Addison's? Adrenal Fatigue? Wha?

vkitty's picture
Wed, 05/28/2008 - 22:15 -- vkitty

Okay, here's the long story short: I was sick for almost two years, docs didn't know what was wrong, I figured out on my own that I was allergic to wheat, I went to a naturopath for a change who confirmed the wheat thing and also told me I had something that the western medical world doesn't really believe in called Adrenal Fatigue. Now I take some herbal supplements to support my adrenals.

Sounds nice, right? But the thing is that I'm still so exhausted that I can't even make it through a half day at work much less finish the incomplete paper I'm supposed to be finishing up this semester. But I was watching some stupid show on TV that mentioned something called Addison's Disease.

So of course on a whim I looked it up. My symptoms exactly! Okay mostly. My skin isn't tan necessarily, instead it is oddly splotchy reddish. The splotchy reddish IS kind of an odd thing, like rashy almost, but not itchy, just weird colored. But it's not really tan. That's the only Addison's symptom I'm kind of iffy on.

Question for you mama's: I don't have insurance, but I would like to check out to see if I have this just to set my mind at ease. But I can't really afford to go running to the doctor on a whim. Am I a hypochondriac? Does anyone here have any experience with Addison's? Any doctors in the room? I'm so sick of being sick, it's not even the least bit funny.

Comments

Resolution's picture
Submitted by Resolution on

I'm not sure about the Addison's, I do know that a bronze appearance is one of the markers, but I dunno if redness / splotchiness is a symptom of that. Have you looked up autoimmunune disorders too (like Lupus, Epstein Bar)? They can make you very, very tired...and simple blood tests can diagnose them.

I sympathize with the no insurance...I've been there, and I've seen so many patients that have to choose between quality of life and a doctor's appointment; it's ridiculous. The only reason I bring up the other diseases at all is so that if you have any symptoms, and you DO end up going to a doctor, then they can get it done in one shot, instead of multiple visits.

Can you apply for Medicaid or any other medical programs to help with cost? Are you eligible?

lapina's picture
Submitted by lapina on

But if you have been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, you can have similar symptoms as addison's without having that syndrome. KWIM?

I would focus on the adrenal fatigue helpers (exercise, sleep, no sitting around, supplements, no caffeine). If your symptoms get worse (like the symptoms for Addisonian crisis) then definitely go in and have it checked!

Without trying to sound like a ass, I think you need to relax about this. I DO understand where you are coming from. Shit, 3 months ago I was in the emergency room for a possible heart attack (I am 32) which got me an EKG, blood screens, lung x-ray and back to back CT scans. I then was tested for early menopause, thyroid, and liver function. I started an SSRI and a MOST of my symptoms completely went away. I was never a person who had physical ailments from depression, but all of a sudden I was. Before my ER visit I was sure I had colon cancer, breast cancer, another ovarian tumor...now I think my body is just getting used to not being 18 anymore. I read in your bio that you are 30. 30 can be hard on us women.
I don't mean to say that you might not have something, but I think worrying about it and trying to find a disease that fits the symptoms can make the issue worse.

Lots of vibes to you and I hope you find some answers that help.

vkitty's picture
Submitted by vkitty on

I don't think you sound like an ass! I think you made sense!

Oh, and crap! I'm 30! lol yeah getting older is not easy, and I DO have this wheat allergy that makes it worse on my body... Anyway, thanks for your insights!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
DR.MCCOY: Spock, you are the most cold-blooded man I've ever met.
SPOCK: Why, thank you Doctor.

"Overcome the angry by non-anger; overcome the wicked by goodness; overcome the miser by generosity; overcome the liar by truth." -Buddha

vkitty's picture
Submitted by vkitty on

It's not the middle of the night anymore, and I've given your comments some though. I think that by even worrying about this I'm making myself work. And, so what if the western med world doesn't believe in adrenal fatigue? My doc does, and he seems to be helping... And I AM prone to stress.

Anyway, I'll have insurance kicking in in September. I think I'll just keep treating the wheat allergy and the adrenal fatigue the way I have been and give a chance to work before I get too upset. And my skin isn't bronze, you're right, it's just splotchy red, which could be from stress anyway. As for those other auto-immune diseases, I've been checked out for them. But not Addison's.

Okay, I'm just gonna relax and have a delicious margarita and not worry too much. At least I can get off of the couch now. I couldn't do that before! Thanks ladies!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
DR.MCCOY: Spock, you are the most cold-blooded man I've ever met.
SPOCK: Why, thank you Doctor.

"Overcome the angry by non-anger; overcome the wicked by goodness; overcome the miser by generosity; overcome the liar by truth." -Buddha

mamaneen's picture
Submitted by mamaneen on

but when the insurance kicks in, i'd strongly recommend getting tested for addison's, even if it seems a longshot. one of my sisterfriends almost died from untreated addison's. no joke.

"if i pass for other than what i am, do you feel safer?" ~ lani ka'ahumanu

dragon knows dragon

"if i pass for other than what i am, do you feel safer?" ~ lani ka'ahumanu

dragon knows dragon

jacquelinenh's picture
Submitted by jacquelinenh on

I am pretty sure I have adrenal fatigue but just looked up more on Addison's and -- like you -- except for the tanned skin, I fit the profile. But, I still think it's adrenal fatigue. FWIW, here's the website I've been getting pretty good adrenal fatigue info from:
womentowomen.com. Here's a really great article about diet and AF:
http://www.womentowomen.com/adrenalfatigue/adrenalglandnutrition.aspx

HTH! And hey, I am glad I stumbled upon Hip Mama!

- Jacqueline

Monarda's picture
Submitted by Monarda on

caused by a benign tumor on my pituitary gland. When the tumor was removed, my pituitary stopped talking to my adrenal gland, thus my adrenal gland stopped producing cortisone, and I had a cortisone crash which is the same thing as an addisonian crisis. It SUCKED ASS.

My symptoms for a crash begin with fatigue, followed by extreme exhaustion, as in, everything feels totally overwhelming. I get queasy and lose affect, and then I start to puke.

If you do have addison's, a simple replacement dose of cortisone to cover what your body isn't making does the trick.

If you're not crashing, there may be no harm in waiting till you have insurance in September; however, if in fact your adrenal gland is not producing cortisone, then if something happens to stress your body--such as an illness with fever, car accident or other injury--you could go into major shock, because cortisone is the hormone that helps your body respond to a physical crisis. Just fyi.

If you have other questions about any of this don't hesitate to PM me.