Patient Comments: Addison's Disease - Symptoms

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

Comment from: ali, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 18

At the onset of my Addison's disease, I experienced hyperpigmentation all over my body.

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Comment from: armywife, 35-44 Male (Caregiver) Published: December 29

My husband is 44 years old, and he was diagnosed a little over year ago. He is an Army veteran with PTSD. He was very ill for about eight to 12 months before his diagnosis. I would call his doctor/psychiatrist because would just fall asleep anywhere. There are no words to describe his behavior -- the doctor didn't believe me! Finally, one day at the doctor's office -- once again the doctor had ignored me -- and as we left the office, my husband said he was scared. I asked for a different doctor, and he saw a new one that who literally saved his life! He was admitted for 13 days to the hospital and seen by five people from UC Stanford who diagnosed him with Addison's disease. He was then admitted to the hospital every month for 14 months straight! He is still very ill. He was hospitalized last month and was in the emergency room three weeks ago. We cannot travel far in case he needs to go to the hospital. We are fighting to keep him alive. The doctors (after diagnosing him), and staff at the hospital where we live are doing an awesome job keeping him alive. He is on steroids, thermo-tabs (sodium tabs), and medications for incontinence, which is a result from the Addison's. He is so confused 99% of the time. He stumbles, gets very paranoid, has severe memory impairment, flakey skin, and either can't sleep and stays up (constantly doing something but usually nothing that makes sense), or he sleeps and goes into an altered level of conscience. Our daughter works at a local hospital and is a pre-med student, which is a great help, as are our boys. I keep track of his blood press and stats, and I strongly suggest this! We have been told that with his personal case, he is at risk of his bodily functions shutting down, as we already have seen with his kidneys. He has had about five to six mini-strokes at the stem of his brain in the last two to three years plus a heart attack. He has turned in his driver's license, as it is unsafe for him and the others on the road for him to drive. We (my husband, our family and I) wonder how much longer we will have him here with us.

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Comment from: AddPatient, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 13

Symptoms I experienced were extreme fatigue, dizziness/fainting feeling, extreme weakness and chronic pain that was not alleviated by over-the-counter pain medicines. I had some uneven dark pigmentation on the body and darkening of skin on and near scars. Also, I had an increase in headaches and nausea.

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Comment from: ABZ, 13-18 Male (Caregiver) Published: March 26

I am sick feeling, have nausea, and I am vomiting. I am pale, and clammy. This occurred mostly after exercising like playing soccer or baseball in the heat.

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Comment from: 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 30

I am a male age 56. I have had this disease for 20 years. When I first was told I had Addison's, I was very sick could not keep anything down, I lost alot of weight I could not stand up or I would pass out, I was told about four months before I had a rare thyroid disease and was being treated for that then I came down with Addison's after that. Everything seems to going fine I have just a few upsets a year. I lead a normal life.

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Comment from: mom of AD Daughter, 13-18 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 30

When my daughter was in the 4th grade she weighted less than 75 pounds. She ate all the time but didn't gain weight. She was going into a crises mode when I took her to the family doctor. He stated that if she wanted to eat she would. He stated she had an eating disorder. I had to take her to three different hospitals before we got the answer of Addison's Disease. This took a full week but it was worth it to save my child. She is now 17-years-old. We are still dealing and learning that there are many faces of the condition to work around: the weight, the stress, and medication testing to get things to balance out for her. She does go through depression more now and it is hard to make teenagers see that this goes along with her condition and medication for aspects are needed. She is hoping to attend college next year and work in a hospital setting to help other patients with their difficulties.

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Addison's Disease - Treatments Question: What was the treatment for your Addison's disease?
Addison's Disease - Share Your Experience Question: Were you or someone you know diagnosed with Addison's disease? Please share your experience.
Addison's Disease - Causes Question: If known, what was the cause of Addison's disease in you or a relative?

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