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  • Low Cortisol and slightly high DHEA

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    Old 01-16-2009, 03:39 PM   #1
    Gavi112
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    Low Cortisol and slightly high DHEA

    I am waiting to see an endocrinologist because an adrenal stress profle ( saliva) came back with the above results.

    My early morning cortisol is half of the lowest figure considred normal and then it goes very low for rest of day but my DHEA is just above normal.

    The lab report says I am in the exhaustive stage of adrenal collapse.

    My GP says it could be mild addisons hence the referral to endo.

    Can anyone tell me what tests I am likely to face from endo?? I am in UK so no one may be able to tell me as you all seem to be from USA but would still be interested to know what tests you have over there.

    I have some of the symptoms of addisons like dizziness and tendency to faint on standing plus chronic pain very low blood sugar that I find hard to control and am very overweight partly due to blood sugar problem as I have to eat so often but I do not have pigmentation ( maybe in genital region but not too dissimilar to what normal people have there).

    I know I do not have pituatary tumour as I had brain mri a few months ago and it would have shown up - I also had full spinal mri's which again would have shown up any adrenal tumours so GP says looking at auto immune if its addisons.

    Can you have adrenal exhaustion and it not be addisons?????

    I will have to wait quite a few weeks for my endo appt and want as much info as I can before I go.

    Last edited by Gavi112; 01-16-2009 at 03:41 PM.

     
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    Old 01-17-2009, 05:23 AM   #2
    Joodles62
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    Re: Low Cortisol and slightly high DHEA

    Hello

    Thought I would reply because I am from England too and have a lot of experiences with doctors here! It sounds like you have a very good GP. Most doctors we have seen (including endocrinologists) do not value saliva tests. Some forward thinking doctors do however, I hope your endo is one of them. One of the tests for Addison's is a synacthen test, so hopefully your endo will do that. Regarding tanning/pigmentation, you could still have secondary adrenal insufficiency as this presents with low ACTH. The high ACTH in Addison's causes the pigmentation, so if you had a low ACTH then this would not cause a tan. It is good that you have had a pituitary tumour excluded, have you had any other hormone tests so far? Also, have you been prescribed steroids (tablets/inahlers) in the past year or so, as some people can develop adrenal problems after this?

    Good luck, I hope you get an appointment soon.
    Joodles

     
    Old 01-19-2009, 01:05 PM   #3
    Gavi112
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    Re: Low Cortisol and slightly high DHEA

    thanks Joodles for replying.

    I have never had any steriod hormones in my life so that cannot be cause.
    I have had no other tests at all other than the saliva test that I paid for myself after being advised to have it by a medical herbalist. It was a surprise to get the results!

    My GP says the endo is a very nice lady and I know my GP spoke to her personally the day I saw my GP and I received my appt by letter the following day, the appt is on 18 th Feb which is quick for nhs endo as you will appreciate. I assume she will do any further tests as necessary

     
    Old 01-20-2009, 05:18 AM   #4
    rlpowers
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    Re: Low Cortisol and slightly high DHEA

    I was diagnosed with Addison's about 10 years ago. It took the docs many years to figure out whats I had. I am on two different types of steroids, Prednisone and Flurinef to keep my blood pressure up. Even after all of these years of being on the steroids, I still get vertigo and joint pain so severe it is hard to walk at times. Just in the past six months I have started passing out. I passed out right before new years and broke my left hand, right arm and 4 ribs. Now the Doc is thinking my heart maybe weak from the Addison's and being on the steroids for so long. I too get depressed, but I think it is more from being tired all the time and hurting all the time. I have recently decided to try and get disability. It has gotten to the point where it is a hazzard for me to drive and even walk for that matter. I get up and start walking from one room to the other and I get what I call zaps of feeling like I am going down or severe vertigo for seconds. I have stopped driving because of this. Does anyone know if over time even being on the steroids, does Addison's disease progress over time?

     
    Old 01-20-2009, 10:42 AM   #5
    Joodles62
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    Re: Low Cortisol and slightly high DHEA

    Hi Gavi112 - Glad to hear you got an appointment through, let us know how it goes. Hopefully your endo will give you some insight into what is wrong.

    rlpowers - I'm sorry to hear of your health problems. From what I understand, Addison's is not generally progressive once it is treated properly. It could be that you are feeling worse because of a different problem, it is good to hear that your doctor is looking into other problems. I hope you feel better soon.

    Joodles

     
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