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!

Friday, November 13, 2015

How do I recover from Addison's Disease?

A woman wrote to me who has had Addison's disease for 17 years. She is tired and frustrated because she can't seem to get better. I really do understand. I spent much of the last 40 years in my home unable to do much of anything. It took weeks and even months to get back on my feet after doing a small thing such as going out to dinner. I have even had to be wheeled around in a wheelchair because I couldn't walk. I always felt rotten like I had a flu - achy, nauseous, headache, dopey, confused, depressed, and exhausted.

That is the key - exhausted. I finally realized that I was simply exhausted. In the old days they might have said, "You broke your health", or "You had a nervous breakdown". Addison's disease is when the adrenal glands are worn out by too much stress and just can't keep up the high level of production of cortisone needed to cope with all the stress you are experiencing. Eventually, the glands quit, and then they say you have Addison's disease. It isn't something that just happens to you, or you catch; it is the consequence of being constantly over-stressed.

Can Diabetes be related to Addison's Disease?

Yes, definitely. The cortisone normally produced by the adrenal glands helps to control your blood sugar. When you adrenal glands begin to fail, your cortisone production fails and therefore you blood sugar drops. If you take cortisone or hydrocortisone it will cause your blood sugar to go up. If you are taking too much cortisone, your blood sugar will be elevated and you will be in a pre-diabetic state. If you continue taking an overdose of cortisone, then you could become a diabetic. My blood sugar was low when I was exhausted and rose when my adrenal glands began to heal.

If you are taking cortisone and your blood sugar starts to go up, check with your doctor. You may be healing and don't need to take as much cortisone. It can be a good sign.

If you are on cortisone you need to check your blood sugar frequently (at least once a week) to make sure you are not getting an overdose of your medicine.

Remember that you can have Diabetes unrelated to Addison's Disease. Ask your doctor to test and see what is happening with you.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

How do I know if I have Addison's Disease?

If after looking at the symptoms listed in this blog, you feel you might have Addison's Disease, contact your doctor. There is a blood test which shows the level of cortisone in your body. If it is below a certain point, you are considered to have Addisons Disease. There is also a saliva test which shows your level of cortisone production at various times of the day. You don't have to wonder or argue with doctors or others. You can know definitely how your adrenal glands are doing and start the necessary treatment if you have this problem. If the production is low, you can begin making the changes you need to minimize the stress in your life and avoid possibly developing Addison's Disease. If your cortisone level is normal, then you can begin looking for other reasons for your illness.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

I'm Still Here!

Though my adrenal glands are working now, I know I will always have to be very careful in my life or I can over stress my adrenals again and be back where I was before. Will I ever forget the lessons I learned while I had Addison's Disease? No! I am still here to answer the questions you might have and to offer encouragement to you who have stressed adrenal glands. If you have had a tumor, or some other damage to your adrenal glands, cutting down your stress and carefully managing your medications will help you feel better, but your adrenal glands will probably not function again. Most of us suffer damage to our adrenals by the incredible amount of stress we experience in our lives. My doctor told me that if my adrenal glands were not destroyed but only suppressed by some stress, they could heal if I could find the source of the stress and eliminate it. I confess that I was very skeptical. I had been so ill for so long. I was afraid to hope. It took me years, and a lot of help from the Lord, but I finally learned that I had many allergies, chemical sensitivities, extensive mold in my basement, and many negative relationships. When I eliminated this huge weight of stress, my adrenal glands did heal! If you have any questions about living with Addison's Disease, low adrenal function, or about healing, remember, "I am still here!"

Friday, August 7, 2015

My Adrenal Glands Have Healed!

Yes! It is true! I have been completely off all adrenal medicine (Hydrocortisone and Fludrucort) since June 28, 2015, nearly 6 weeks!. I wanted to make sure I could function well without the medicine, before I told you. I know you might be thinking that it is impossible to heal from Addison's Disease, but I am living proof that you can heal your adrenal glands. I was tested many years ago and the blood test showed that I had "no detectable level of cortisone".  My adrenal glands were not functioning much at all. I was told that I had Addison's Disease, and I was put on a complete replacement dose of hydrocortisone. For twelve years I took hydrocortisone and fludrocort to keep me alive, and now my adrenal glands are managing on their own. How did this happen?

A friend asked me today, "So stress has made you so sick, not lack of adrenal function, sensitivity to plastics, perfumes and dyes. Wow and how did you figure it out then?"

This is my answer.

How I Cut Stress in my Life

I have been working at cutting stress for years. Enabling your adrenal glands to heal (if they are just stressed and not damaged) is a matter of figuring out what stresses you and cutting them out.  

First, I tried to avoid everything I was allergic to.

I didn't eat foods I was allergic to.
I rotated my foods carefully.
I ate a balanced Diabetic diet.
I only ate organic foods and drank filtered water.
I diligently took my allergy medicine and avoided things I was allergic to. 
I avoided perfumes and chemicals.