Monday, December 29, 2014

Feeling Anxious

A man asked me if I ever feel anxious. Here is my response to that question.

If I do not have enough cortisone "cover" I can become anxious. If I have over done it (more stress than medicine to handle it), then I will need a little more medication for a few days and I will need to eat more often. This helps me not to feel anxious.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Can Addison's Disease cause Hyperparathyroid?

Question: "I have read that Addisonians can have hypoparathyroid but not anything about hyperparathyroid. My levels have been high...10.8 for more than a year now and my parathyroid level was a little high as well. "

This person said she has Addison's disease and Graves disease (over production of thyroid hormones)

High calcium levels (hypercalcaemia) can cause hyperparathyroid (over production of parathyroid hormones).

When the adrenal glands do not work well and produce few adrenal hormones, it can cause hypoparathyroid (low parathyroid hormone production).

Your high levels are probably from the Graves disease. Few things are high with Addison's disease. I run on low.

You might want to discuss this with your doctor.

Addison's Disease and High Calcium Levels

A woman said to me,

"I am wondering if you are aware of high calcium levels associated with Addison's?"

Yes. Since the Adrenal glands are responsible for regulating the minerals in your blood, if the adrenal glands are not working well, your levels of minerals can be unbalanced. I am allergic to cow's milk, so I didn't absorb much calcium at all. Now I take three calcium citrate pills each day. I also take fludrocortisone which keeps my minerals in balance. This is how I avoid high calcium levels.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Iodine and Low Thyroid

This same person also said, "I already use Sea Kelp which has helped with the thyroid symptoms immensely."  I have had low thyroid partly because I can not absorb many types of iodine. My doctor told me that the iodine in iodized salt is a type that is very stable and stores well, but many people can not absorb it. I couldn't. There are several other iodine compounds. You can be test to see if you absorb that type of compound. One of the best sources of iodine is Sea Kelp. Many people can absorb it well and their goiter goes away.

Can you test "normal" and still be sick?

A person who has been ill for a long time with fatigue, muscle and joint pain, throbbing pains in neck, groin and armpits, weight gain, bloating, dry skin etc asked to have their level of thyroid and cortisone tested.  All was in the "normal" range.  I tested  low but "normal" for many years. My doctor explained that most tests don't give the whole picture. For instance, my thyroid hormone levels were low but within the normal range, still I exhibited all the symptoms of low thyroid. How could that be? He explained to me that all the test measures is what thyroid hormones are in our blood stream. The test does not measure if those hormones get into my cells as they should, or if they do what they are supposed to do in my body.  I could have a resistance to a hormone and need a higher level than expected to be "normal".  My doctor uses tests, but looks at all the symptoms. When the symptoms indicate a possibility, we test that hypothesis.  I might try a B12 shot, or a different medication, or diet. If it helps, then that probably is my problem even it the tests do not clearly show it. Keeping a health journal has been a big help in identify symptoms and helping determining what is the matter.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Avoiding Parkinson's and Dementia

A woman wrote in with a question I thought others might also have.

First she said that she had neurasthenia. Since I had never heard of that ailment I looked it up and found:

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.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Control with Monitors

A blood pressure monitor and blood sugar monitor do not cost much and can be bought at most pharmacies. They can help you keep control of your medication and your life. You do not need to worry about getting an over dose of hydrocortisone or fludrocort if you monitor your blood sugar and blood pressure.

Learn what is a normal pattern for you. Your blood pressure and blood sugar will

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Updating Site

Just wanted to let you know that it is still me. I'm feeling better than I have in years and have tackled learning more about blogging so there is a new look. I'm working on improving the site. I hope also to do more posts, so let me know what questions you have.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Will I get Diabetes if I take Hydrocortisone?

My doctor explained it to me this way. He said that taking hydrocortisone does not cause diabetes, but taking more hydorcortisone than I need can cause me to become a diabetic.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Health Journal

Keeping a Health Journal has helped me feel more in control of my life; get feeling better sooner, and helps my doctor know what to suggest.  Having a notebook with notes on what happened to me since I last saw my doctor and questions that I had for him,  really helped me deal with my doctor visits. Often I felt so exhausted and sick that when he asked how I was doing, I'd just reply that I was "fine".  When I was home and felt better, I felt that I had wasted my visit with my doctor. Keeping a Health Journal helped both my doctor and I to work out what to do to help me feel better.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Places for More Information       One of the best sites. Good practical information on how to live with                                              Addison's Disease.

 National Adrenal Diseases Foundation Support Community
                                        Good support group

Adrenal Fatigue The 21st Century Stress Syndrome by James L. Wilson
                                        Good description of low adrenal symptoms and how to recover.

Very impressed that he explains what happen and how to recover from adrenal fatigue

Pituitary Network Association  They have a good site and book

Friday, January 31, 2014

Mold and Adrenal Glands

I had never thought about how mold affects adrenal glands until a couple of months ago. In August we decided to do some remodeling in our 67 year old basement. When we removed the paneling, we were shocked to find mold underneath on the drywall.