Patient Comments: Addison's Disease - Symptoms

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

Comment from: Greenie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 17

I have been diagnosed with Addison's disease and polyglandular endocrine syndrome for 10 years and in that time have had approximately 6 crises, the first and worst upon my diagnosis. In this episode, I was extremely sick, vomiting, weak (couldn't walk 10 mtrs), severe weight loss, experiencing black outs and giddiness and was admitted to hospital with a blood pressure of only 43/32. I was lucky to be diagnosed before going unconscious. Since then, my crises have included symptoms such as dizziness, vomiting and weakness (voice often goes too). Each time I have been admitted to hospital for approximately 2 to 3 days, undergone emergency hydrocortisone treatment and IV fluids and remained on these for approximately 24 to 48 hours. Blood pressure has always remained low for a few days and I have not been discharged until this has been in the relatively low-normal range.

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Comment from: Tell, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 29

I have been through the ringer, just as I have read so many people have before being diagnosed. I have finally found a doctor that looked at me and said it is Addison's disease. In two years I have had 2 spinal fusions! In between I had my foot pinned. Then diverticulitis where part of my colon was removed. I have suffered ever since; with vomiting, weakness, and weight loss. I am too old to be this skinny. I have skin changes and been passing out; one scared lady. This doctor thinks thyroid is an issue as well since he can see it from across his desk.

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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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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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