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Could this be an adrenal issue?

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Old 08-17-2011, 10:21 AM   #1
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cheesedoodles HB User
Could this be an adrenal issue?

DISCLAIMER: I am not using this as a substitute for medical advice. I simply want to be an informed patient, and one way of doing that is to pick others' brains. I assure you, I'm making an appointment with my PCP as soon as possible.

First and foremost, sorry for yet another, "undiagnosed, here are my problems, help a sister out" post.

I have endometriosis and had laparoscopic surgery a few months ago. I assumed that most of my woes were related to the autoimmune hell that this disease is comprised of, but a loved one keeps insisting I pursue the help of an endocrinologist as I still have issues with the following:
- Regular dizzyness, particularly upon going from kneeling/sitting to standing - sometimes I have to sit back down, as it feels like all the blood leaves my legs and head.
- Weakness.
- Extreme sweating. I've always been a sweaty person, but now my armpits literally drip when I'm sitting still.
- Chronic diarrhea. This improved after removing gluten from my diet, but now the problems are creeping back, which is coupled with...
- Sharp abdominal pains.
- Generalized muscle pain.
- Fatigue. Also improved a bit after surgery, but is creeping back in a nasty way. I could happily sleep 13 hours after doing virtually nothing in my day.
- Tanning in areas that barely ever see sun, particularly hips/knee-pits. The tips of my fingers are bronze all year round.
- I freaking love salt, you guys. No, really. I really, really love salt.
- Constant urination, but I also have interstitial cystitis which is notorious for the same thing.

That said, I looked over bloodwork results from before my last surgery when the aforementioned loved one mentioned my adrenal glands for possibly the millionth time. To my surprise, my aldosterone level was an underwhelming value of 2 - it likely flew right past me since all the other times I revisited the results were to double-check sex hormone levels. The blood was taken at 10am after traveling extensively to get to the clinic, so I obviously wasn't sedentary for the time prior to the test. I know chronic illness can also caught aldosterone levels to plummet, but that seems awfully low for the beginning of the day.

I'll be going to my PCP in the near future, and will bring this blood test and my list of issues. He's real gung-ho on bloodwork, so I assume he'll take a couple million vials of blood and send me to a specialist.

Anyway, could this be indicative of an adrenal issue? Is there anything else I should keep an eye out for in the meantime, or any particular testing I should request other than an ACTH Stimulation test?

Thanks, y'all.

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Old 09-12-2011, 02:58 PM   #2
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Essieness HB User
Re: Could this be an adrenal issue?

Your symptoms sound like exactly what I went through prior to my daignosis, but definitely still see a doctor. I know it's miserable.

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cheesedoodles (09-13-2011)
Old 09-13-2011, 02:36 PM   #3
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Re: Could this be an adrenal issue?

I ended up going to my GP and having basically everything under the sun tested. Everything's mostly normal, with the exception of some increased inflammatory markers. I'm waiting on a long-term pain-management script (my insurance company is obnoxious about maintenance drugs), so the inflammation is probably the endometriosis. I've also got some low albumin going on, which is being rectified with extra protein in my diet.

HOWEVER, I had low blood pressure the first time I went in, and ended up getting a 24-hour heart monitor. I have an irregular heartbeat and my heart seems to dig putting in some extra beats. Nothing seems structurally wrong, so I'm waiting on seeing a cardiologist with my doctor's blessing, since weird heartbeats tend to run in my family.

Otherwise? No freaking clue.

I still can't help but have a nagging voice in the back of my head telling me something's up. I've started bruising a ton (for no good reason - I'm no longer doing my former, very physical job). Also: areas around my feet that have say, tight spots where my sneakers fit turn brown. I'm of Mediterranean descent, but I used to be pretty pale, and my scars never used to look 'toasty' like this.

I'm debating on waiting out my symptoms and seeing if adequate pain management does something to help with the fatigue/nausea/etc., or going to an endocrinologist on my own accord (especially if things don't straighten out).

Old 09-13-2011, 02:38 PM   #4
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cheesedoodles HB User
Re: Could this be an adrenal issue?

Oh, and to clarify: I saw my GP, who tested my aldosterone with the batch of blood tests. He did not conduct an ACTH test. I didn't have the nads to request it, but I think I'll be suggesting that next if things don't improve in the next month or two.

Old 09-14-2011, 01:58 PM   #5
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swtnsalt HB User
Re: Could this be an adrenal issue?

The skin discoloration is very indicative of Cushings, do you have a fatty hump on the back of your neck? Which is also a sign of Cushings.

Make sure they do a Cortisol along with the ACTH, DHEA, LH, TSH, T4, etc....., ACTH can be normal and from what I understand you can have normal ACTH and the adrenals still refuse to produce cortisol.

I am just getting into this and have way to much information in my head now to know if I am confusing things but I'm fairly certain the pathway is....

Hypothalamus produces CRF which tells the pituatary to produce ACTH which tells the adrenal glands to produce cortisol.

Hope that helps. The symptoms you have are very similar to mine. I was even placed on a medication to control the dizziness because I couldn't stand up straight. However this was 12 years ago when some of my first symptoms began to manifest in a progressive way.

Take care and good luck.

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cheesedoodles (09-14-2011)
Old 09-14-2011, 04:07 PM   #6
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cheesedoodles HB User
Re: Could this be an adrenal issue?

Nope, no hump on the back of my neck. I don't have a round face, either. I will keep the information you listed in mind. Thank you for your input and well-wishes!

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