I am a 48 yr old man. I have felt very tired/depressed for 8-10 years. My GP
thinks I might have Addisons disease. Here are a few of the tests w/results
Time Result Range Test
8:00AM 4.2 ug/dl 4.46-22.7 ug/dl Cortisol
4:00PM 0.4 ug/dl 1.7-14.1 ug/dl Cortisol
8:00PM 0.3 ug/dl 1.7-14.1 ug/dl Cortisol
8:00AM 37.20 pg/ml 7.50-53.50 IMHPTH
24hr 152 mls/min 97-137 CREAT.CLEARANCE 24 HR
24hr 6100 mls Total urine volume 24hrs
Other health issues that make her think this
I have Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Hypogonadism, Osteoarthritis, Malabsorption, joint pain, mostly knees, lower back, and ankles. Very tired all the time, no interest in sex. I have been on testosterone injections once every 2 weeks and they seem to help very little if at all. If you have a moment to spare, please post your opinion, I almost hope I have Addisons, at least they will know how to treat it. For years I have felt so badly I would have took the easy way out if I did not have a wife and children that depend on me. Thanks
Maybe because I am so upset I did not make my request plain. So far over 300 folks have read my post and no replys. All I am hoping for is for you to look at the numbers and my symptoms and tell me if you think I may have Addisons disease, or something else. Thanks
I am so sorry you are living this, but do NOT give up hope. I'm not a doctor, but I have multiple health issues myself (Addison's being the most serious), and you clearly are in need of some cortisol replacement. In fact, looking at your levels, I don't know how get out of bed in the morning and get through a day. Low cortisol causes all of the symptoms you mentioned.. especially fatigue, inflammation throughout the body, digestive difficulty, depression, no libido,etc. So what did your doctor say about your test results? It's very clear that you have some degree of Adrenal Insufficiency and things will greatly improve for you once you start taking hydrocortisone & fludrocortisone. If your doctor does not see this, I would find yourself another endocrinologist. And the sooner, the better. Just prepare yourself, most doctors are not incredibly knowledgeable about this condition as it's so rare, but if you could atleast start the hormone replacement, get yourself to start feeling a bit better, and then you might have the interest and the energy to explore other healing modalities.
In Chinese Medicine, adrenal glands are known to be the "glands of vitality".. and in Western Medicine, they're known as the "glands of life".. without their proper functioning (or appropriate support with replacement hormones).. life ceases.
Again, do not give up.. you just have not found the right help.
I also must mention... I have written many posts on this forum, and sometime close to 1000 people read them... with NO responses. Yes, very disheartening, but you will come across a handful of helpful souls.
Take care and believe...
The Following User Says Thank You to luvthesun For This Useful Post: ratdog (06-07-2012)
I just thought of a question I would like to ask you, really two. My blood pressures have been high since age 19, I take 4 meds to keep it low now. I also do not have darkening of the skin at all unless I go out in the sun for a period of time. People have always remarked how fast I would turn dark with very little sun exposeure. What are you thoughts? Thanks
the low blood pressure situation is hard to know as you had high BP as a kid, and with Addison's or Adrenal Insufficiency, there is almost always a tendency towards low BP. So that's a bit perplexing. As for the tanning of the skin, I've never paid much attention that symptom as I've never had it, but I certainly have Addison's.
Again, I would get yourself to a good endocrinologist and undergo the appropriate testing to find out if your adrenals are producing cortisol. You need to have the ACTH Stimulation test.. keep in mind that the adrenals produce a many different life-sustaining hormones, cortisol being one of them. You may need replacement for a few different hormones. And with these, you will feel immensely better.
Let me ask you.. do you crave salty foods? Are you thirsty a lot? Do you dehydrate easily? Do you have good appetite? These are some of the classic symptoms of Adrenal Insufficiency.
The Following User Says Thank You to luvthesun For This Useful Post: aollilliane (06-12-2012)
Salty foods, yes for sure. Chips and salsa, soy sauce on rice, salty fries. My doc says I and dehydrated, but I drink water, sodas, and coffee all day. Then I get put on a fluid pill because my feet swell. As far as eating goes, people are always asking me is that all you are going to eat, because I eat not nearly as much as I used to, but if I feel I am getting hungary, I get shakey, short tempered, I can really feel my blood suger fall. I am hoping for a positive outcome tomorrow. I will let you know how it goes. Thanks for all your concern. xoxox
I'm exhausted, having a poor health day so am going to be kinda brief. Craving salty food is almost always low adrenal function, and you should NOT take any sort of diuretic to eliminate the swelling. Your body is struggling to maintain fluids, and it's pooling in your ankles. (Electrolyte balance is maintained by your adrenal glands.) The swelling will subside once you start Fludrocortisone. This is a hormone taken by all with Addison's or Adrenal Insufficiency. It enables your body to hold onto sodium. And as for the low blood sugar, well I just forgot to mention this is previous posts. Hypoglycemia is just a given with adrenal problems. I have to eat every 3-4 hours, no questions asked.
Here comes the tough one, but without a doubt, one of the most important suggestions I can make.. try your hardest to cut back/eliminate coffee and sodas. Caffeine is one of the WORST things for adrenal function. In fact, this played a huge part in burning out my adrenals. In time, you will learn all of this, and you will learn what you need to do in order to feel as good as you can. I don't want to beat a dead horse, but really get off coffee & sugars (or minimize) as much as possible.
