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Old 02-27-2012, 06:57 PM   #1
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Both Addison's and Cushings?

Does anyone have symptoms of both Addison's and Cushing's? I know this doesn't make sense, as Addison's is too much cortisol and Cushing's is too little ... but I have symptoms of both.

My cortisol levels are next to nothing and I have very low BP (Addison's). However, I also had sudden weight gain and I have a buffalo hump between my shoulders (Cushings).

I know that sometimes Cushings can result if you are over-treated with steroids for the Addison's, but I have not started the steroids yet. My endo. is baffled.

Anyone?

Thanks!

 
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:50 PM   #2
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Re: Both Addison's and Cushings?

I'm glad you posted this. I'm also wondering what's going on and my doctors are talking about adrenal issues. I keep wondering if my changing thyroid levels dilute the symptoms somehow.
My primary suggested Cushing's for ongoing abdominal swelling and facial swelling, weight gain, striata, and acne. I have muscle/joint pain (which I assumed was Hashimoto's/thyroid-related, along with the acne, and stomach issues), as a teenager/college student I had chronic intermittent vomitting (requiring hospitalization for dehydration twice), at times I'm extremely hypoglycemic, and I can never "skip" a meal. Recently I've noticed my blood pressure is either on the high end for me, or the low end for me--not enough variation for my MDs to care, but 100/74 vs. 144/92 is a big change. 112/80 used to appear like clockwork.
My energy levels remain lower than normal, but it's hard to tell if that's because my thyroid still isn't considered "optimized" or not.
I expect to be doing cortisol testing soon (hopefully next week). Oh, and I've had many people tell me they think I'm horrible with stressful situations (although I know I'm good with others, like driving in intense traffic).
If I learn anything useful, I'll come back and share, but your post made me feel better. I know with thyroid symptoms sometimes ones typically associated with an overactive thyroid can appear with an underactive thyroid, and vice versa, but I'd be interested in learning more about if this happens with Addison's and Cushing's.

 
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:40 AM   #3
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Re: Both Addison's and Cushings?

It sounds like your thyroid is also low. Low thyroid and low cortisol produce several contradictory symptoms including rapid heart beat, skipping of beats, weight gain, dry skin, loose bowl movements and other strange combinations.

 
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:05 PM   #4
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Re: Both Addison's and Cushings?

Hi Orion, that would make a lot of sense in my case, although my thyroid levels are mostly improved at this point.

My doctor and I agree that from the improvement in my symptoms I'm getting very close to the "ideal" dosage/levels (and my levels have been within "normal" range for 90 days), and while there's some lag time for a thyroid dose to be fully "optimized," it seems odd that some of my symptoms seem to be getting worse--and dramatically so. Thus, the suspicion about adrenal issues.

I see some overlap in the physical appearance symptoms for low thyroid and high cortisol level patients, so it makes sense that combining low thyroid and low cortisol could produce mixed signals.

I would be interested in learning more about the "contradictary symptoms" typically occurring in thyroid and adrenal patients, since I seem to mostly find symptom lists for one health issue or the other health issue.

I also notice you indicate only LOW cortisol, suggesting as my instincts do, that HIGH cortisol levels wouldn't really make much sense.

Does this reflect astaire's lab results only? Does this speak to your own familiarity with Addison's (rather than Cushing's)? My reading suggests low cortisol levels are more common than high cortisol levels in thyroid patients, but I see much more on adrenal insufficiency and hypothyroidism in general.

Does it matter more because of this combination what sort of cortisol testing is used for an accurate interpretation?

 
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:13 PM   #5
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Smile Re: Both Addison's and Cushings?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefourthmairi View Post
Hi Orion, that would make a lot of sense in my case, although my thyroid levels are mostly improved at this point.

My doctor and I agree that from the improvement in my symptoms I'm getting very close to the "ideal" dosage/levels (and my levels have been within "normal" range for 90 days), and while there's some lag time for a thyroid dose to be fully "optimized," it seems odd that some of my symptoms seem to be getting worse--and dramatically so. Thus, the suspicion about adrenal issues.

