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MS and adrenal fatigue???

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Old 03-30-2011, 10:05 PM   #1
new world
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MS and adrenal fatigue???

I am curious if anyone that has been diagnosed with MS has ever been treated for Adrenal fatigue. I seem to fit the bill.... fatigue, feeling sleepy but not able to fall asleep, craving for salt and sugar, weight gain.... sometimes I'm so tired during the day my speech slurs...short tempered (because of lack of sleep??)The web sites call this "wired" I originally thought it was part of MS.. I have kids that keep me busy, running around with school and sports, I work full time.
I was DX a almost two years ago(on my birthday) and then found out I had a new case of Lymes disease on top of MS.
What else, right? I had an on going headache from Sept through February. The kind where you wake up in the morning with serious head pain, motor throughout the day with pain getting worse, unsuccessfully trying to go to sleep with pain, and waking up the next moring starting all over again. (Groundhog's Day if you will)
I never had a problem with headaches, ever! Never had a migrane or barely a head cold.
So I did what any person would do... locked myself in a dark room with no noise for a few MONTHS... I tried all kinds of pain meds, went to the Neuro Dr, had MRI's, CT scans, and finally a Spinal tap.
Eventually, it got to the point where I was put back on steroids to wipe out the pain meds.. Rebound headaches.

So back to my original question. I've been reading about ADRENAL FATIGUE. And aparently this can be cured using vitamins, gluten free, sugar free, staying away from "white" foods. And sleep.

My kids are 7 and 8 years old, when they were small I contributed the lack of sleep and fatigue to the kids. Then I find out about the MS and Lymes. They are getting older and I am still tired.

Any advise would be greatly appreciated!

Last edited by new world; 03-30-2011 at 10:10 PM.

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Old 03-31-2011, 03:10 AM   #2
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Re: MS and adrenal fatigue???

Hi NewWorld. Welcome to the boards! You stated you are from Trenton. Is that nj? I Live 15 minutes from Trenton! If it is Trenton, NJ, who are you using for a Neuro? Ive got a really good one for you not far away if you want another opinion!

Because Adrenal fatigue is a syndrome and not really a disease, and because the symtoms of this are almost exactly the same as MS fatigue, Im wondering if you dont have them confused.
Everything you described is a symtom of MS.....the fatigue you described is the same as many of us have experienced, myself included....right up to the headaches.

You said you were dx with MS, assuming that this dx is completely true and that you had all the right tests and got the right description, why are you assuming there is something more then MS going on?

What MS meds are you taking? And, if you have had additional MRIs, etc - has your MS shown progression? IS your neuro treating this MS aggressively, with a DMD, or are you med free and allowing the disease to just do "its thing"? If that is the case, being on a DMD might actually help you. If you are already on a DMD then is it working? When is the last time your neuro did a MRI? (thats the only way to tell if its working or not).

Im not sure Id be looking for anything besides what you already know...fatigue is a chronic symtom of MS and it doesnt go away; however there are drugs which can treat the symptoms and even being on Rebif has helped many of us with our fatigue levels...

Sorry that doesnt truly help you, but im curious as to why you would even think what you described is outside the MS/Lymes dx...

RRMS- dx 05

Last edited by MSNik; 03-31-2011 at 03:11 AM.

Old 03-31-2011, 04:44 AM   #3
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Re: MS and adrenal fatigue???

Adrenal fatigue is a term applied to a collection of nonspecific symptoms, such as body aches, fatigue, nervousness, sleep disturbances and digestive problems. It is not an accepted medical diagnosis.

Has your doctor discussed Addison's disease? Signs and symptoms of adrenal insufficiency include fatigue, body aches, unexplained weight loss, low blood pressure, light-headedness and loss of body hair. I lost facial hair for a few months which my neuro said could be attributed to my MS. Adrenal insufficiency can be determined by blood tests. Doctors will likely lump your case as a condition rather than a diagnosis.

Proponents of the adrenal fatigue diagnosis claim this is a mild form of adrenal insufficiency caused by chronic stress. If this is true, then motherhood involving children can be stressful!

Stress can also present with MS like symptoms. You mentioned Lyme. Again, you have another disease which resembles MS.
MS diagnosed since October 3, 1982
MS onset circa 1977
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Old 03-31-2011, 08:05 PM   #4
new world
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Re: MS and adrenal fatigue???

I've had at least 1/2 dozen MRI's, CT scan, blood tests, and a spinal tap within the last 2 years. All points to MS. I also had a confirmed case of Lymes however the spinal tap showed no damage neurologically. The spinal did confirm the MS.
I'm taking Rebif, which seems to be working. The MRI's show nothing new going. That's alot!
I've been able to keep the side effects at bay since i was diagnosed. Just seems like now it's getting more difficult. Any suggestions would be most appreciated!
I go to Lawrenceville neurology, Dr Kaiser is amazing!

