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Addison's Disease Message Board
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Old 06-18-2011, 12:07 PM   #1
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Sam7777 HB User
Not sure if I have Addison's - Need Opinions

I have been feeling gradually worse the last 8 years. I have a wide range of symptoms and different issues, but one thing seems to really stand out, and that is that I have more symptoms similar to Addison's than anything else. It may very well not be, but if that is the case it is very very likely endocrine related and similar.

I am trying to research information and tests that I need to be familiar with as well as medication, so that I will be properly informed should I decide to go to an endocrinologist. I do not have insurance, and it will be very very costly and difficult to find a reputable one in my area. Most likely I would have to go to Houston. I do not want to do this without more information. I am aware that I will have to continue to give people considerable amount more information, and I do not intend for this post to make it seem like I expect answers. I know this is only the beginning, and I hope to at least be pointed in the right direction, if need be to another endocrine related group. I feel like these groups at mdjunction are what I should continue to come back to and follow through on for support and information.

What follows below is my attempt to explain it, reader beware, this is a long read, you may want to avoid unless your avidly concerned. I would endlessly appreciate anyone who did read and respond. I have tried to be as detailed as possible. I swear to my full honesty, it is not random symptoms of day to day feelings or hypochondria, everything mentioned is a daily symptom I have experienced for years.
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So far I have spent about the last six months trying to research herbal supplements and reading the medical literature on them. The herbs that seem most effective on me are all shown in the literature to exert changes on the endocrine system, cortisol, DHEA, hormones, the HPA axis, the pituitary gland, the thyroid.

I came to suspect Addison's because every time I research symptoms this is where I get sent. I long suspected diabetic related issues because I use to be so overweight and am now half my size. But it does not seem to be the case at all because I bought a home diabetic test kit and consistently never had blood sugar over 100. In fact, quite often It was never over 70. Unless I ate a carbohydrate containing meal, it stayed between 60 and 70, and that was what I tested over a year ago, and my symptoms are more severe now. I have essentially been on a atkins-esque diet for 3 years. I cannot eat grains or legumes whatsoever because of my IBS, my body simply will not digest them, it causes me phenomenal pain. I am gluten-intolerant especially, it torpedoes my immune system badly. The only way I can eat enough starch to keep me from having severe bouts of hypoglycemia is to take a digestive enzyme with Ox Bile. So I eat some red potatoes, yams, etc.

To describe my symptoms they are daily, and down right punctual like clock work. between 8 am and about 2 pm I am miserable, I perk up for about an hour and thirty minutes at 2, then at 3:30 pm I crash again and may or may not perk back up again after 6. I almost certainly will be wide awake at 10 pm until 1 am unless I am very sleep deprived.

In the past before I discovered that taking between 7 and 30 GRAMS DAILY of fish oil could control my morning anxiety and IBS, I had severe "crashes" in the morning, muscle spasms, intense OCD, intense depression, intense anxiety, intense IBS, what I perceived to be high prostaglandin and high cortisol; Since taking at least 7 grams daily Fish Oil, I don't have THOSE particular issues. I still have the following:

I get these very, very sunken eyes, frequently urinate, water clear urine, my veins on my hands stick out greatly. I would literally not be able to stay awake in the mid morning. It has caused me to drop and fail classes the last year. Often if I got a bout of IBS in the morning, after a bowel movement, the hypoglycemia would be very severe the rest of the day. Caffeine would cause this with a vengeance. Of course I have intense brain fog, inability to do math, recall things, very severe cognitive dysfunction compared to when I feel somewhat normal(I will compare what normal is for me directly), along with this I get depression, total lack of motivation, fear leaving house.

Consistently, in the mornings at college, If I tried to eat lunch I had brought with me I would become hypoglycemic, my food would not digest, I would have to lay down in the library. I often resorted to energy drinks to get me through afternoon labs. These would leave me shaking and exhausted, eventually I became unable to tolerate them, and started to take nodos caffeine pills. At one point I felt like these were beginning to give me kidney stones. By then my semester of labs was over, in the spring I had no labs, I avoided caffeine, put off work, did poorly, went to class, and sat in the library until 4:45 pm everyday ( I had to pick someone up each day at 5pm). I know in this state it would be absolutely impossible for me to hold a job of any kind, I still have no part time job.

