Patient Comments: Addison's Disease - Symptoms

What were your symptoms at the onset of your Addison's disease?

Comment from: sb, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 30

I seemed to be nauseated, had diarrhea, or I was vomiting most of my waking hours. I was so exhausted, weak, and achy and many times felt faint, with low blood pressure. Always being a very light sleeper for as long as I can remember, I should have noticed how deeply I was sleeping when my sister could not get me to answer my door for almost a half hour. I went to my primary care physician and had lost over 30 pounds and had no appetite and thought I was dying! I was depressed and scared to death. My doctor said he would look at my chart (I had been seeing him for over 12 years, fairly sizeable chart) from front to back and promised he would do everything within his power to find out what was wrong with me. He did, after much blood work and urine tests... Addison"s disease! I got on hydrocortisone and have done better but I"m still so tired all the time. But the nausea, diarrhea, extremely low blood pressure and loss of appetite have gone. And my cardiologist found (when I wore a monitor) that at night my heart rate would go down to 22 and there were times that my heart did not beat at all for 8 seconds. So now I have a pacemaker. I don"t know if that is related to the Addison"s. I was diagnosed in July of 2011 with the first stage of Addison"s. Is there a second or a third stage or does something else happen! At the time I was diagnosed with Addison"s my doctor said I had the first stage of kidney disease. So, is that what is next? I now have so much swelling in my ankles and calves that my body seriously almost looks deformed. And, oh yes, I do take a fluid pill and it stills happens every day!

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Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 20

I have had Addison's disease since 1992 and have learned to cope with it pretty well. I was sick for months, and almost died before the diagnosis due to flippant medical care, that prescribed all kinds of medicines for different ailments I didn't have. I lost 30 pounds, started turning very tan and did see an endocrinologist, who failed to diagnose it, as she found I was hypothyroid. It is important I think to see a doctor that knows you and knows what you are supposed to look like. My son's pediatrician finally put a name to it the day I was about to shut down. I checked myself into a hospital that night, and my lab tests were so bad they didn't want me to sleep. I was treated and felt born again. I up my dosage if sick or dragging. And my voice gets deeper if I don't have enough medicine in me. I take Florinef and prednisone, and have taken Cortef in the past as well.

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Comment from: Bud W., 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: August 18

Having rheumatoid arthritis, neuropathy, GERD amongst other problems, I had no idea what Addison's disease was until my doctor informed me. No one explained to me the severity of the disease and I put it on the back burner. All the symptoms of Addison's mirror all the other ailments I possess and I don't feel that any kind of treatment would be beneficial for me. Would it help me walk; would it slow down my breast growth; will it rebuild muscle loss or will it help my fatigue! The thought of more pills added to my arsenal doesn't excite me.

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Comment from: Deborah, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 25

I was diagnosed with Addison"s disease 3 years ago at the age of 51. I had noticed increased pigmentation to my skin, fatigue, frequent episodes of nausea, vomiting, dizziness, shortness of breath, and weight loss for a few years before diagnosis. I related these symptoms to overworking and age. I ended up in an adrenal crisis from influenza and was hospitalized due to low sodium level. The physician performed lab tests and finally came up with the diagnosis of Addison"s disease. I remember how much better I felt after receiving steroids.

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Comment from: lisakabalu, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 18

I was exhausted to the point of falling asleep at the traffic lights! I hadn"t noticed weight loss because I was on a weight loss plan anyway. I was diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis, and an interactive thyroid but I still slept most of the day plus the nights. Eventually I was referred to an endocrinologist who spotted Addison"s disease immediately and started me on steroids. Though they have made some difference I am still exhausted most of the time.

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Comment from: msullivan, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: December 30

I was diagnosed with Addison's disease last month. I am currently 30 years old. I have had some sort of symptoms for 2 years. They started with just fatigue, anxiety, depression, lightheadedness upon standing, and acid reflux. I also developed hypothyroidism a year and a half ago. The past 5 months I had to go to the hospital 4 times. The 3rd time they finally diagnosed me with autoimmune Addison's disease. I was experiencing vomiting, diarrhea, lightheadedness, fatigue, drowsiness, my skin was dry and darker, achy joints, nonstop nausea, weight loss, and anxiety. The 4th time I went to the hospital recently because I found out I needed Florinef for my electrolytes with the Cortef I was already taking. I can finally say I am feeling like myself again after 2 years.

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Addison's Disease - Treatments Question: What was the treatment for your Addison's disease?
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Addison's Disease - Causes Question: If known, what was the cause of Addison's disease in you or a relative?

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