Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Why I started this Blog

After collapsing twice last month, I decided that it was time that I made some changes. As a person with Addison’s disease, my adrenal glands no longer produce cortisol, and I am completely dependent on taking hydrocortisone to keep me alive. After many years of slowly deteriorating health,
I finally came to a point where I could no longer function and barely keep alive. That was eight years ago. Since then I have been struggling with learning how to manage my condition, and obviously, not doing a very good job of it. Before I collapsed in February, I thought I was doing well. Which shows how little I understood. After my second collapse a few weeks later, I decided that if I expected to live to see my grandchildren grow up and enjoy our 39th wedding anniversary this summer, then I was going to have to do things differently. I began consistently monitoring my blood pressure, blood sugar, and temperature, and I started doing research. I compiled this list of symptoms of low adrenal function from a multitude of medical sites on the internet and from my own experiences. To the best of my knowledge and understanding the information is correct, but remember I’m not a doctor, just a person who lives with low adrenal function. I made this list to help me become more aware of what are the symptoms of low adrenal function, so that I will know when I need to take more medication. I realize now that I’m going to have to adjust my hydrocortisone for different stresses instead of just taking a set dose.of hydocortisone each day. I know it will take effort, and a lot of prayer for me to learn how to manage my Addison’s disease, but I know it will be worth it. I hope this research will help you to live a better life too.

Some places that I have found some good information has been the Handbook “Managing Addison’s Disease” which is online at
and the book, Adrenal Fatigue the 21st Century Stress Syndrome by James L. Wilson


  1. I am suffering from severe adrenal insufficiency and not coping with extra stress on a basic static amount of hydrocortisone. This blog is so helpful especially the symptoms as I have so many of them and has made me weep recognising so much of what you say. Thank you.

  2. I found your page very helpful. I'm a 30 year old woman with type 1 diabetes, Hashimoto's thyroid disease and asthma who has been sick for several months now and seeking a diagnosis with no success. After reading several things online, and especially your page, I think I may very well have Addison's. I have an appointment in two days to talk to my doctor. Thank you!

    1. how did you make out? I have Hashi, vitiligo, pernicious anemia and idiopathic hives. I feel like I have hit a brick wall esp. at 4pm. I feel my muscles and energy drain from me... a type of tired that feels like an infection. I already have autoantibodies to my adrenals and will be having a cortisol test soon.

  3. It does take a long time, persistence, and faith to work out complicated, unusual health problems. You can have symptoms of low adrenal function as a result of other health problems. When those problems are healed, your adrenal glands may also heal since they are not under as much stress. It is good to know when you are struggling that you are not alone.
    Life can get better!

  4. I find this site very helpful. I was diagnosed with Addison's in January. I had two 8am cortisol blood draws and then the cortisol stem challenge test. Taking hydrocortisone daily is certainly a challenge to find the right dosage. I can't sleep at night but I do sleep from about 5am until noon or so regardless of what time I take Cortef. My Doc wants me taking it with food at 8am & 4pm. The biggest challenge is fighting the nausea, dizziness and vomiting along with no appetite. I still gained a lot of weight taking the Cortef. I have Celiac also along with a bunch of sensitivities also. I never know how I'm going to feel from day to day. I have passed out twice and taken a fall both times. It's very frustrating but I refuse to give up.

  5. Mark, don't give up. It can take months or even years to stabilize, but it is worth it. Nausea, dizziness and vomiting and no appetite are symptoms of low adrenal function. Your body has been stressed for a long time and it will take time to recover. Be kind to yourself. Do things you enjoy (what you can) and try and relax. You will sleep better when your dose is right. Have you experimented with different amounts at different times of day-- last dose before 6 pm or earlier? Try to relax before bed. Often I have trouble getting to sleep and am awake til 1 or 2 am. I still get up at 7 or 8 am and take a nap (not longer than one hour) in the afternoon. Exercising also helps me sleep (moderate and relaxing like walking).I get sick if I take my hydrocortisone without water and food. Keep records of what you take, when, and how you feel. It will help you figure it out. It is extremely difficult, but with effort, it will improve. I'm not sure I have Celiac but I can't eat any grains. I eat a variety of beans in casseroles with vegies, meat and sometimes fruit. I also have many allergies and chemical sensitiviites, but they are manageable. I take desensitizing drops which help. My prayers are with you. Be persistent and patient. There are a lot of us fighting the same battle. You are not alone. Better health will come.

  6. I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it Smile I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

    Shoulder Pain Therapy & Hand Therapy CT

  7. My hands swell horribly at night. Could this be one of the symptoms?

  8. Sometimes swelling can be related to Addison's disease, but it can also be caused by many other things. It just means that you are retaining water. You might want to talk with your doctor and see what is causing this problem. You might want to cut down on salt and put your feet up to help until you find out what is the matter.