Without caffeine in the Spring until just this April, I was without any way to get my mind to work normally at its real potential. I then started to eat beef for the first time in 2 years (instead of fish) and stay up late at night. With beef I could get some homework done. Some. Once I got to May I no longer had to get up early, and I now took Rhodiola and Shisandra herbal supplements.

Basically my IQ is 40 points higher with Beef, herbal supplements, and being up late at night. I think most people with Addison's will agree, doing physics calculations is not easy when experiencing severe symptoms. When I relieve the physical symptoms, the mental ones greatly improve also.

I have no energy to exercise. I cannot tolerate heat or cold. I shake violently during the winter, I cannot seem to get warm. When I do exercise, I often get sick. I cannot handle more than walking, despite being a normal weight. Approximately 18 months ago, I was able to run for nearly a mile 2 or 3 times a week. This was the best I ever felt in my life. The exercise above all else reduces all these symptoms, but because of school and the weather and other things outside of my control I was not able to stay in shape.

About what I eat: If I eat something like corn or rice, I get extremely anxious, I think my blood sugar spikes and I "crash". No other foods do this to me, not juice, not even sugar, only grains. This makes me suspect I have diabetic related problems, even though I stay mildly hypoglycemic.
What I have discovered in the last 2 months, is that If I eat beef, especially this beef sausage, it seems to make me wake up without the sunken eyes, or fatigue. It seems to get rid of a lot of the depression and mind fog, but it varies. All beef does this, but the sausage the most. Adrenals in the mix? or nitrate and salt? Why beef? Hormones? Catch is, I eat organic grass fed beef, get mostly same result. Because of my depression, fatigue, and this "beef connection", and my low libido, low drive in general, I feel like I have a hormone problem.

I take an herb called rhodiola rosea, clinically proven to normalize blood sugar, certain hormone aspects, and be anti-fatigue. It is the only genuine thing I have taken that completely sustains my energy level throughout the morning, but it only works if I take it at 5:30 am in the morning? (once again endocrine and circadium rhythm questions)
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Thank you for reading so much, I really thank you if you could stand it. Once again, I am aware that these symptoms have to correlate with the correct tests, I am just not educated (yet) about which tests. I am hoping someone will recognize a connection.

 
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Old 06-19-2011, 04:15 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Oak Hill, VA, USA
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kiaguppy HB User
Re: Not sure if I have Addison's - Need Opinions

Some of your symptoms are consistent with Addisons, however, you seem to have other things going on such as the IBS. You didn't mention 2 symptoms that were very classic for me, craving salt and tanning of skin. People I didn't see every day would ask if I just got back from the beach. If you do have Addisons and don't get treatment you will eventually collapse into unconsciousness (like my sister did). The definitive test is not cheap -- it will cost a couple of hundred dollars. However, it's better than passing out. I don't think herbal supplements can replace the steroids that are typically used to treat Addisons.

 
Old 06-19-2011, 10:19 PM   #3
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Sam7777 HB User
Re: Not sure if I have Addison's - Need Opinions

The most notable missing thing is the lack of tanning/altered pigmentation. I forgot to mention, I do crave salt, but not as badly as what I have read in these posts. I would crave pickles in particular, and pickles seemed to wake me up at the end of a bad day of symptoms. I will continue reading more details on the board to get an idea of the tests people are getting.

 
Old 06-26-2011, 03:20 PM   #4
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kiaguppy HB User
Re: Not sure if I have Addison's - Need Opinions

You have a lot going on. Herbal substances can be powerful and could be related to some of the symptoms you're seeing. Everyone reacts differently. I agree it's probably hormonal/endocrine related but I personally don't think it's Addison's disease given my experience and my sister's. Have you looked into Grave's disease. While it mostly affect women, men can get this condition too.

 
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