Thursday, April 21, 2011

Low Adrenal and Low Blood Pressure

The adrenal cortex produces Cortisone.The other major hormone produced by the adrenal cortex is Aldosterone.which helps maintain a balance of water and salts in the body. If the body does not produce enough aldosterone,
the kidneys are not able to regulate salt and water balance, which cause the blood volume and blood pressure to drop ( you will lose too much salt in urine and body loses its salt potassium balance). It will also cause dehydration and dry skin. 
As dehydration become more severe, blood pressure continues to drop and you will become more and more weak and light-headed. You can have Orthostatic Hypotension where the body can’t adjust to changes in blood flow and blood pressure so you feel light headed when you stand or a while after you stand up. Even mild dehydration can cause weakness, dizziness, and fatigue. You can even feel dizzy and faint if you are not moving at all; just sitting or lying down.
Other symptoms of low blood pressure:
lghtheaded or dizzy
blurry vision
shortness of breath
chest pain (from a lack of blood supply to heart)

Your Body will try and Compensate and try to bring up Blood Pressure
Symptoms of Compensatory Mechanisms
arterioles constrict so the blood flow to the skin, feet and hands decreases (cold and blue)
heat beats more quickly and forcefully- feel palpitations

Aldosterone can be replaced with the synthetic hormone, Fludrocortisone. 
It will help prevent blood pressure from falling excessively
When the right levels of Aldosterone are achieved, energy will increase. The muscles will not cramp with even slight activity and you should lose the extra water your body may be retaining and your weight will go down.

Symptoms of low Fludrocortisone: 
extra tired
difficult to move
hurts to move
low blood pressure
dehydration (even if drinking lots of water and having extra salt) 

If your Fludrocortisone levels are low your Cortisol levels may also be low:

Symptoms of Low Cortisol Levels:
joint aches
nausea, vomiting
painfully cold
muscle cramps
increased skin color
fatigue worsens

Fludrocortisone mainly affects blood pressure and is a Mineralocorticoid.
It is long lasting and is usually taken in the morning. Fludrocortisone (Florinef) forces more salt into the bloodstream, 0.1 mg daily(one pill)  is the starting dose. Blood pressure raises gradually over several days with maximum effect at 1-2 weeks. Alter doses at weekly or biweekly intervals. 

Hydrocortisone is only effective 2 to three hours in comparison and needs to be taken in several doses during the day.
Signs to too much Fludrocortisone
blood pressure will raise beyond normal
your legs and ankles will swell

After a week, a week and a half, or two weeks, you should be able to do aerobic exercise without cramping and have energy. This will allow more medication into your cells (over come cellular resistance). As soon as you can begin exercising you will need to carefully monitor your medication. A change of what medication is getting into your cells can happen suddenly within a few hours. At this point you will need to frequently monitor your blood pressure and blood sugar. You may find that you suddenly need far less Fludrocortisone and you may need to adjust your cortisone also. Even when you drop down your dose of Fludrocortisone, it will take several days for your body to adjust your blood pressure (it may be a little high for a few days but will come down.)


  1. Have primary addisons and I'm currently suffering from the symtoms of low fludro levels - Low blood pressure, juddering hands, light headed, aching and cold hands and feet.

    Just thought I'd say thanks for your web page as its given me the list of symtoms of low fludro levels


  2. A little fludrocort can really help you feel better. My blood pressure get really low and I can barely drag around. Hope you have the right level now and are feeling better.

  3. Hi Cheryl, I've been commenting on your other post about hydrocortisone but just read this and have a question. I take 0.5 mg of florineff daily. Since it takes several days for it to build up in your system, could that be a possible causeof the dramatic increase in my blood pressure that's happening once a week? I've been taking it for so long though so I don't know if that would be it, as this is a new symptom. My sodium and potassium levels are always fairly normal. It's just so strange how it's only happening about every 6 or 7th day and it goes up pretty high. Thank you

  4. see my answer on the Hydrocortisone and Adrenal Disease
    Hydrocortisone can build up if it is an overdose. It will just keep building and building and your blood pressure will keep rising. If you do not cut your dose, the hydrocortisone level will keep increasing and so will your blood pressure.It will not come go up and down.