Could this be Addison's?

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Initially I didn't think that what was wrong with me was addisons, but as the months progress I am getting more concerned. 

Just a bit of background: I am a 21yr old female, I had a nissen fundoplication in 2013 (stomach surgery) and have been healthy since. 

Over 4 months (January 2015) ago I began to lose my appetite, by February I was hospitalized for a week. I was under the care of my surgeon (believing it was stomach related) who did an endoscopy and barium swallow (which showed nothing) and I was sent home being told that if I was not better in 3 weeks they would do more tests. Since then I have also had an abdominal ct which was clear. (Health care here sucks) 

While I was in hospital I was very weak and had lost approx. 16 lbs (i've lost 21lbs in total now) but the saline drip helped. I realised upon discharge that in order to have any form of a life I would have to start force feeding myself and now I get most of calories from liquids (lucozade sports / soya milk / coke / soups etc) and small amounts of solids. 

Symptoms: 

Lack of appetite / early satiety. 

I feel sick and stuffed if I eat too much (still only a tiny amount). However, my stomachsurgery means I cannot vomit. 

I have noticed that I am incredibly thirsty, drinking a bare minimum of 3 litres of water everyday plus my high calories drinks. 

I am exhausted / fatigued / lacking focus and energy and cannot concentrate. Anxious / Irritable 

Just to add: I can't work any more, I have had to give up college because I can't concentrate and I don't drive for fear of crashing because I am so weak

The oddest symptoms that I have noticed, which is getting progressively worse, is a craving for salt. This is odd to me because I have never really liked salt (except of salt & vinegar crisps) and always refused to put it on food as I found I got my RDA without adding it unnecessarily. 

However, looking back on before I got sick I realized I had began to use salt more often, but now, despite not getting hungry I will put some salt and vinegar on a plate and saturate them in additional salt, even resorting to licking the remaining salt of the plate. 

Do these symptoms sound like addison's disease? I ask this because a cousin of mine was diagnosed with it a few years having been sick for approx. 2.5 years (He looked like a walking skeleton) and I know his most noticeable symptom was appetite loss and occasional vomiting.

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Sounds like every symptom of Addisons To me. Get a stenachthen test done and that will give you a diagnosis. By any chance are you craving liquorice?
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    • Posted

      No, but I don't think I even remeber what liqourice tastes like, it's not something widely sold around here
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    • Posted

      Sorry, I know nothing about addisons. I do know that being thirsty is a sign of diabetes. A simple urine test would find out.
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    • Posted

      Give your GP a list of your symptoms, say you think you might have addisons and ask for a Synacthen test. If you don't succeed with one GP make an appointment to see another GP at the same practice.
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    • Posted

      Back in hospital again... They've decided it's Rathke's Cleft, a growth on the pituitary stalk. But here, invaluable different city where I got I'll they think it's Addisons Disease.... Dr's differ.. patients die, or in my case trying out every hospital in Ireland .
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    • Posted

      The pituitary problem seems more likely. It can produce the symptoms of Addisons, in fact the effect is called 'secondary Addison. and you can have just as serious an Addisonian Crisis. Does the cyst show up on an MRI? Pituaitary disease can cause under-production of hormones [as in my case - took years to track it down] or over-production.

      Diabetes insipidus is a common result of pituitary disease - lots of info on pituitary dot org dot uk. A normal pituitary should produce just the right amount of the hormone [ADH] that keeps you not too wet and not too dry, just right. If it is overactive, you get through lots of water and have a craving for salt. [There is a drug, DDAVP aka desmopressin, that is given to control DI - but hopefully not before the underlying problem is found and treated]. Underactive and you get hyponatremia [water retention upsetting the natural salt ('electrolyte') balance in the blood].

      The average GP sill typically see just one pituitary patient in a career, so it is hardly surprising that they don't recognise it. Also they are trained to go for the least complicated solution that fits the facts and no more (see 'Occam's Razor').

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    • Posted

      On the button ruadhraigh. Secondary adrenal insufficiency they are considering now. I'm so bloated, shoes don't fit and hands swollen. They don't want to touch me with a barge pole....too complicated a case. They now have me on IV hydrocortisone but I think I've hit the wall. No energy to fight my cause anymore . On a positive note the Menieries is caused by the acoustic neuroma growing . Insomnia is my new BFF.
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