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: 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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Comment from: LongIslandImmunoProb, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: May 20

When I was in high school, I was diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) and ulcerative colitis (UC). After high school, I started doing much better, but by the time I was 25, I began sitting down to urinate due to exhaustion (which is weird because I'm a guy). I began having intestinal pains that the doctors chalked up to my ulcerative colitis. My skin began showing huge dark purple spots by my rib cage and on my legs. I became uber-tan, and I began to notice that unexposed areas of skin were as well. My mood went to hell, and I began lashing out at odd times. One day I got ready for work, felt sick and threw up for 10 hours. I stayed in bed for 10 days, intermittently seeing doctors who brushed me off. I threw up for many days and lost more than 20 pounds. I had a wicked sore throat. This went on for around four months. I missed a total of two weeks of work. The doctors said that I tested positive for influenza. I went in for an annual colonoscopy for the UC and was having a hard time breathing. I was also speaking very slowly and softly. I was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with Addison's disease after an ACTH injection.

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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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