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  • Does it sound like I may have Addison's disease?

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    Old 01-07-2014, 04:37 AM   #1
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    Does it sound like I may have Addison's disease?

    Ok, I'm going to try to keep this short and to the point. I'm a male in my 20;s.. I've always been active and relatively healthy, but with issues. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in 2009 and later that year contracted H1N1.

    It took nearly a year to get over those two hard blows to my health and I didn't feel more like myself again until mid 2010.

    However, it was around that time that I began developing an unquenchable thirst. I would drink literally quarts of water when I was at school. I didn't really think much of it at the time as I felt pretty good around then for the most part.

    I began to have pretty bad panic attacks in late 2011 to early 2012. I had always had this problem but they got worse, and quickly became almost unmanageable.

    In later 2012 I started to feel very hyperactive, and starting having MASSIVE salt cravings. Then in November the hammer really started to hit me. I began having these strange muscle sensations. I'd had these for years beore, but this time I would feel like every muscle was being squeezed and like gravity was pulling me to the floor at a stronger force than normal. After this I quickly became VERY fatigued over the next few months.

    I have orthostatic hypotension and it has gotten worse. Sometimes everything goes black for a second if I stand quickly. Vitals otherwise are pretty strong.

    Over the next few months I lost a LOT of weight. I was moderately underweight for my height and it showed. My cheekbones gouged out. I looked like a malnourished kid. I had loose skin on my upper arms from loss of fat and muscle.

    I was tired and dizzy constantly. Anxious, depressed.

    My doc wrote this off as anxiety depression and started me on an anti-depressant. I started talking it in the summer. It has worked greatly and has helped me gain weight, the loose skin is no longer an issue, and I'm active again. I was truely incapacitated for a few months.

    Because the doc didn't seem to listen to my physical complaints
    "You'd feel like you can't function in your own body if you had adrenal insufficiency"

    I thought "Newsflash, that IS how I feel!!".

    I went to another doc for a second opinion in April. Tests showed low Testosterone. Low testosterone by the values... remember that for a man in his 20's, .2 testosterone is basically NON-EXISTENT.


    In addition to this, I visited the ER numerous times for heart attack like symptoms that were written off as stress. Basic blood tests show nothing, neither do EKG's, although I noticed later, hemoglobin is on the high edge of normal and sodium is on the low end.

    Orthostatic tests on one visit showed dehydration and I was given IV's.

    No one at the ED has ever bothered to suggest giving me an ACTH test and I suppose it's because it's a 24 hr or longer test. I had to drop out of school because I couldn't be productive. (I'm going back this week after being gone more than a year).

    I was referred to an Endo but have to wait MONTHS, maybe longer just to be seen. They don't seem to understand that their "We'll go by our time, not yours" affects my life and not theirs.

    At my worst, I was desperate. I went to ER's several times in hopes of getting admitted to the hospital for the right diagnostic tests but I was never successful at it. Basic ER tests show nothing. They won't admit me because they can't find anything, and they can't find anything because they won't admit me for the more advanced testing I feel i need.

    I get good insurance soon and I'm planning on maybe either going back to the ER in hopes of finding someone who will listen or talking to a PCP or Endo who will hopefully either do the right thing and get me on the right track.


    I know SOMETHING is going on... does it sound like it could be Addison's? Or should my doctors and myself be looking for something else?


    In early 2011 I started to get really dark tanning on my lower legs. So dark that people saw it as abnormal. It doesn't go away no matter how much or little sunlight I'm getting.

    Last edited by Johann734; 01-07-2014 at 04:40 AM. Reason: Added detail

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    Old 02-27-2014, 04:00 PM   #2
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    Re: Does it sound like I may have Addison's disease?

    my sister was just diagnosed with addisons and yes sounds like a lot of the symptons she has...she also has CAH disease too that she was diagnosed with also..she is a mess...she has been to so many doctors before they find out what she had. they told her too that she was just depressed...sad that doctors don't really listen to patients signs!

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    Old 04-17-2014, 07:30 AM   #3
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    Re: Does it sound like I may have Addison's disease?

    The constant tan on your legs is very a distinct symptom that could be Addison's, as well as many other of your symptoms. Have you ever done a saliva test for your cortisol and DHEA? Esp cortisol. You can order online, or find a pharmacy that carries them. ZRT labs explains the results, and will work with any physician that is willing to work with them. It appears that more. MDs are wiling to consider saliva tests for cortisol, now. It is very important that you have enough cortisol to respond to emergencies, whether illness or accident.

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    Old 04-17-2014, 09:03 AM   #4
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    Re: Does it sound like I may have Addison's disease?

    I agree. All your symptoms sound like this could very well be Addison's. Hope you can get this diagnosed and treated soon and move on with your life! Please keep us posted on how this progresses.

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    Old 04-17-2014, 09:48 AM   #5
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    Re: Does it sound like I may have Addison's disease?

    Yes, it does sound like Addison's. I would definitely find a good Endo right away and go from there. I believe I found a good one and am grateful. It does take a while for the first appointment. I just waited four months for my first appointment and had to drive two and a half hours so I get your frustration. It's hard to wait when you feel like your dying some days.

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    Old 05-24-2014, 06:43 PM   #6
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    Re: Does it sound like I may have Addison's disease?

    Sound like either a cortisol or aldosterone deficiency (or both).

    When acth rises, cortisol is excreted from the adrenals. If you don't get a sufficient response, acth will continue to rise and stimulate the melanocytes. This is what causes the excess tanning. If you look at your knees, knuckles skin folds in the palms of your hands, they will be brown. Also you may have dark arm pits as well.

    Acth will also stimulate adrenalin. Those with a cortisol deficiency have very low capacity for stress. Typically what happens is that you get stressed, acth rises, adrenalin spikes and you blow up in an angry rage. This is then followed by exhaustion where you need to lie down for a while.

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