purple. I do tend to get infections a lot. I definitely can not exercise anywhere to the same amount I used to be able to *tear* and my weight changes all the time. My doctor thought I was hypothyroid but did more tests and it was ruled out. My fatigue on a daily basis is pretty bad. Sometimes I will randomly feel fine but then other times (the extreme extreme end) I can't even walk at all and once ended up in the hospital. I also have trouble sleeping at night, though this hasn't been as bad lately but it doesn't matter how much sleep i get I feel the same. Umm, I have been diagnosed with TMJ when I was having headaches.. sometimes I get bad stomach cramps or spike a fever for no reason at all, usually after over-exertion (after I tried to swim at Districts I got a fever of 103 for a few days and felt TERRIBLE)
Does this sound like anything and would any of my blood tests so far have shown something signifying addison's?
Thanks!
Kelley

 
Old 12-12-2005, 09:54 PM   #5
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Re: clarification please?

Oh yeah, I also have troubles with my brain, I easily forget things and sometimes will suddenly become very confused and like, get lost going to my own house or forget my own middle name or something stupid like that.. I can't think of anything else at the moment but there is probably more
~Kelley

 
Old 12-13-2005, 09:06 AM   #6
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Re: clarification please?

Sounds like adrenal insufficiency more than Addison's. You need a provocative test to confirm this condition, ordinary blood tests are not sufficient.

 
Old 12-13-2005, 02:52 PM   #7
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Re: clarification please?

I thought that adrenal insufficiency was the same thing as Addison's... ? Oh, I also sweat a lot, but that has been going on for about three or four years, before lots of the other stuff so I don't know if there's any connection
~Kelley

Last edited by kelley_bsb; 12-13-2005 at 02:58 PM.

 
Old 12-13-2005, 04:07 PM   #8
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Re: clarification please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kelley_bsb
I thought that adrenal insufficiency was the same thing as Addison's... ? Oh, I also sweat a lot, but that has been going on for about three or four years, before lots of the other stuff so I don't know if there's any connection
~Kelley
Addison's is caused by a failure of the adrenal glands. Adrenal insufficiency can be caused by either adrenal gland loss or a pititary problem. You will have to have some tests to figure out which.

And yes, excessive sweating, sweaty hands and recurring night sweats are a symptoms of adrenal insufficiency as well. Low blood pressure upon standing is also common, so you may find yourself dizzy after standing up quickly.

 
Old 12-13-2005, 07:27 PM   #9
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Re: clarification please?

Hmm, I do find myself dizzy sometimes when I stand up and when I am at my worst I will black out pretty bad from standing..
So what do I do? Just call up my doctor and ask that they do more bloodwork? Should I ask for a specific test or just ask if they could check my adrenal levels or something?
~Kelley
P.S. Thanks for all of the help and information!

 
Old 12-14-2005, 08:09 AM   #10
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Re: clarification please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kelley_bsb
So what do I do? Just call up my doctor and ask that they do more bloodwork?

1. Below is a list of the most common symptoms of adrenal insufficiency (AS). Check off the ones you have and provide details (how long a problem, how severe, when does it happen, how often this week...don't over state the situation because it will just make doctors more skeptical). Then take the list to the doc and say I'm concern because I have so many of these symptoms. Remember you won't have all symptoms or all the time, just most of them most of the time. In my case, I felt absolute great some days but other days I could hardly get out of bed. I blamed my wife, my job, my dog, my family, every one and every thing, except of course me! If you watch carefully, you feel worse after days of maximum stress (illness, physical activity, mental stress).

Weight loss
Muscle weakness
Fatigue
Low blood pressure,
Hyperpigmentation
Nausea
Vomiting
Diarrhea
Orthostatic hypotension (lower standing blood pressure)
Dizziness
Fainting
Coldness
Irritability
Mood changes
Lethargy
Depression
Weight loss/gain
Wasting
Anorexia (appetite loss)
Craving salty foods
Amenorrhea
Irregular menstrual periods
Hypoglycemia
Underarm hair loss
Excessive sweating
Morning back pain that slowly goes away through the day
Dificulty waking up in the morning and feeling fatigued even after a long sleep

2. ACTH Stimulation Test

This is the most specific test for diagnosing AS. In this test, blood cortisol, urine cortisol, or both are measured before and after a synthetic form of ACTH is given by injection. The normal response after an injection of ACTH is a rise in blood and urine cortisol levels. People with either form of adrenal insufficiency respond poorly or do not respond at all.

You can't diagnose AS by an ordinary blood test for cortisol, although that's the first test doctors will do because it's cheap. In my case I always had normal cortisol levels but my adrenal reserve was zero, so when I was feeling good, things were great, but when I got sick or stressed, things got very bad. Only a stimulation test can detect AS.

3. Keep a daily diary of how you feel, physical symptoms and your mood. Only then will you be able to convince most doctors you are serious.

4. Remember, many other diseases also have many of these symptoms so be open minded. Addison's is rare, so it's unlikely you have it. But if you do, it can be very hard to diagnose because of the weird list of symptoms.