Good luck at your appt. and be sure to go armed with all of your questions, symptoms, etc. Mention everything: extreme fatigue, needing lots of salty foods, hypoglycemic feelings, poor digestion, depression, etc.
Clear your mind as much as possible, believe in yourself and believe that things will get better.. know that your energy will gradually improve and laughing will come more often.. one day at a time, live in the Now. Believe, believe, believe...these are some of the things I have to remind myself of daily as there have been many days where I haven't wanted to go on living like this anymore.
Anyway, I'm sitting here writing this to you, so i guess my time ain't up yet.
The Following User Says Thank You to luvthesun For This Useful Post: ratdog (06-08-2012)
Sorry, I need to vent, I am not a patient person. I have been worrying about the results of my blood work at endo since last friday. I have called 3 times, and today the receptionist lets the cat out of the bag and says your blood test results are back but we cannot give them to you because the dr is not here today and has not signed off on them. My blood, my money, but won't give me the results. The nurse comes to the phone and tells me the same story. I tell her I am a worrier, and even if they are bad results I want to know, at least I will know where I stand. But no, I have to wait, yet another night, or however long they choose to make me. I almost hope I have Addison's, so I can tell people that make unkind comments about how slow I move, or how I don't work as hard, or why do you not keep your grass mowed, and so on. Is there any chance the low cortisol levels at 8am, 4pm, 8pm with no stimulation are a fluke? Sore joints from the waist down, tired all the time, hashimotos thyroiditus, hypodonadism, and I tan with the least amount of sun exposure. I get testosterone injections once every 2 weeks, 200mg/1cc and it does almost nothing. At the end of 2 weeks I have a testosterone level of 58. 90 yr old men have more than that. Sorry for the long rant, I am angry and upset to be put off again. Is it possible I don't have Addison's disease, if so, what can it be?
Well I got test results back from last Friday. I don't know why, but I feel so darn bad the good results so far kind of were a let down. Meaning, I wish there was a reason why I felt tired and joints ached all the time. But as she said, tomorrow mornings ACTH stim test is the one that really matters. Here are some of the test results I got today.
Renin=result 14.8=range less than 23
Aldosterone 9.1=range less than 30
Free T4 1.32 range 0.18-1.77
TSH 0.933 range 0.45-3
Vitamin D 46.4 Range 30-100
D levels up from 29 30 days ago, I take 50,000 IU D2 once a day, I personally think the pills do nothing, but I have sat outside in the sun a lot since being wrote out of work, I tan superfast. I even look dark compared to my lilly white wife's skin in the winter, and I work indoors all the time.
She checked me for celiac disease, and said test confirmed I did not have it.
Help me pray the docs find a reason for this fatigue, besides telling me you are 25lbs overweight and you need to exercise. Thanks
Hi Ratdog. I am sorry to hear of your troubles, I hope since you wrote this you´ve found a good doc (needle in a haystack).
I am 34 and have been on medicine for close to 4 years (wow, four years already can´t believe it) but before that I went through life as a young man with undiagnosed Addisons. From around the age of 17-18 until I was 30 my life disintegrated. My finances, my health and my university studies all went to hell with me fighting every inch of the way. Finally my older brother convinced me that something wasn´t right. Long story short, I still have the doctors note that says all tests are a-ok and that I am healthy and its dated two weeks before my diagnosis!
Here were some of my symptoms:
-multiple addison crises (throwing up, passing out, back pain like somebody hit me with a baseball bat, fever like you wouldn´t believe and the shakes like hell),
-extremely sensitive to light,
-difficulty eating food without feeling unwell ("is that all you´re gonna eat"),
-freezing like a dog throughout the year,
-mysterious pains in joints (the sports doctor finally told me that there is nothing wrong with my knee and that I gotta stop pestering him),
-my hair and skin lose their flexibility and become hard and dry
-injuries never heal properly (e.g. I had an eye injury that put me in a dark room for two weeks and then it recurred the year after wíth the same result and I could feel the unevenness of my eye everytime I blinked)
-My brain is offline; without my meds I can´t pass a basic university course, on meds I have completed my masters degree
-I never felt anything, no joy or beauty or love in life, I couldn´t FEEL any of that.
-I slept a lot and never got around to doing things
-tired ALL the time, compensating my overconsuming sugars and coffee
I was hospitalized again last year after crashing in a major way, I ate some fried chicken and fries and started feeling tired after that and went to bed and I was out for about 24 hours and came to the ER with extremely high fever. I could have died.
It is a volatile disease and it certainly has triggers (for me that is chicken for some reason)
Some of the things you say, especially the food stuff, remind me of me. As far as your levels are concerned, I am sorry I can´t be of any use. But what I do know is that 99 % of doctors have no clue (both my uncles are doctors) and that addisons is a lot more complex and, somebody used the word volatile, disease than the usual descriptions imply.
With this disease YOU have to know something is wrong with you and not give up. I had to march down and demand to be treated and when, despite including a 5-page medical history describing all my symptoms, my referral was sent back to the GP I had to demand that it be sent back to the endocrinologist again. I really had to fight and argue with the ******* hospital system which, at least in this country can be quite authoritarian.
After diagnosis it turns out from experience that this disease is a whole package;
-mental (getting over the anger and developing a positive mental attitude)
-diet (eating right, e.g. I stopped drinking coffee recently)
-exercise (figuring out how to medicate in connection with exercise)
-social (figuring out how to deal with the outside world)