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Addison's Disease Message Board

Hope you can help :)

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Old 12-22-2007, 12:42 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Posts: 2
Saga HB User
Question Hope you can help :)

Hi everyone. I am 25 years old girl, and I have been struggling with some medical issues for the past one and a half year that I think could maybe be related to Addison’s. I was so glad to find this chat, so much information that has helped me understand this disease better.

I would be really thankful if you are willing go take your time to read my story and give me some advises

It all started with upper back pain and pressure in the chest. Like the muscles get really stiff. It sometimes gets really bad and it’s like I can’t relax the muscles. My stomach muscles get really stiff and it’s like I’m constantly doing crunches.

When my symptoms get bad my hands shake a little and I often have trouble relax my breathing, especially when trying to go to sleep.

I started to feel palpitation. When consuming white sugar the palpitation gets worse, and I haven’t been able to eat any white sugar for months now. I sometimes wake up really sweaty and my heart is pumping extremely fast. First time that happened it took me half an hour to get my heart beat down. I went to the ER and found out that I was Hypothyroid. Nobody could relate my symptoms to hypothyroid though, but after starting taking Levoxil I started feeling a bit better for a while.

Recently, I haven’t been feeling very well.
• I often get a bad pressure in my head that lasts for two to three days.
• I have low blood sugar, and if I don’t eat every three hours I start feeling bad.
• I get really dizzy when standing up.
• I am suffering from fatigue all day long, and I’m really pale.
• I don’t have as much appetite as I used to, but I haven’t thrown up though.
• I’ve been rather low in potassium, so my doctor gave me supplements to take in.
• I am really thirsty all the time, and drink water all day long.
• The symptoms get a lot worse while I have my period.

I have gone a coupe of times to have my TSH level checked when feeling bad, but it always comes out Ok.

Last week I started feeling a pain in the kidney are. First I thought it was the liver, but then the pain started on the other side as well, so I figured it must be the kidney. I started doing research on the internet and came across Addison’s disease, and I thought maybe it’s not just my thyroid after all! I went to see my doctor and he sent me to have my Cortisol checked. I got the results back today and it came back normal.

Cortisol AM = 16.5 (Range 4.0-22.0)
Cortisol PM = 5.0 (Range 3.0-17.0)

So, now I’m back on the starting point and really don’t know what to do.

I’m sorry how long this got, but I really hope you can give me some advice.

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Old 12-28-2007, 08:58 AM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 4
sharonelli HB User
Re: Hope you can help :)

Hi, Saga. I'm new to this board, but I saw your post and I wanted to comment. A couple of the things you mentioned are not indicative of Addison's:

low potassium - Addison's patients generally have high potassium and low sodium
very pale - although it doesn't happen in every case, a dark tan is a sign of Addison's

Is your doctor an endocrinologist? Some of what you describe could certainly be related to either thyroid issues or diabetes (my first thought from what you said was diabetes), but there are other things that could cause your symptoms and you need an experienced endo.

Good luck.

Old 12-30-2007, 07:07 AM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Overland Park, KS, USA
Posts: 2
queenma1214 HB User
Re: Hope you can help :)

Hi Saga
Though I agree with the prior post about signs of addison's it does depend on whether it is primary or secondary addisons. If you have secondary addisons (meaning it is NOT the adrenal glands that have the problem, is either in the pituitary or hypothalamus gland) you would most likely not have the tanning problem or even the potassium/sodium problem. While the cortisol levels are in normal range there is a school of thought (I believe the study was maybe from John Hopkins) that says any am cortisol level BELOW 18 should be further investigated. My am cortisol of 17 got my gp to start further testing. By the time he did an adrenal stimulation test my am cortisol was 12 and 4 months later when he repeated the test it was 10. We are now using low dose cortef and he is doing further research...I also do not fit the exact diagnostic measure of addisons (no tan...though am freckled and getting more so weight loss...but also have hasimotos...etc). There is lots of info on the internet that tells the symptoms/signs for the different types of adrenal insufficiency. Good luck!

Old 12-31-2007, 04:39 PM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Posts: 2
Saga HB User
Re: Hope you can help :)

Thanks Guys, I really appreciate your responses. Currently, I’m not seeing an endocrinologist. I saw one about half year back and she practically threw me out of her office and told me to see my family practice for my symptoms. Not much help there! I’ve been looking for a good endo on the internet, and plan to make appointment after the holidays.

Thanks for the info queenma1214 about different kind of Addison’s. I didn’t know there could be different symptoms for different kind of Addison’s. I have been doing a lot of research on the internet lately and many of the Addison’s symptoms seems to be just like the ones I’ve been experiencing, but other not. So it’s really hard to tell!

I went to see a new family doctor last week and he ordered a lot of blood work, including glucose test and new cortisol test, since the last AM test was taken rather late (10:30). He also ordered MRI scan of my head, since I’ve been experiencing pain in back of my head and neck. So now I’m freaking out waiting for the results, but hopefully I’ll get some answers now

Old 02-03-2008, 11:16 PM   #5
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Chi town
Posts: 9
val319 HB User
Re: Hope you can help :)

I can say I've never been 100% happy with endo's. i like DOs that are willing to learn. It can be rough finding a good doctor. I finally found a great one in Chicago.

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