I see some overlap in the physical appearance symptoms for low thyroid and high cortisol level patients, so it makes sense that combining low thyroid and low cortisol could produce mixed signals.

I would be interested in learning more about the "contradictary symptoms" typically occurring in thyroid and adrenal patients, since I seem to mostly find symptom lists for one health issue or the other health issue.

I also notice you indicate only LOW cortisol, suggesting as my instincts do, that HIGH cortisol levels wouldn't really make much sense.

Does this reflect astaire's lab results only? Does this speak to your own familiarity with Addison's (rather than Cushing's)? My reading suggests low cortisol levels are more common than high cortisol levels in thyroid patients, but I see much more on adrenal insufficiency and hypothyroidism in general.

Does it matter more because of this combination what sort of cortisol testing is used for an accurate interpretation?

 
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:21 PM   #6
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Re: Both Addison's and Cushings?

Hello my name is Steven, I have Addison and hypothyroidism. I'm not sure what cushings is,but I take hydrocortisone 60mg a day and fludrocortisone 0.1mg a day. I also take 125mcg of synthroid. I know about some of these issues, so please ask any questions you may have. I also take androgel and a lot of vitamins,as well as pain meds.

 
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:38 PM   #7
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Re: Both Addison's and Cushings?

Hi Steven! I really appreciate your offer!
I'm concerned about making sure my doctors do the appropriate testing for adrenal levels, since there seem to be some variations in testing, and I know with thyroid disorders the types of testing done really matters for accuracy.

I'm also concerned about differentiating between thyroid and adrenal symptoms, since some things seem to have gotten worse, like the joint and muscle pain (which fits both conditions), but most thyroid-specific issues like cold sensitivity are dramatically improved or almost entirely gone.
I'm also dreading a drawn out testing and waiting process will begin to make me feel better.
Did you find your Addison's (or thyroid disorder) presented differently from the traditional textbook symptoms in any ways?
Did you find your thyroid disorder before your Addison's or vice versa? I have read repeatedly that adrenal issues are supposed to be addressed before thyroid issues, but this clearly wasn't done in my case.
Do you have any other pointers or words of wisdom to pass on that might expedite this process?

 
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:11 AM   #8
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Re: Both Addison's and Cushings?

To the Fourthmairi, I was born with addison's 40 years ago. My thyroid was found 5 years ago. I have a lot of leg and joint pain, mostly when I lay down. I crave liquids, when I 'm having a severe addisonian break down I crave water. I will quickly drink the water then vomit. I will do this over and over until the water stay's down. I must have hydrocortisone at this point. Yes, adrenal issues should be address before thyroid. You can not function without the right cortisol levels. If you have addison's disease then you will not function without cortisol. Some of the symptoms are, vomiting, joint craps, hot and cold, cold will hurt,confused,craving liquid,headache severe,and blurred vision.

Please ask any other questions you have, any please any new information you have. We can help each other. I can hold a job. I have been employed for over 5 years now. I will not be defeated by any illness, this is mind over matter.

 
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:04 PM   #9
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Re: Both Addison's and Cushings?

Hi Steven!
I appreciate your optimism and determination.

The craving liquids (especially water) sounds familiar, although not to your extreme. I drink well above the recommended amounts of water most days (our glasses are all different sizes, but I know they're all 12 oz. or more), and I refill my glass constantly, I know it's usually over 10 glasses.
My chronic intermittent vomiting was linked to cold, and basically if any mucous formed and I had liquid, I would start coughing and start vomiting. I could use water to break up mucous, but it usually did not make me more sick.
I am very concerned because I recently noticed a change in my urine colors. My MD is also board certified in nephrology and keeps dismissing this, suggesting Cushing's instead because of the weight gain.

