Monday, July 25, 2016

Will traveling with Addison's Disease make you tired?

A woman, who has had Addison's for 7 years, told me, " I love to travel but now I'm just traveling 2-4 hours away to see family and friends or for conferences. I am often exhausted after these trips...especially the professional ones. I don't feel tired or like I'm pushing myself during the trips but when I get home I end up sleeping most of the day for a day or two."

Remember that your adrenal glands help you deal with change by adjusting such things as blood pressure, blood sugar, metabolism, and temperature. Even with medication, a person with Addison's disease will not function as well as a person has normal adrenal glands.

Imagine a person with diabetics. Now think of them eating a large piece of cake. What will happen? They will become very ill! Why? Because they did not have the insulin they needed for the amount of sugar they ate.

How do you deal with being completely dependent on medication to live?



A woman shared this, " the greatest challenge has not been in physically, but in mentally accepting the realization that I am dependent on a medication, without which I would die. I have a strong faith and spiritual support system, but would still welcome any comfort or wisdom you might have to share regarding the panic and negative thoughts that can feel overwhelming at times."

I agree that it is hard to accept that you will die if you don't have your cortisone. At times, I was afraid. Faith and prayer help to keep me going and comfort me when I felt I was being overcome by fear.

Here are a few things I did to help me cope:

Is Addison's Disease a Genetic Disease?

A woman told me that her boyfriend was told that Addison's Disease is a genetic disease and he would have it all his life.

Maybe and maybe not. The adrenal glands can become damaged in many ways -- hemorrhage from a car accident, cancer, tumors, tuberculous, HIV, virus damage, other diseases, genetically weak adrenal glands, high doses of cortisone used to treat other conditions, failure of the Pituitary glad to produce the hormone necessary to stimulates your adrenal glands to function, your immune system attacking your adrenal glands, and excessive prolonged stress of any type. (see  https://www.addisons.org.uk/info/manual/causes.pdf  )

Whether or not your adrenal glands heal, removing as much stress from your life as possible will help you feel better. It will also probably help your body cope better with your disease, decrease the possibility of other complications, and increase your quality of life.

In my case, I seem to have had a lot of stress caused by low oxygen levels (chronic bronchitis and a heart murmur), several injuries, allergies, chemical sensitivities, and unresolved emotional issues. As I worked to control or reduce each problem, my adrenal glands began to heal. My adrenal glands did not produce any cortisone for years and now I able to function without any medication at all.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Is it safe to take cortisone?



A woman wrote in about her boyfriend who has just been diagnosed with Addison's Disease, "I have read many online materials saying people with the condition can live normally with help of medication. But he doesn't wanna take any hormone pills because he thinks steroids are not good and that treatments are not gonna help ."

Yes, people with Addison's Disease can live a fairly normal life if they take medication. It is like being a diabetic. I wouldn't say a diabetic lives a "normal" life, but people who have health problems can live a good life if they are careful about exercise, diet, rest, and stress.

Taking steroids are not a good idea for most people and neither is taking insulin or any other unnecessary hormone or drug.  If your body is producing insulin, then taking additional insulin in pill or shot form will give you an over dose. The same with steroids. The adrenal glands produce cortisone, a steroid which we all need to regulate our body's metabolism. If your pancreas does does not produce enough insulin to control the sugar levels in our blood, then people are given insulin to replace that they should be producing. It is not an over dose. If your adrenal glands do not produce cortisone, then you need to take replacement cortisone.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Can adrenal medication cause me to gain weight?

A person wrote in and said, "My meds need some changing, I've gained 15 pounds in one year, and I'm pretty sure it's my florreneff." It is possible that too much fludocortisone could cause you to gain weight, but it is more likely that an overdose of cortisone (hydrocortisone) will cause weight gain.

Fludocortisone mainly controls your mineral levels and therefore your water retention and blood pressure. You would see a big change in your weight during the day if your fludocortisone is too high. Your weight would be lower first thing in the morning when your medicine levels in your blood stream are low. You weight will be higher in the evening if your dose of fludocortisone is too high because you are retaining water (assuming you are taking your fludocortisone in the mornings as most people do). I varied ten pounds a day and my feet were puffy when I was taking too much fludocortisone.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

I'm back!

I'm sorry that I haven't responded to everyone's post the last few months some very exciting things have been happening in my life.

Last summer I told you about my adrenal glands healing and of being able to completely go off of Hydrocortisone. As fall progressed, I became more and more tired. In February, we have what is called inversion. I call it smog! I was having a lot of trouble breathing and was so exhausted that I could barely more. The doctors had tried all they knew, and I was still ill. I prayed and felt impressed to go to an area a few hours south of our home.  Immediately I started feeling better.

We bought a home there, leaving the area we have lived in for 40 years. It has been a major change and a good one. I haven't felt so well in years! It turns out that I have chronic bronchitis and a heart murmur which were causing major stress on my body as I struggled to get the oxygen I needed. This stress, combined with other stresses caused my adrenal glands to fail 14 years ago. Now that I am at a lower altitude with clean, dry air, I am getting enough oxygen and am feeling good.

Don't give up! Keep looking for the things which are causing stress in your life and try to eliminate them.

I am so grateful for the Lord's help in discovering this major stress in my life. I will be responding to your questions as soon as I can.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Crisis Recovery

A man wrote to me who was just put in the hospital with an adrenal crisis. He was on a high stress dose of both hydrocortisone and fludrocortisone and was having trouble with water retention. This is my response.

My experience is that adrenal healing and stabilization requires a lot of time and patience. I had to just relax much of the time and try and get all the rest I could. Eating plenty of nutritious food without chemicals and drinking filtered water also helped. It still took me months to stabilize and not have all the ups and downs. It also took considerable time for my mineral levels (hydration) to become level (fludrocortisone helps to control). Even after 13 years of treatment, I always got heavier by a few pounds by evening and was several pounds less every morning. I think that replacing adrenal hormones with hydrocortisone and fludrocortisone keeps you going, but is no where near as smooth and level as normal functioning adrenal glands would be. You should be able to drop your dose soon. Your doctor can test your cortisone levels and help you determine when to start cutting. Remember that changes in cortisone medication must be done VERY slowly or you'll end up with another adrenal crisis -- an experience you don't want to repeat!