Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Healing from Adrenal Exhaustion

A person said to me, "You don't need to take hydrocortisone and fludrocortisone anymore? Wow! "

Yes, I feel very blessed that I can now live without medication. Apparently, I was born with weak adrenal glands. In fact, my mom's side of the family has lots of problems with their endocrine system which adrenal glands are a part of, so it isn't surprising that I had adrenal problems.

After many years of both physical (injuries, illnesses, and surgery) and emotional stress, my adrenal glands failed to produce cortisone anymore. After resolving problems, rest, good diet, and by eliminating all possible stress, my adrenal glands began working again. My adrenal glands were simply exhausted by excessive stress. With lots of prayer and loving care, my adrenal glands were able to heal.

If my adrenal glands had been attacked by Tuberculous bacteria or my immune system, or damaged in an accident, or had some other physical damage, I might not have healed. Apparently my adrenal glands were not damaged, but simply exhausted. Eliminating all the stresses I could, gave my adrenal glands the time they needed to heal.

Many people today are living "high powered" lives. Eventually, all the late nights, junk food, relationship struggles, job stress, financial worries, competition, and rushing, exhaust them and they begin to experience the consequences of their life choices. Simply put, excessive stress wears out the adrenal glands and the person ends up experiencing low adrenal symptoms. I've been there and don't recommend it!

The good thing is that you can turn your life around. Be kind to yourself. Accept that you are not indestructible. Delegate, eliminate, and rest. Ask yourself questions. Does it really have to be done? Do you have to do it?

Change is hard, but possible, and so worth it!

Monday, June 5, 2017

What should I Do If I have been Diagnosed with Addison's Disease?

Many people who have just been diagnosed with Addison's Disease, or someone they love has been diagnosed with it, ask me what should they do? Can I give them some tips?

I think the most important thing is to take charge of your own health. Study about how your adrenal glands work and what they should do. Read about adrenal exhaustion and Addison's disease. (check out my articles)

Next, I would find a doctor who knows about Addison's Disease. These are usually endocrinologists. Find a doctor who you feel comfortable with and who you can ask questions and share your observations about your health.

Have the tests done so that you know what your adrenal level is in your body. There are blood tests and saliva tests which tell your cortisone level.

Work carefully with your doctor to to determine the correct dosage of Hydrocortisone  and Fludrocort. Remember that your dose may changes depending upon the amount of stress you are under.

Eat a good diet. Drink plenty of pure water. 

Get as much exercise as possible, but do not become over-tired. You should always be able to carry on a conversation while moving. Start where you are and don't push yourself.

Get lots of rest and relaxation. Get plenty of sleep at night and nap as needed.

Cut out all stressors possible. Simply your life.

Fill your life with positive people and eliminate all all negative relationships and activities. Have some fun!

The biggest help for me has been to pray. The Lord has given me a great deal of inspiration, comfort, and healing.

Remember that it has taken you a long time to get to the point where you Adrenal gland do not work. It will take a long time for you to heal, if that is possible for you. It will take a long time to get your medication right and learn how to live with Addison's disease. Be patient and kind to yourself.

My prayers and heart are with you. Do not give up.

Finding a Doctor Who Will Help You

A woman recently competed that she has had a rough time finding a doctor who could help her feel better with her Addison's Disease.

Some doctors brush you off as just another person who can't handle life and needs tranquilizers. This happened to me and I wouldn't take them. I knew that something was wrong. We know our bodies best. A health journal where we write down all our observation and share them with our doctor can be a great help. It took me many years to find a doctor who would listen to me and work with me to help me feel better. Don't give up. Keep trying doctors until you find the right person for you. They are out there!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Addison's Disease and Adrenal Exhaustion

Addison's Disease, also known as adrenal insufficiency, is the point where you have lost most of the function of your adrenal glands. Though reaching this point is extremely rare, living at a high stress level is sadly taken as "normal" in our modern society which is why many of us suffer from adrenal exhaustion.

There are several physical conditions which can severely damage the adrenal glands. Few people will ever reach the point where their adrenal glands no longer function, but these possibilities should be discussed with your doctor and the required tests given, so that they can be eliminated as causes for your adrenal problems. About 70% of the time when adrenal glands are destroyed, it is because the immune system has attacked and destroyed at least 90% of the adrenal glands. Also, infections such as tuberculosis, HIV, or fungal infections can damage the adrenal glands, so that there is little function left. Direct blows to the adrenal glands (lower back) which cause hemorrhage can cause the adrenal glands to be come so damaged that they lose the ability to produce adrenal hormones. Adrenal tumors also can cause severe adrenal gland damage.  If you have problems with other glands in your endocrine system it will affect the adrenal glands. If the pituitary gland is not sending out it's hormonal messages to the adrenal glands (Secondary Adrenal Insufficiency), the adrenal glands will not function well.  Some of these conditions can be treated and some may not. Your doctor can help to determine what can be done, or if your adrenal glands have been too severely damaged.

