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  • Adrenal insufficiency or simply anxiety?

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    Old 09-29-2009, 01:09 PM   #1
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    Adrenal insufficiency or simply anxiety?

    After months of research, I really feel strongly that I must have an adrenal fatigue/insufficiency/burnout problem. My doctor, on the other hand, feels strongly that I do not and that it is merely anxiety. He has only done bloodwork on me and says that my sodium and potassium levels are fine.

    I felt stupid doing it, but I brought up that I read about a pupil test online for adrenal insufficiency. Shine a light in your eye for 30 seconds, if it constricts, it's normal, if it dilates, it's not. I told him that my eye constricted, then dilated, then constricted, then dilated, etc. My boyfriend's, on the other hand, constricted and stayed that way. He wove a light in front of my eye for about two seconds and said, "No, your pupils are fine." He also refuses a saliva test or any other further tests on the matter.

    My symptoms, if you are interested, are crippling anxiety (last week I couldn't handle the most minor of things, it had me crying all day... every day), extreme depression, extreme irritability, inability to focus, poor memory, extreme fatigue (I am sleepy all the time and any sort of exercise, especially walking up steps or a steep hill leaves me completely exhausted), daily headaches, dizziness upon standing, appetite loss, nausea, cold extremities, dead libido, random heart palpitations, yawning allll the time, and feelings that I'm not breathing in enough oxygen, especially while eating. I also definitely had the cause of extreme stress for a long period of time.

    Also during my visit, his nurse checked my blood pressure while sitting and standing, and it went from 120/82 to 124/84. Is this because I was nervous? Usually my blood pressure is in the 100/70 range or a bit lower, and I definitely do feel light-headedness upon standing (but of course, not while I was being checked). It does seem to only happen during times that I am not nervous. I may be stressed and I'll experience it, but when nervous, I don't seem to. My weight also has strangely shot up, from 100 last visit to 106 this time, even after my appetite loss, but I can't help but feel that has something to do with incompetence with the scale.

    I did take sumatriptan the other day, which can increase the effects of serotonin if you take SSRI/SNRIs, which I do... and I felt wonderful. Giving some support to the anxiety only theory.

    So I don't know, there's a collection of my thoughts, and I suppose my question is this: Do I have any reason to doubt my doctor in this case, or is he really probably right that it's merely anxiety? Are normal sodium and potassium levels enough to exclude the possibility?

    Last edited by luminescent; 09-29-2009 at 01:13 PM.

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    Old 09-30-2009, 07:13 PM   #2
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    Re: Adrenal insufficiency or simply anxiety?

    i have apparently had addisons for years and didnt know it, i thought it was all just my thyroid issues. Have you tried going to an endocrinologist? he is the one that diagnosed me just by looking at me. i was a bad case, i had discoloration of the skin in and out of the hospital. i saw my doctor for 2 years and he didnt know. you should definatly look for an endocrinologist if you havent alrady.

    Old 10-01-2009, 12:31 AM   #3
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    Re: Adrenal insufficiency or simply anxiety?

    my doctor tested me for anything and everything for months cause I had all the symptoms you listed. he didnt find anything.. then at christmas I got so weak I keept throwing myself at the floor to sleep, I didnt even have strenght to go to the nearest bed or chair. what I did not know then, was that I was not sleeping but going in and out of conciness, and I was told I was lucky to survive. I got put in ER and a doctor came to look at me. she took one look at my fingers (I was there because of stummick pain) and she said have your fingers always been this dark?.. I am sure you got addison.

    So even thou I got a very good doctor that would move heaven and earth for me, it is not always enough. First of all.. listen to your inner voice, and dont give up. Bloodtests are not good enough, you need a special test (I dont know the english word for it, but Im sure one of the english/american members here do) But you need that test to tell if you got addison..
    Just dont give up. it is your life, fight for it.. and most of all, listen to your inner voice. it is never wrong.
    thinking of you

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