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Old 06-24-2007, 09:01 AM   #1
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Adrenal Fatigue from back surgery! Anyone else?

Hey, I have been posting about some of my problems since my spinal surgery last July. I developed what they call adrenal fatigue and my DR. says it is from the back surgery. I don't produce enough cortisol in my body. I was terrible fatigued, nauseuos, severe muscle aches, bad taste in my mouth. I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem? Also I have terrible pain in my back yet. From the middle on down. They did a double fusion(instrumentayion) with cages etc. I am taking meds for the adrenal fatigue and they help. Boomer

 
Old 06-24-2007, 10:49 AM   #2
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Re: Adrenal Fatigue from back surgery! Anyone else?

Hi, I think the adrenal issue would be a separate medical issue? I have read that too much stress can impact the adrenals and having surgery is a very big stressor, so if you have an existing adrenal condition, having surgery may exaserbate it. Did you know beforehand that you had this condition?

I know in my pre-op testing, I was asked questions asking if I had any adrenal issues or if I was taking clugocorticoids for any reason. I had taken oral prednisone in the past for lupus flares, and also took a few short courses of medrol dose pack for my back pain. But it was early enough before surgery not to worry about. But the hospital was very thorough in asking about all this beforehand.

 
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Old 06-24-2007, 12:29 PM   #3
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Re: Adrenal Fatigue from back surgery! Anyone else?

Yes, I had an acdf and about 8 weeks later I crashed.. Long story, but it took over a year to finally get diagnosed. I have adrenal insuffiency.. I had been on prednisone for another reason, but had stopped taking it (weaned off it) more than six months before my surgery, I also had several epidurals and nerve blocks. When I was in the hospital for the acdf...I was violently ill after the surgery, they had to keep me an extra day, and I barely got out of the hospital on the day that I was released before I was violently ill for another day at home. After that I was weak...it took a while before I got my strength back...and about 2 months later, I had what appeared to be a heart attack...I didn't, but all of the enzymes were there...had tests, cardiac cath...heart is fine....but I did/do get a lot of pauses in my heart beat. I also was diagnosed, by my husband's endro. Dr., and with 5 hr. test to have hypoglycemia...which causes a lot of problems...long story short, it took another 4 months before he figured out/with my husbands memory of the prednisone...then was tested for the adrenal problem. I am now on cortef...and feeling much better. (The hypoglycemia is part of it) The not eating in the hospital was not good for the hypoglycemia, and when I did eat, all I wanted was ice cream and things like that - sugar is bad, causes the hypoglycemia...when I was tested my sugar level went to 28...and I was only a little tired..yikes...the Dr. said I could have passed out...possible death if it went too low. We have been hoping that the adrenal glands will recover, but when we tried to wean me off of the cortef, all of my symptoms came back...not good...so when/if we wean me again, we will do it much, much slower. This is nothing to play around with, you have to take your meds, and be careful if you get sick/hurt/surgery...The drs. have to know about this problem. I do hope you feel better & are being treated.

Sage

 
Old 06-24-2007, 05:49 PM   #4
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Re: Adrenal Fatigue from back surgery! Anyone else?

Sage48---thanks for the info. Can I ask what you mean by "this is nothing to mess around with"? HOW DANGEROUS IS IT? Baybreeze---I didn't know beforehand that I had this problem. I had a gastrenectomy about 4 yrs. ago to remove an ulcer. They told me then that I would have trouble with hypoglacemia. But the adrenal fatigue and hypoglacemia go together? Anyway I take cortef and DHEA compound(progesterone and (pregnalone?)It is helping with some of the symtoms. I still get really hot and goosballs to the bone. Not as bad though. Thanks for the reply! boomer

 
Old 06-25-2007, 04:57 AM   #5
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Re: Adrenal Fatigue from back surgery! Anyone else?

Sorry that you are having all of these problems also. What I ment by "this can be dangerous"...is that you have to take care of yourself, eat properly...NO SUGAR if you have hypoglycemia (basically a diabetic diet)...if your sugar level drops too low, you could pass out...the hormones the adrenal glands secret basically run your body. If they are off...well, your body will not be well. eg...my heart..., then the hypoglycemia, weakness..etc. This gland is small but mighty... The cortef you take will take the place of the natural hormones your adrenal gland produces. This is a good thing, and your body will run fine....DO NOT stop taking the cortef suddenly...or on the other hand, if your are sick, injured, or have surgery, you may need an increase in the cortef to help your body take the stress of the illness. I believe that my body crashed and burned after my ACDF..it just could not take the stress of the surgery and recovery. (had enough hormones for everyday life, but the extra stress was just too much) That is why you have to let all the doctors you deal with know about the adrenal insuffiency & that you are on cortef. If you have surgery, they will give you an injection (in your IV) to make sure you will be ok..or if your are ill, your endo. Dr. should have told you how to increase your cortef, and for how long. If you do a search on adrenal insuffiency...it will basically tell you what you need to know to take care of you. I try to do what I was instructed to do by my endo. Dr., and I am living a pretty normal life...(CRAVE SUGAR...but that is life!!) I was pretty stupid when I had the flu last winter, didn't increase my cortef...and it took my body 2 months to recover...gotta listen to the Dr. on this one, and it was my own fault...now I am a lot more aware, and plan in the future to do as instructed. I just take my med. on the morning at 8 a.m.....and I am good to go for the rest of the day...Didn't mean to scare you, but this is really important...

