When adding up my stresses, I’m learning that I have to consider other physical problems I might have. Here are health problems which are common among people with Addison’s Disease.
Thyroid deficiency - 1/5 of all people with Addison’s have either low (most) or high thyroid (a few have hyperthyroidism); this would effect your body temperature and energy levels
Anemia (low iron levels) and/or B12 deficiency - (atrophic gastritis); caused by damage to the stomach lining
This will make you feel more tired, depressed, and have trouble remembering
a B12 deficiency can cause permanent nerve damage
Celiac Disease - (gluten sensitivity- grains)
causes damage to small intestine
(70% of your immune system lines the small intestine and can be severely damaged by Celiac reactions to gluten)
damage results in malabsorbsion and malnutrition problems
and perhaps allergies and chemical sensitities
Hypotension (low blood pressure) - indicates severe stress and possible dehydration
Hypertension (high blood pressure) - indicates becoming stressed
Osteoporosis - can be caused by a too high of level of cortisone or by malaborbsion problems
Low DHEA (an adrenal hormone) - may cause PMS and menopause difficulties; little libido and little stamina; premature ovarian or testicular failure
Diabetes - insulin dependent; may have sensitivity and over reaction to insulin; may crave sweets
Asthma - may be result of damage to immune system
Diabetes Insipidus - produce lots of dilute urine
Parathyroid Deficiency - results in low calcium levels
70 % of Addison’s Disease is caused by auto immune reactions where the body attacks and destroys its own adrenal glands. Once you have one auto immune problem your body may continue to attack other parts of your body such as the thyroid, stomach, intestines, pancreas, or joints (rheumatoid arthritis).
Since the adrenal glands control the rest of the endocrine system (the pancreas. thyroid, parathyroid, and ovaries or testes), if the adrenals are low, the other glands may also be low functioning.
I must also consider other physical stresses such as: injuries, illness, lack of sleep, and extremes in temperatures. For instance, I’ve learned that going out in below freezing temperatures requires more hydrocortisone.
The adrenal glands normally produce 26 hormones which help to maintain a state of well being in your body. We can replace the two main hormones produced by the adrenal glands: cortisone which helps to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure, and aldosterone which regulates blood pressure. Though these hormones are nearly identical to what you body normally makes, it is not the same. When you experience a stress, your body produces the necessary hormones in the right amounts and you feel fine. Mine doesn’t do anything. If I don’t take more medication, I will die of shock. Therefore my body is always under some stress and can quickly become over stressed. This is why I must keep aware of the stress my body is experiencing and learn to compensate by resting and increasing my hydrocortisone. If I do not, I will have an Adrenal Crisis.
Adrenal Crisis or steroid insufficiency
chills or fever