Forum for Addisons and diabetes related issues.


Postby mom_of_sk87 » Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:30 am

hello all,

I promised an update when I knew more.

I went to see a pharmacist who had the authority to order a saliva cortisol test (not covered by insurance, but unbelievably still requires someone else's signature). I did a 4 point test over one day, and each sample was completely in the middle of the normal range, with a normal diurnal pattern. And also normal morning DHEAS. I am happy to have these results, and I am now confident that the problem is not low cortisol/adrenal/pituitary problem, and also, that when needed, I am able to put out extra cortisol, given that last year my blood cortisol results were both above normal. The pharmacist was pretty much convinced prior to the test that I was a classic case of adrenal fatigue, and I certainly fit. I was just glad that she wasn't labelling my symptoms as menopausal. She consults a lot of women in the latter category, and I would assume, knows more about it than the average family doctor.

I also went to see an alternative doctor who diagnosed low potassium. This idea has a lot of merit, fits the blood work (potassium right at the low end of normal), and fits the symptoms. But he said this was just a result of something else, again, I would agree with that. He then prescribed some homeopathic remedies, which I dutifully take, but see no improvement. I can believe his diagnostic skills, but homeopathy makes no sense to me. However, it's certainly cheaper than saliva hormone tests and consultation fees, and it can't hurt me, so it's worth a try.

I did a follow up with the opthamologist as well, who was no help. The tests he could have done, he didn't, because an appointment is only 5 minutes long in his office. So, my eye abnormalities are still any one's guess - completely benign or a clue to something else.

The cortisol results narrow down the possibilities and the possible remedies to try. Doctors keep throwing around the idea of MS, but I find it's a stretch to make it fit. I took a couple of huge textbooks out of the medical library, one on MS, and the other on lupus. Lupus fits from what I can determine. Other than that, I'm left with something like stress and burnout causing permanent damage, but how do you measure something like that, and how do you seperate what is the cause and what is the effect, and how much and what kind of stress is needed to affect one person compared to another.

I continue, among many things, to have poor appetite, fatigue, elevated pulse, hypotension, arms going numb, headaches, nausea, and much more noticeable and persistant tremors in my hands. I felt much better in the summer, but got worse again this winter. I feel better this winter than last, I think because I'm aware now that somethings not right and I listen to my body and rest/lie down/sleep in/skip work when needed, instead of keeping on pushing myself. Other than that, I'm doing pretty good, learning to live with whatever it is, and get on with my life the best I can, but at a much slower pace. Having always considered myself fit and healthy, I feel disabled now. However, I am starting to notice many other people, for whatever reason, are not fit and energetic, and they seem to have always accepted this state in themselves as normal.

In any case, since I'm no fan of taking medication or having intrusive medical procedures, all I can do is just try to take care of my health by rest, good food, mild exercise, etc. and hope things don't get worse. And they just might get better.
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