Patient Comments: Addison's Disease - Symptoms

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

Comment from: Roxanne, Female (Patient) Published: December 08

I was just diagnosed with Addison's disease. To be honest, I thought I was pregnant and that the tests were just missing it. For the last 6 months my health has been deteriorating. It started with extreme nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, strong sense of smell, food cravings and aversions, loss of appetite, faintness, headaches, backaches, cramping, frequent urination, sensitivity to touch and a loss of menstruation. (Can anyone blame me for thinking of pregnancy first?) I was screened for thyroid disorders, diabetes, cancer, tumors/cysts on ovaries, breasts, pituitary gland, anemia, vitamin deficiency, celiac, etc. The last three weeks the dizziness got worse, to the point where I have been holding on to the wall to get anywhere, and spend hours on my kitchen floor because I am too tired and dizzy to get up after collapsing. When I went to the doctor he watched as my head lolled around on my body, confusion as I tried to answer his questions, and my blood pressure dropped upon standing. The vertical tracking in my eyes lagged, my speech was slurred and I had weakness in my arms, shaking in my legs. He asked about discoloration of the skin, and I pointed to the dark spots that have recently appeared on my face. I also have it on my nipples, armpits and on my stomach, new freckles all over my body, as well as the sudden appearance of cherry angiomas (red dots), and darkening of old stretch marks and scars. My weight hasn't changed, but my breasts have grown 2 cup sizes, I have been lactating and my abdomen is distended (odd, I know) which my doctor thinks may be swelling, but refuses to rule out the possibility of a pituitary tumor. I am awaiting a head CT. I just started on hydrocortisone today, and got a referral for an endocrinologist. I hope it helps relieve this soon.

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Comment from: Janey, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 18

I had a biopsy done on my chest area about 1990. The problem was about the size of a pimple. The surgeon cut in from both ends and removed the spot. I had a scar about an inch long which looked so bad I always kept it covered with higher necks or a scarf. I developed 3 large keloids on the scar which not only looked bad, but were so painful and would wake me up at night. I finally had reconstruction surgery as I could no longer stand the pain. My scar is now 3 1/2 inches long and I was told it would take 6 to 8 months to heal. I am hoping this will take away a lot of the pain and not develop into something worse. More research is needed.

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Comment from: looby, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 12

I am in the process of being tested for Addison's disease after years of feeling fatigued, exercise intolerant, breathless and now nausea, some sort of confusion; it's weird, I started off really foggy and now I just can't seem to think straight. Spelling is out the door for me. I get dizzy at the drop of a hat, can't stand for more than a few minutes. I have painful shoulder and neck because of a spasmed muscle. I used to eat really healthy, now I just eat when I can, because I just don't feel like it anymore. My tummy is always upset. I have to be careful if I get upset because that sets me back majorly. My last test of cortisol was 2 in the morning and 7 at night. Because my cortisol was 7 at night, within range, the doctor I was seeing wouldn't do anything. So I am heading to home country and the doctor there will do something, thankfully. I am so tired even after 10 hours of sleep!

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Comment from: Mel, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 19

I had 3 years of extreme fatigue, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, salt cravings, diarrhea, loss of appetite, stomach pain, tanned skin, and weight loss. Many emergency room (ER) visits and hospitalizations resulted in being diagnosed with anorexia, dehydration, and alcoholism (I had not had alcohol in three years). Finally after reaching a weight of 85 pounds did a physician consult endocrinology! He took a look at me and said 'I am 99% positive you have Addison's!' A cortisol stimulation test confirmed it. I am much better. I still fatigue easily. And I have a tan all year long!

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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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