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Adrenal Questions

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Old 11-30-2001, 04:11 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 24
TiredandWeary HB User
Adrenal Questions

Hi all, sorry it's been so long since I have posted, been soooo busy lately.

Anyway, as most of you know I have graves disease (hyperthyroid) and began treatment in May, after 8 years of no treatment. (I attempted treatment a couple times during those 8 years but got aggravated what with going through about 5 endos and 4 family docs)
Anyway....I now have a pretty good doc. The only thing is, he is foreign, and normally he speaks very good english, but occasionally I misunderstand. My thing is....I was hyper, he began treating me with Tapazole, and atenolol. This were great at first, Ifinally knew what it felt like to feel normal, then after a med increase, I went majorly hypo and felt like snail slime lol. He took me off my meds, to bring me back up to normal, but after about a month, I was right back up to hyper, with almost the exact same numbers as I had in the beginning, for all the labs, and TSH was exactly the same. Now here's my question.....when I went hypo, I began getting very dry skin, and my finger tips began peeling, etc. I thought this was just typical dry skin of hypothyroid...well, it's still here. I also have lines on my fingertips now as if they are pruney from the bath or something and you can barely see my fingerprints on the very ends of them. I read somewhere that this was a sign of adrenal probs. So, what I wanna know is, if the stress from being hypo could have set off adrenal probs, as I have heard that stress can mess with your adrenals, as well as your thyroid. I have researched thyroid through and through.....but not believe I am getting adrenal symptoms as well, but I can't seem to get any really good info on adrenals, and how they work with the thyroid, etc. I asked once before on the boards, and got one page that had simply a list of adrenal and thyroid symptoms with + or - signs next to them...that was helpful but I am looking for more info. I asked my doc to just test my cortisol leves, and my other hormone levels such as DHEA, Estrogen, etc...and he sort of chuckled at me as if to say I was obsessing over this....and said something to the effect that he wouldn't think I had an adrenal prob unless my glucose and sodium were up....but later after going through my older labwork, I noticed that both my glucose and sodium were slightly elevated. When I brought it to his attention he stated that because they were not far above the norm, he wasn't worried about it (my glucose was like 133 the the high being 130) and I can't remember sodium right off. Anyway, he did say that if he thought there was an adrenal prob, he would do an ACTH reaction test rather than a cortisol test, as the ACTH test was more accurate. Can anyone please give me some info on this please?
Actually any info at all on adrenals would really be appreciated. Thanks so much all

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Old 12-01-2001, 01:39 AM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Russellville, AR, USA
Posts: 544
arkie6 HB User
Re: Adrenal Questions

I'm not sure about your adrenal question, but bloodsugar (glucose) levels of 130 to 133 are high. In fact, fasting serum glucose levels over 126 mg/dl meet the clinical definition of diabetes. Normal fasting glucose levels are on the order of 70-100 mg/dl.


Old 12-02-2001, 05:21 PM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 52
judekate HB User
Re: Adrenal Questions

hi tired and weary, i am being worked up for hypopituitary which you lose all of your hormones. adrenal function is one of them. the pituitary stops producing acth that stimulates the adrenals to make cortisol. random blood checks of cortisol are USELESS. there is primary adrenal insufficiency and secondary adrenal insufficiency....the one i just explained about the pituitary is secondary. that is where my hypothyroidism is coming from...secondary hypothyroid cause my pituitary cannot produce tsh. primary would be from the adrenals itself. a spot check blood draw of acth, if in the end stages of primary adrenal failure will be elevated and you will have many symptoms or adrenal failure, orthostatic hypotension, nausea, vommiting, weight loss, loss of appetite, very low sodium levels....and many others. to see if the adrenals are working you need to have a dynamic test done, insulin tolernace test, cosyntropin (spell) test.....i dont know the website off hand but vanderbilt neuroendocrine center has a website that explains all the test for adrenal. endo, dr. lewis blevins runs the center and is listed on the website. another site is MGH neuroendocrine hospital (Massachusettes General Hospital). hope that helps.

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