Hi, I have a brother with primary Addison's who was diagnosed quite young. I have been dignosed with Celiac disease but, a lot of the main symptoms that I had before are still there 4 years after being gluten free. These are the symptoms that I was hoping would go away. They got better, but are still here. Major salt cravings, major sugar cravings, major protein cravings. Very weak in the morning, limited time window before I have no energy and I become faintish, weak, dizzy, become hypoglycemic easily this time the most, low blood pressure every time it is checked. Low blood pressure upon standing from lying or sitting position. I take salted meat with me to bed at night so I can eat right upon waking and have to eat frequently or I become hypoglycemic and I need a lot of salt as well. I love vinegar as well. I crave licorice root. Take dextrose with me at all times and eat it frequently as well as chocolate and salted meat, sometimes the salt shaker : ) My cortisol level was checked a while ago and it was a low to med within the normal safe range. Is it possible to have Addison's disease when your cortisol registers within normal range from just a cortisol test? This as not the addison's disease test. Thanks, I could really use some help, doctors are a bit hard to talk to. I would love any advise!
Addison's is only diagnosed when cortisol is so low that it will no longer respond to other treatments. Other treatments include: Sleep, Rest, Stress Reduction, Diet Changes, Lifestyle Changes, Candida Treatment, Spiritual Wellness, Acupuncture, Alternative Therapy, Counseling, Etc. Addison's can be wrongfully diagnosed if you have experienced a traumatizing event that causes you intense amounts of reoccurring stress, such as PTSD. Even so, if this stress is never overcome, various medications may be of aid, including typical treatment for Addison's (hydrocortisone, prednisone).
At some point, you will have to decide whether or not your body will be able to recover or not. At this point, you'll either choose to take corticosteroids (hydrocortisone, prednisone) for life, and deal with the potential side effects for life, or you'll choose to change your life drastically to see if there is any possible way you can recover. For me, this has been a 2 year decision that is on going.
Again, for Addison's to be diagnosed, it must be proven that your body is no longer capable of producing cortisol. Not just that your cortisol is low.
Need to clarify, I wrote "Very weak in the morning, limited time window before I have no energy and I become faintish, weak, dizzy, become hypoglycemic easily this time the most"
This is how I feel on the bad mornings which aren't too often but, I am consistently every morning weak and on the verge of hypoglycemia. I can feel normal if I don't have too much to do, no stress, and I eat of course every 2 seconds salted meat. There is no way I could do any kind of exercising in the morning or become hypoglycemic, faintish etc...
I am always way stronger in the evening. Why is that?
I have experienced similar things for 2 years. I've tried many, many things and there are only a few things that have truly helped, which I'd like to share with you:
1) Train yourself to sleep between 8-10pm every night. Sleep 6-10 hours as needed. Overtime, this will help you adjust your cortisol curve back to normal. For me, I was an insomniac for about 3 years before all of my cortisol issues hit. By getting back to what your body naturally was meant for, that is, sleeping when the sun goes down, and rising when the sun comes up, you'll experience some wellness. If you need help falling asleep, or if you don't remember your dreams, try GABA calm by Source Naturals. Steer clear from ambient, mirtazipine, trazadone, and all anti-depressants with side effects of sleepiness. They're often too harsh for someone with adrenal, cortisol, or blood sugar issues.
2) If you need energy during the day, supplement with a small bit of licorice root, or drink tea that has licorice in it. Starbucks' "Passion" herbal tea is a non-caffeinated, convenient source of licorice root. However, if you begin to become nervous, panicky, or anxious through the day, try Source Natural's GABA calm. I used both of these supplements sparingly, and symptomatically. Also, plan to take naps at the times of the ay you're tired. To some extent, you're going to have to work with your body to give it what it wants, and needs. The more fighting against it you do, the more stress adds up.
3) From my experience, if you do end up having Addison's, or more-likely Adrenal Fatigue, anti-depressants will only complicate your issues. I learned this the hard way. Learn and accept that there is no quick fix, and your issues are likely a result of how you've driven your body. We drive our bodies like cars- and every now and again they need maintenance. You can't buy a new body- so learn how to treat it right.
4) Get to the root of the stressor that's creating your symptoms- whether physiological, psychological, or spiritual- removing the stress is the only "quick fix" I've found to alleviating some of the symptoms. If you need to cry, cry. If you need to confront someone, do it. If you need to seek prayer, do it. If you need to go for a drive and find yourself, better now than later. Counseling can help, and is not just for crazies. This world is full of freedom, and you are allowed your fair share of it. Embrace it, be you, and let go.
5) Physiologically, everyone has some level of candida in our bodies, which could cause stress. Learning to remove and prevent candida will give most people a bit more energy. Candida at it's worst can actually cause Adrenal Fatigue and Addison's disease. For me, my doctor and I both believe that if I remove candida from my system, it will give me a fighting chance at overcoming my Addison's Disease. This is often unheard of, but possible.
6) Whether candida or not, you can't go wrong with better nutrition. If you're eating a diet that is truly healthy (not just what you see others eat, or what you perceive as healthy), you will be giving your body the nutrients it needs to heal and function appropriately. After doctor's told me I had Addison's 6 months ago, I took on a full fledged paleo/ketogenic diet. I eat almost 200g of protein per day and am seeing daily improvements in my health. At one point, there was not a food I could eat that wouldn't give me a panic attack or digestive issues. Now, I eat 5 nutritious meals everyday, and I feel 50% functional again. (Btw, the only side effect to this diet for me has been weight loss.)
A holistic approach does work, and will help you prevent further issues in the long run, but it's no easy path. Best of luck to you.
Last edited by moderator2; 08-09-2012 at 11:18 AM.
The Following User Says Thank You to Joey4866 For This Useful Post: starlight317 (08-13-2012)