Old 04-01-2011, 04:34 PM   #5
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Re: MS and adrenal fatigue???

new world,
A spinal Tap cannot confirm MS. It can rule out everything else, and even show Obands, which are symtoms of MS, but its not a confirming tool. The fact that you are on Rebif, and the fact that your doctor has confirmed MS- means that you have passed the McDonald criteria somewhere along the way, and you must have MS..

Your fatigue is exactly like many others who have MS and Id be talking to your Neuro about putting you on something to help with that....there are so many drugs which help fatigue available...
But I really dont think it can be anything else with the dx which you have.

Read up on the McDonald criteria...and look at the national MS sites which will provide you with more stories just like yours...
RRMS- dx 05

Old 04-04-2011, 08:55 AM   #6
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Re: MS and adrenal fatigue???

What medications would you suggest for the fatigue? I have been diagnosed with MS for three years now. I recently had a cognitive test done, which gave a good base, but was not too bad. I really feel most of my memory problems have to do with my fatigue and brain fog. I am also under a great deal of stress, due to my husband's health problems and few near death scares. As far as diet, my husband is a Vegan and I follow this diet, but add in some of the good oils and fish occasionally, with an every now and then cheat for a treat of say birthday cake, ice cream, etc. I was hoping this would help the fatigue, but it has not. I know stress exacerbates it, but at this time since I am also out of work (working very part-time and trying to find something full-time), I just do not see the stress getting better unless my husband has a full recovery and I find that miracle job I can do full time without getting in the way of my MS. I also do exercise, could probably do it more, but I get out running at least three times a week even though it is a struggle with some of my mobility problems. I guess I said alot for a short question, but what are some of the meds for fatigue so I can research before seeing my neuro.

Old 04-04-2011, 09:42 AM   #7
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Smile Re: MS and adrenal fatigue???

I was diagnosed with MS in 2001, and Addison's disease in 2008. I also have Hashimoto's. It's anyone's guess which one or if all cause my fatigue, but I have gained much more energy since balancing my thyroid last year. I was still hypothyroid on Synthroid, so we did T3 only therapy for almost a year (very controversial, most doctors won't do it), but now my hair is growing back and I have much more energy. My main problems now are muscle-related... chronic aches and pains. I guess I should be happy just to be mobile...

If you suspect Addison's, it's VERY IMPORTANT to have it diagnosed properly with an ATCH stim test. You would also need to consult with your doctor on your meds beforehand... you cannot be on steriods for at least two weeks before the stim test. And if you do have Addisons, be prepared to learn ALOT. Doctors know next to nothing about it, and you need to be your own advocate to gain back your quality of life.

Good luck to you!

Mary Jo

Old 04-04-2011, 04:38 PM   #8
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Re: MS and adrenal fatigue???

There are several drugs which are recommended for MS fatigue. Provigil is probably the most widely used. Ritalin and Cylert are also used to combat fatigue symtoms. Many docs are prescribing Amantadine as well- you really need to talk to your doctor about your options and what they think is the best course of action.

I personally have upped my exercise which combats fatigue. Even though I absolutely HATE to exercise and have very little energy to do so, I force myself to walk 1 mile, twice a day, on my treadmill. Sometimes I actually jog! Believe it or not, when I do this regularly, it really does give me extra energy which I can tell is missing, when I slack off.

I hope you find something that works for you! But, please talk to your doctor about what he/she thinks is the best thing for your particular symtoms.

RRMS- dx 05

Old 02-23-2012, 08:17 AM   #9
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Re: MS and adrenal fatigue???

Adrenal fatigue can certainly be a cause for all of those symptoms you mentioned. You can obtain a test kit to check Cortisol and DHEA levels to help determine the state of your adrenals. kits test not only adrenal fxn but also neurotransmitters. Also, a good resource is the book Safe Uses of Cortisol. A tiny daily dose for several mos can help restore the adrenals w/out shutting down their fxn.

Thyroid is another important thing to have checked. Not all drs check the same way/recognize adequate levels. Armour thyroid can be very helpful; however, repairing the adrenals in turn restores thyroid function.

Vitamin D level very important.. I have heard that having a level of 70-80 is ideal for people with MS.

Lyme is a chronic infection that really taxes the immune system. Alternative practitioners seem to be best at addressing it. If you catch Lyme immediately after infection, antibiotics can help but once it becomes chronic it's difficult to treat and eradicate.

Gluten can be a cause of fatigue, bloating, neuro symptoms. Cutting out gluten.. And even Casein as well can really improve things. Research "Leaky Gut".

Probiotics very important.

Candida overgrowth can also be a big issue w fatigue, "brain fog", muscvle tightness and a whole bunch of symptoms.

Hope this info least points to research.

Last edited by moderator2; 02-23-2012 at 09:11 AM. Reason: please do not post a commercial website, for any reason.

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