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  • Do you have to be critically ill to have addison's?

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    Old 08-12-2013, 12:12 PM   #1
    hubicka's Avatar
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    hubicka HB User
    Do you have to be critically ill to have addison's?

    I have hashimotos thyroiditis and despite years of trying different medicines etc. have not felt well so have concluded the illness is not related to my thyroid.
    Endocrinologist thinks I may have addison's. My symptoms are tiredness and weakness, hypoglycemic episodes if i dont eat every 2 hours, low blood pressure (dont know what it is, dont think its terribly low), inability to focus, daily nausea especially caused by physical activity, light headedness usually when just walking down the street... really sensitive to being hot or cold, seem to sweat a lot, digestive problems and regular diarrhea, air hunger, unquenchable thirst and frequent urination, weight loss (1 stone over the last 6 months) and inability to gain weight. And all of the mental symptoms - irritability, angry outburts even though im a very gentle person! oversensitive paranoid and defensive, often a very low mood etc.
    However I don't think I have full blown Addison's disease as I've read its very serious and the patient would be seriously ill and it's fatal if untreated. These symptoms all started for me 9 years ago and have been getting worse and worse until I'm now quite ill. I feel terrible in the afternoon (1-4pm) and often have to spend it in bed and then feel quite fine in the evening! I have to have an afternoon nap every day (annoying!!) but if I get 10+ hours of sleep I am fairly ok the next day though and am usually able to stay awake the whole day, but I'm guessing the amount of sleep I get wouldn't make any difference to how I felt if it was caused by Addison's.

    Umm I'm blabbering. Basically, does the fact that I'm not seriously/critically ill and that I've had the symptoms for years rule out Addison's?
    I'm having a Synacthen test soon anyway... but my guess is that I just have adrenal fatigue.

    Last edited by hubicka; 08-12-2013 at 12:38 PM.

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    Old 08-18-2013, 11:36 PM   #2
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    Re: Do you have to be critically ill to have addison's?

    Hi Hubicka
    I wish you had gotten a response from someone diagnosed with Addison's.

    I have also been plagued by these symptoms for many many years, gradually getting worse and worse. A few years ago, after weeks of severe diarrea and vomiting and being unable to get out of bed, I was booked off work for 3 months to recover and had to get home visits from the GP every second day to give me shots to stop the vomiting so that I didn't "end up in hospital and get committed for being psychologically unstable" - not sure how I survived that! My second pregnancy was a nightmare - I picked up 4 kgs (the baby weighed 4 kgs, I had wasted away) and my labour was horrfic. I was (blissfully happily) in bed with my baby for 3 months after, trying to regain my energy.

    In Feb I had a UTI that had me totally floored, I just couldn't get well, felt exhausted to the point that a shower would have me out of breath and dizzy. After investigations into possible pulmonary embolism and a costly visit to a cardiologist (all of which I vehemently opposed and kept saying I'm sure it's not my lungs or heart), she decided I'm just depressed.

    Last month I got a shot of high dose cortisone for colitis (at about 6pm) and woke up the next morning feeling better than I have in YEARS! I even had rosy cheeks and looked well for the first time in years! By the afternoon I was feeling low on energy again, but still felt a bit better than "normal". 2 wks later, I was put on high dose cortisone tabs and again felt fabulous (compared to usual) for a while, until the dose had decreased.

    Wow, I can't describe how amazing it felt to realise that I don't have to feel so awful and be such a witch for the rest of my life, that finally there's light at the end of the tunnel!

    Off I went to my new GP to share this wonderful news and find out what to do next - what a disastrous encounter. He was unbelievably rude, told me it's all in my head and I'm just depressed (heard that before!). Ín my insistence, he referred me to a specialist physician who said he's quite certain I have adrenal insuffciency and will test at the beginning of September (need time for my body to get clear of the cortisone I've taken). He said that so many people suffer for years and repeatedly get told they're just depressed, until they go into severe crisis; he doesn't know how I survived those episodes. He even believes that the "colitis" I've continuously had for the last 4 years might actually be caused by adrenal insufficiency and might not actually be colitis at all. He did say that getting a positive test result for adrenal insufficiency can be tricky if you're not in adrenal crisis, but he would continue testing until we "catch" it at the right moment (or something like that).

    I am too scared to even hope that my test results will clarify what's going on. I wonder whether anyone else has had positive test results / been diagnosed while not in crisis?

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    addisons disease, hashimotos thyroiditis, synacthen test

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