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Posted by Michelle M on October 13, 2000 at 05:37:27:

In Reply to: Re: anyone here of pregnancy-induced Addisons Dx? - for lack of the proper name posted by GERI on October 12, 2000 at 00:17:02:

: : : Hi. I'm a 39 yr. old woman and I'm new to this, but my family doc is sending me to an endo. as he suspects Addisons Dx. I went to him complaining of pain and weakness in my hands (rule out carpel tunnel?), severe mood swings and irritability, edema, lousy skin--thin and so dry and itchy I'm scarring myself (esp. hands and arms), easily distracted/confusion, abd. discomfort pain (have seen gyne. for past 8 yrs. or so w/ovarian cysts, etc.), constipation, etc. But when I shared an odd happening when I was pregnant with both my children 16 and 14 yrs. ago, he found it very interesting. I broke out in a rash from head to toe (scratching myself raw, and ready to jump out of my skin!), until I was put into the hospital and put on IV steroids, then sent home w/ Rx of Prednisone 80 mg./day, titrating down to 20-40 mg. a day until I delivered. Then, oila! No more rash (that's the only symptom I remember--other than not being able to sleep due to the severe itching). I don't remember a name the tagged on it, but they told me and my husband that I was not making enough cortisone for myself during my pregnancy, and that this was extremely rare. Now, yrs. later, I'm a nurse and have asked numerous docs (including OB/GYNs) if they have ever heard of such a thing, and not one has. Anyone out there here of it? Only an issue when I was pregnant, but then I was told I should be okay after delivery. And basically, I was, until the previosly named symptoms began to develop over several yrs. time. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks.

: : I have pregnancy induced addison's. My endo at the time I was diagnosed explained that it has to to with the hormone change after you deliver. He said that your body goes through more of a hormonal change after delivery and sometimes can trigger your own immune system to destroy your adrenal glands like they were a virus or an infection your body needs to destroy. write back if I can add anything, now that I have stumbled across this mssg bd, I check it all the time. Michelle M.
: Thanks, Michelle, for the info. I understand that this is extremely rare. However, my disorder began at the beginning of pregnancy, and then subsided after delivery, only to start up again at the beginning of the next pregnancy. Since then, some 14 yrs. ago or so, I have been seemingly fine, except for some skin changes, mood changes, insensitivity to heat/cold, edema, and incredible fatigue. These symptoms have really begun to intensify in the past 2-3 yrs., since some stress in my life has increased. Normally, I wouldn't allow things to bother me nearly as much, but I find now that everything irritates me. Uncharactaristic for an easy-going, carefree person. Anyway, I'm interested in knowing, have you been Addisonian ever since the pregnancy--in other words, has it NOT disappeared after the pregnancy ended? I was not told to follow up on the conditions after childbirth, because the symptoms, mostly severe rash, sleeplessness, etc., seemed to disappear immediately following childbirth. Please respond. Also, is there another term for this disorder, like gestational Addisons Dx? Just wondering. Thanks, and here's hoping all your pregnancies be healthy, wonderful experiences like mine have turned out to be. Look forward to hearing from you again.

No problem, Geri. Unfortunately, my adrenal glands are completely gone. I was feeling terrible for three years before I was diagnosed. By the time I finally hooked up with an endo, I was dehydrating all the time (5 ER visits in 3 mos), my blood pressure was 58/30, dizziness, extreme fatigue, and every time I would get a cold, it would turn into pnuemonia or bronchitis and I would be getting well for months. My back would go out, I developed gingivitis and had to have a portion of gum removed. I did whatever I could think of to feel better. I would get B12 shots every month, drank 8 16oz glasses of water a day, increased my salt intake, went to the chiropractor, took naps every day, slept 10 hrs or more at night, etc. the diagnosing endo said I should by all rights be dead. Noone can survive without adrenal glands, how did I stay alive. My reply was that I had two small daughters at home to live for. I used to pray every night that if I could not feel better that God take me in my sleep! Well, he listened. Most of the time, I feel great. Even when I'm ill, I never feel as bad as I did then. So, to answer your question, I have never heard of gestational addison's. However, that doesn't mean that it does not exist. I do remember now that after my first pregnancy, I developed a severe rash which was attributed to the epidural and demerol I received during delivery. It took 6 weeks to get rid of! That was 11 years ago and I don't remember what medication I was given for it. Also, I do have very dark skin now and tan very fast. You can "watch" my skin tan when I'm out in the sun. Prior to being diagnosed, I never lost my tan over the winter. I am a caucasian and looked african/american. Some other darker discolorations on the inside of my lips and mouth which are not as bad now but still present. Two round circles of darker skin on each cheek an above my upper lip. The darker skin on my face lightened upon taking cortef and I started using a product from Estee Lauder a couple of weeks ago called idealist which is fading those discolorations like no medication I have tried! Thanks for the wishes of good pregnancies, but do me a favor and wish for none. I am 38 yrs old and will be divorced soon and have not had a desire to have more babies in a loooooong time. My daughters are 11 and 8 and we are having a ball! I don't have great memories of their infancy, because I was exhausted to begin with and their nocturnal habits were not welcome, probably why they slept through the night at 6 and 7 wks old! I was not a pleasant person back then. Take care and good luck to you. write back and ask anything else you would like to know.

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