I can tell you I noticed a huge improvement in my energy levels and my muscle/joint pain (which was most noticeable in my feet and hands, but had been very bad in my neck/shoulders for some time). I have had lower back pain for many years since my spine is fused, so I don't feel like that "checklist" symptom is informative.

Just walking around town for 2.5 hours (buying coffee, doing a couple errands), this weekend (with a burst of energy) left me hobbling (family said I looked and moved like I had arthritis).

My biggest issue is continued (and worsening) fluid retention, and I'm desperate for an answer there. It is mostly concentrated in my trunk (torso, neck, and upper legs, sometimes face), thus my doctor's suspicion of Cushing's. I've never been tested for hypoglycemia, but my doctors all agree that I probably have it (testing is intense, and family history combined with symptoms as described by friends and relatives was enough for my primary). I've noticed huge changes in sensitivity there since starting Synthroid. I can't function without sugar in my day. (No diabetes or high blood sugar, just very sugar sensitive and arguably dependent)

I'm still struggling to figure out whether things like acne and dramatic weight gain (not typical Addison's, but typical Cushing's) are tied to an adrenal issue or are lingering thyroid-related.

With thyroid disorders, there's a lot of docs who don't know that the ranges for TSH have changed, and don't bother to check for other things like antibodies and T3/T4/Free T3/Free T4 levels, and I am concerned about not getting bad information from my doctors again.

I've noticed a few strange yellow patches on the bottoms of my feet and a slight yellow hue on my neck, but again, this could occur with a thyroid disorder.

How do you know what is definitely thyroid and what isn't? And, I've heard of other people addressing adrenal issues after optimizing thyroid levels (because the adrenal issues weren't known), but I am wondering how problematic it is that no one's looked at adrenal functioning before starting thyroid meds.
With thyroid disorders, the adjustment process is also very long and drawn out. When you need a change in your cortisol, does it also take many weeks (or months?) before you start to feel improvement?

 
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:31 PM   #10
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Re: Both Addison's and Cushings?

Hello Thefourthmairi, I'm not sure how thyroid and adrenal are connected. The yellow patch's are curious to me. I have yellow tint to my skin color over the whole body. When I say yellow I mean a lite color change. People do notice but most are kind enough not to say anything. I try not to over think the medical things, I use most of my energy for positive outcomes. I roll over and over all night with pain in my legs. You would think I would become immune but no such luck. I refuse to take narcotics, but I do take tramamdol 50mg 8 times a day and gabapentin. I get quick relief from my hydrocortisone, I put a 10mg table on my tongue and let dissolve.I was told by my mother,at two weeks old I needed cortisol. once given I regained all my proper body functions. Cortisol works fast and if needed can turn a persons life around. As far as thyroid,I know what I needed and everybody is different. If you have any questions ask please. But remember there are no quick fix's and no short cuts. The best thing you can do is stay positive. I know this is hard at times but mind over anything wins.The human body is amazing, you do need meds then take them. But always stay positive this can be the best medicine of all. Thank you for your post.

 
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:45 AM   #11
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Re: Both Addison's and Cushings?

I was diagnosed w Addison's 3 years ago which i believe in the first post if this thread it was accidentally put backwards saying Addison's is high cortisol but its low you're completely deficient w diagnosis and I've been on 2 corticosteroids now for 3 years which waiting on testing my endo thinks I may now have too much cortisol (medication induced) because I've put on a ton if weight in last few months its crazy but luckily that can be corrected so yes I assume we can can have both at same time. If this makes sense.

 
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:52 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfisher817 View Post
I was diagnosed w Addison's 3 years ago which i believe in the first post if this thread it was accidentally put backwards saying Addison's is high cortisol but its low you're completely deficient w diagnosis and I've been on 2 corticosteroids now for 3 years which waiting on testing my endo thinks I may now have too much cortisol (medication induced) because I've put on a ton if weight in last few months its crazy but luckily that can be corrected so yes I assume we can can have both at same time. If this makes sense.
Also I don't mind any questions as I've struggled with this mentally and physically for 4 years .

 
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