Friday, October 24, 2014

I just can't walk that far around the lake. What do I do?

Last Saturday my husband and I drove up to a mountain lake. Since I knew I couldn't walk very far, I had checked online about the trail. It said that the trail was a "great way for seniors and handicapped to enjoy the outdoors".  It also said that "the lake is circled by a boardwalk" and would require about 30 minutes to walk around the lake. It sounded like something I could do. I could walk some and ride in the wheelchair the rest of the way. We call it going for a "walk and roll".  It looked like all would be well, but we didn't know for sure. Later we found out we were wrong.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Low Adrenal Function and Menopause

If your adrenal glands are not up to the stress of Menopause, it will be more difficult. Normally the adrenal glands produce some estrogen which helps to cushion the severity of the menopausal symptoms. Also, the hormones normally produced by the adrenal glands help the body deal with stress and change. At this time hormones are sputtering and levels are dropping. They are certainly not staying level. This requires very constant and careful monitoring of your hydrocortisone and fludrocort. You will need to be aware of the symptoms of both high and low adrenal levels (see Hydrocortisone and Addison's Disease and Fludrocort and Addison's Disease). Menopause started for me in my early 40's and lasted until I was 57. It was a rough time, and I'm glad it is over. I feel so much better now! Here are some suggestions I have to make this time easier if you have low adrenal function:

Hydrocortisone and Addison's Disease

I am putting in the symptoms of too much and too little hydrocortisone when it is used to treat Addison's Disease. It is important to know which medicine is too low or high to be able to adjust it. Look at the whole group of symptoms. For instance "low energy" can be caused by many things, but if you have most of the symptoms of low Hydrocortisone, then you can be pretty confident that is the problem. Make notes in your health journal and talk to your doctor about adjusting your medications.

Symptoms of Too Little Hydrocortisone

Monday, October 20, 2014

Florinef and Addison's Disease

A woman wrote in saying that she having trouble with her Florinef medication. She complained of side effects -- gaining weight, feeling bloated, puffy in the face, hands shaking, chest beating hard, sweating, thirsty, low sodium levels, potassium high, craves salt. She says that Florinef is salt tablets and thinks is is causing her symptoms. She also states that she is starting menopause. 

I think several things are happening here. First look at my post on Learning to Use My Medicine

Fludrocortisone (or Fludrocort or Floroinef- brand name) is NOT a salt pill.  It is a synthetic adrenal hormone. It is used to replace one of the major adrenal hormones, aldosterone. Most people with Addison's Disease need to take Fludrocort (1 pill .1mg) daily. Aldosterone controls mineral balances in our bodies, mainly the salt and potassium balance. Aldosterone therefore regulates your blood pressure and water retention levels in your body. It also regulates nerve impulses. Most people have to take potassium pills when they take Fludrocort since Fludrocort causes the body to retain salt and dump potassium. 

Symptoms of Too Little Aldosterone or Fludrocort

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

How Does a Person with Addison's Disease give a Social?



We felt we were the ones to give a neighborhood social. Several new neighbors had moved in . They didn't know anyone, and they didn't have yards in yet. We had the space, means, and time to do it. What I didn't have was the health to prepare the food or our yard for the social. I couldn't set up, serve, or clean up. Also, we could only get together in the evening which is when I am especially tired.

We wanted to do it, but logically it didn't look possible. What I found out was that it wasn't possible. I really couldn't do much to prepare, beside plan. I couldn't do much that evening besides talk quietly to a few people. but it worked out well. How?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

I'm Doing Better!

I'm feeling better than I have in years. Why? I was in pretty sad shape last fall. What has changed this last year? A lot!

For one thing we got

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Purpose of Blog

Though most people who read this blog don't have the rare condition of adrenal failure called Addison's Disease, many people aren't feeling well and want to know what is the matter with them. I am writing to you with the hopes that what I have been through and learned might help you avoid similar experiences.  I know of people who have given their adrenal glands the nurturing they needed and are well and strong now.

I am also writing for those of you who have just been diagnosed with Addison's Disease and feel that the floor had just dropped out from under you. At this point, you will probably not heal, but you can learn to manage and live a long, fulfilling life. I know it can be done.

To all of you I share my experiences, research, hope, and prayers. Write me if you have questions and I will try and answer.