Sage

 
Old 06-27-2007, 04:59 AM   #6
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Re: Adrenal Fatigue from back surgery! Anyone else?

Thanks Sage for your support. It has been very helpful. I have another question for you if you happen to look at this again. I am having lots of pain right in the area of the adrenal glands. Is that normal do you think? Or do you think its the pain that is going on with my back? boomer

 
Old 06-27-2007, 05:57 AM   #7
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Re: Adrenal Fatigue from back surgery! Anyone else?

I have not had pain in that area..caused by the adrenals, that I know of. My back pain is lower than my waist...and the adrenals are not in that area.. Depends where/what is causing you back pain. My husband had pain going around from his back to his abdomen...and in the area of the kidneys...but it was caused by the arthritis in his facet joints...muscle spasm/nerves, but his arthritis is at a higher level than mine. Have you asked your endro. Dr. about this?? Hope you feel better.

Sage

 
Old 06-27-2007, 06:49 AM   #8
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Re: Adrenal Fatigue from back surgery! Anyone else?

I am three months and half post double fusion (L5-L4) and I empathize with you. I returned to work and by 2PM each day I am exhausted! I don't know if it is from the back surgery, pain, or simple stress, but the fatigue is tough! I wish you the best!

 
Old 06-27-2007, 12:17 PM   #9
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Re: Adrenal Fatigue from back surgery! Anyone else?

I had a very successful 2 level fusion in 10/2005. No pain No Meds everything was great till about January and I felt as though I couldn't function. I had insomina for 4 weeks!!! I mean no sleep at all, I go to the dr. and they'll get me shoots and nothing. My body was dragging, but I literly could not sleep. Finally in Feb. I finally crashed for 3 days straight, since then I've been easily fatigued, bad headaches, exessive sweating, chest pains, and have gained ALOT of weight. I went from doc to doc and nobody had answers. My family dr. was at a loss. One day last month I came across pheocrymatoma, a tumor of the adrenal gland, and called my dr. to ask him to test me. Low and behold, he called my 2 weeks later and said that I must see an endrocinologist that I am right. My numbers were off the charts.

With the hot weather, I've been having such a hard time, I just want to sleep.

Good luck. I hope your problem resolves it self soon.

 
Old 06-27-2007, 07:23 PM   #10
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Re: Adrenal Fatigue from back surgery! Anyone else?

Baybreeze, you briefly mentioned taking prednisone in the past for lupus flares. How did surgery and lupus work together? Does the stress of surgery bring out lupus flares?

Does anybody know how long you should be off cortosteroids before surgery to avoid problems?

 
Old 06-28-2007, 09:08 AM   #11
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Re: Adrenal Fatigue from back surgery! Anyone else?

Blackcloud---I know how you are feeling, but I hope they have you on some meds. Are they going to check you for an adrenal tumor? Or do you know this yet? I truley hope you get some help. This, my doctor said, is not unusual for back surgery patients be affected by adrenal fatigue (not tumors though)because of the trauma on the body. Best wishes and I hope you keep us informed. BOOMER

 
Old 06-28-2007, 10:32 AM   #12
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Re: Adrenal Fatigue from back surgery! Anyone else?

How do they diagnose you with adrenal insufficiency? Does blood work show low coritsol? I don't think I've ever had my cortisol level tested but I have extreme fatigue. I've wondered if I had adrenal fatigue. I also have Fibromyalgia.

I hope you get to feeling better and the medicine continues to help.

Harmony

 
Old 06-28-2007, 12:43 PM   #13
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Re: Adrenal Fatigue from back surgery! Anyone else?

Hi boomer,
I have 2 endo appointments one July 16th and one August 20th. I figured I might as well get 2 opinions while I'm at. I'm not exactly sure what to think about my situation, but alot of the reports I'm am finding are not good. I'm trying to breathe deep and remain calm till my appointment. I will keep you posted.

 
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