5. Adrenal insufficiency is made worse by low thyroid. You mentioned having you thyroid checked, I suggest having it checked again. Also, if you are having any fluid leaking from your breasts or breast tenderness, you need to have a blood test for prolactin (sometimes associated with adrenal insufficency).

6. If you do have AS you can suddenly go into shock, which is a life threatening situation for someone withl AS. Look up the symptoms of an Addison's Crisis, and if you suddenly have those symptoms, get to a hospital. Many AS people have died from a lack of prompt action. An Addison's crisis is so rare that most doctors don't think of it or even remember it from their school days, so don't count on your doctor to recognize what is going on.

Last edited by orion; 12-14-2005 at 08:20 AM.

 
Old 12-14-2005, 01:13 PM   #11
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Re: clarification please?

Well I finally switched to a doctor who believes that I am having some serious problems but she has been trying to get me into a Fibromyalgia ward of a rheumatology clinic that is very good because she believes that I have Fibromyalgia (most of the things on your list are common symptoms for me but also occur with Fibromyalgia). If I have AS or something of the sort, what is done to fix a crisis? I'm assuming that if this is what I have then when I ended up in the hospital was a 'crisis' but I started feeling better after a few hours of being hooked to an IV, does that sound right?
You listed irregular menstrual periods as a symptom, does this include having them just not bleeding very much? Because my periods are fairly regular I just find that they are extremely extremely light (have mentioned this to my doctor)
Also, what exactly is considered low blood pressure? I think my blood pressure when last checked was something around 110/60-something but don't know what that means, all I know is the top is systollic and the bottom is diastolic which means nothing to me..
Again, thank you so much for helping me out and sharing your knowledge with me as I am fairly lost in all this!
~Kelley

P.S. If it helps shed light on anything, I am currently in one of my periods of not feeling so great. I skipped school today because I feel so bad. My temperature has stayed at 100 and above and i'm sweating a lot (armpits as well as hands). When I got home yesterday I took a three hour nap, ate some dinner, then went back to bed and have been in bed most of today.

Last edited by kelley_bsb; 12-14-2005 at 04:09 PM.

 
Old 12-14-2005, 07:59 PM   #12
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Re: clarification please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kelley_bsb
Well I finally switched to a doctor who believes that I am having some serious problems but she has been trying to get me into a Fibromyalgia ward of a rheumatology clinic that is very good because she believes that I have Fibromyalgia (most of the things on your list are common symptoms for me but also occur with Fibromyalgia). If I have AS or something of the sort, what is done to fix a crisis? I'm assuming that if this is what I have then when I ended up in the hospital was a 'crisis' but I started feeling better after a few hours of being hooked to an IV, does that sound right?
You listed irregular menstrual periods as a symptom, does this include having them just not bleeding very much? Because my periods are fairly regular I just find that they are extremely extremely light (have mentioned this to my doctor)
Also, what exactly is considered low blood pressure? I think my blood pressure when last checked was something around 110/60-something but don't know what that means, all I know is the top is systollic and the bottom is diastolic which means nothing to me..
Again, thank you so much for helping me out and sharing your knowledge with me as I am fairly lost in all this!
~Kelley

P.S. If it helps shed light on anything, I am currently in one of my periods of not feeling so great. I skipped school today because I feel so bad. My temperature has stayed at 100 and above and i'm sweating a lot (armpits as well as hands). When I got home yesterday I took a three hour nap, ate some dinner, then went back to bed and have been in bed most of today.
I'm not sure there is such a thing as Fibromyalgia, I think its just people with undiagnosed hormone problems. The doctors don't know what to do so they lump them in that category. I also was suspected of having Fibromyalgia and went to the Rheumatology clinic for tests.

An AS crisis is resolved by giving hydrocortisone. You could recover on your own if your adrenal glands have not yet shut down completely. If they are completely gone, you have a very short time to get medication.

Not bleeding much compared to before would fall under the category of irregular periods. If that is the case then I think you have to start considering the possibility you have something wrong with your pituitary, which might include a brain tumor (not as scary as it sounds but still serious enough...this is what I had).

Have you had any recent blows to the head, been in a serious car accident or had sudden intense headaches, stronger than anything you have ever had before that then resolves itself? Do you have any vision problems? Loss of night vision, changes in color vision or loss of peripheral vision?

100/60 is on the lowish side of blood pressure, depending on your weight and height and physical condition. Has it ever been lower, like 90/50? If so, that's getting low.

 
Old 12-14-2005, 09:06 PM   #13
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Re: clarification please?

I don't have a brain tumor, that I can say for sure, I had a CAT scan as well as an MRI ironically because I was having severe frequent headaches and confusional states (a little over a year ago-this is when I began seeking medical attention and kinda when everything really started).
I'm not sure if my blood pressure has every been lower than this.. I'm really small, about 5'1" and usually around 105 pounds plus or minus five pounds. Should this make my blood pressure higher or lower?
Oh, and is there any reason why having AS or w/e would cause me to start getting lipomas (benign fatty tumors)? Because I have a lot of them and never had them before all of these problem.

 
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