As I've said, such physical damage of our adrenal glands is rare. For most of us who suffer low adrenal symptoms, we are simply experiencing the effects of over-stress.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Medication and Stresses

A woman asked me about adjusting her adrenal medication.

The thing to remember is you are trying to get your cortisone level to be at a point where you can function fairly well. You need to keep your blood sugar, respiration, blood pressure and other things at a good level. Your body does this automatically if it is working well. If it is not working well, then you have to supply the necessary cortisone in a pill (or even a shot).

Stresses compound. If you have stress of dental work, then you will need a certain amount of cortisone to handle it. If you also have an infection, you need a certain amount of cortisone. This will be more cortisone. Taking a small increase in your cortisone medication does not enable you to handle any amount of stress. You can only handle the amount of stress you have medication to cover. If you have more stress, you need to increase your cortisone medication.

Since you want to keep your cortisone medication as low as possible, it is best not to do schedule several things at the same time. If you get an infection, then wait for the dental work.

If you are in an accident or some other major stress, then you may need to take larger doses of cortisone for a short time, usually in shot form. This should only be done under your doctor's supervision.

Why is my hair thinning and going white?

When your adrenal glands are not working well, it might affect your hair.  We have all heard of people under extreme stress, such as a military general during a war, who's hair goes white in a few months. This has not been confirmed by medical evidence.

A very rare symptom of low adrenal function is for your hair to thin. Hopefully, when your cortisone levels increase, your hair should also. Sometimes thinning hair is simply genetic. About one third of all women eventually have thinning hair.

I wonder if when your adrenal gland function is low, then you are under a lot of stress, that your hair might be triggered to go white or thin sooner than it would normally. This is just a guess on my part.

How do I avoid becoming a Diabetic if I take cortisone?

A woman asked how I avoided becoming diabetic when I took hydrocortisone. If you are taking the right dose of cortisone, they you should not gain much weight or become a diabetic. If you are gaining weight, have your adrenal production of cortisone checked (blood or saliva tests). If it is too high, then your doctor may advise you to cut back on your cortisone. Do not cut back without consulting a doctor, since quickly dropping your cortisone dose could cause you to go into shock.

Remember that there can be other reasons that you gain weight quickly such as low thyroid. Your doctor can test and see what is happening, then help you know what to do.

I monitored my hydrocortisone dose under my doctors direction. I used a blood sugar and a blood pressure monitor. When they began to steadily rise, getting a little higher each day and rising more as my hydrocortisone level increased during the day, I knew it was time to slowly cut my dose of hydrocortisone.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Dropping Your Cortisone Dose

A woman wrote in who is eating little and gaining a lot of weight while taking hydrocortisone and prednisone. She wants to cut back on her medication dose. This is my response to her.

It takes months to slowly drop a hydrocortisone dose. This should only be done under a doctor's supervision. You cut just a few mgs (milligrams) every couple of weeks or a month.

If you are gaining a lot of weight while eating little, then your cortisone medication may be too high. I always monitored my blood sugar and blood pressure. When they started rising, I knew it was time to cut back on my dose. Your adrenal production of cortisone can be measured by blood and salvia tests. Also, weight gain can be caused by other problems such as a low thyroid, so check with your doctor.

15 - 20 mg for hydrocortisone or 20 - 30 mg for cortisone acetate a day is the normal starting dose for Addison's Disease (very low adrenal function). You can die if you suddenly quit taking cortisone medication. Cutting your cortisone dose should only be done under a doctor's supervision. Slowly tapering allows your adrenal glands to begin producing cortisone. If they do not respond, you may need to continue taking cortisone until your body is not as stressed. Your body may need more time to heal and may still need the continued adrenal support of adrenal medication such as hydrocortisone. If your adrenal glands are not producing enough cortisone, then you need to take cortisone medication. If you adrenal glands are just a little low, you can take adrenal supplements to boost their function.

Praying for you. Don't give up. Make notes on what helps and what makes you worse and take this health journal with you to talk with your doctor. It may help to make your doctor visits more productive.

(see my posts on adrenal medication)