Patient Comments: Addison's Disease - Symptoms

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

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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Comment from: Vicki , 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 26

I had bronze skin, with darker areas on nipple, mucous membranes, mouth, ankles, joints, etc. Also, nausea and vomiting occurred frequently, with almost no appetite. I lived on chicken noodle soup, peanut butter on a spoon, crackers and bread with butter on each piece. Sudden, very painful aches or cramps were frequently occurring in my abdominal area, stomach and sides and in my legs and feet. Tiredness and fatigue were constant, even in the mornings after a night of deep sleep, sometimes 10 and 12 hours a night. I just couldn't get going in the mornings. Right before diagnosis, I couldn't stand up longer than 5 minutes when cooking and couldn't run the vacuum cleaner or make beds for longer than 2 or 3 minutes. I had a desk job and not much energy was expended for each work day, on the days that nausea left me alone. During this period, I wrote a detailed business plan and presented it at several upper administrative meetings for the construction of a new testing lab for our office. It was accepted, even though half the time, my brain wasn't functioning very well. After diagnosis, I was flabbergasted that I had pushed myself so hard to succeed. The first week of taking hydrocortisone and fludrocortisone, I felt like a new person, 20 years younger. Everyone morning, I just hollered with joy while singing at the top of my lungs. It is great to feel well again, even with the side effects of the medications.

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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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