Monday, September 29, 2014

Adrenal Insufficiency?

Some friends have pointed out that I have some symptoms of adrenal insufficiency.  Unfortunately the NannY state of NY has made it illegal for me to swab my own spit or walk into a self-directed blood testing center, so I can't take the test my friend recommends without seeing a doctor.

I have seen plenty of doctors.  In the whirlwind leading up to Fibromyalgia diagnosis, I had something like a half dozen doctors, and none of them were able to fix me.  Some of the pain was managed by the pediatric rheumatologists, but the rest of the symptoms pretty much went untreated until I started helping myself three years ago.

I'm out of personal time for the year, I'm rather hesitant to spend the hours allocated for Christmas vacation on doctor visits.  On the other hand, I've been a mess lately.  Fibromyalgia acting back up, leading to inactivity, leading to a back strain when I did have to be active, leading into a couple days of lost work time.  On top of that I've had an irritable bowl since March.  (Bye bye Christmas.)

A co-worker has had very good luck with a doctor all the way on the other side of town and he recommended I try her as a primary care physician who would understand and work with my self-treatments.  Just so happens she is also an endocrinologist, so I have two reasons to try her now.

Adrenal Insufficiency and Addison's Disease
Cortisol belongs to the class of hormones called glucocorticoids, which affect almost every organ and tissue in the body. Cortisol’s most important job is to help the body respond to stress. Among its many tasks, cortisol helps
  • maintain blood pressure and heart and blood vessel function
  • slow the immune system’s inflammatory response—how the body recognizes and defends itself against bacteria, viruses, and substances that appear foreign and harmful
  • regulate metabolism
Hrm...  Yeah, that fits...
Aldosterone belongs to the class of hormones called mineralocorticoids, also produced by the adrenal glands. Aldosterone helps maintain blood pressure and the balance of sodium and potassium in the blood. When aldosterone production falls too low, the body loses too much sodium and retains too much potassium.
The decrease of sodium in the blood can lead to a drop in both blood volume—the amount of fluid in the blood—and blood pressure. Too little sodium in the body also can cause a condition called hyponatremia. Symptoms of hyponatremia include feeling confused and fatigued and having muscle twitches and seizures.
 Thank goodness no seizures, but yep...
The slowly progressing symptoms of adrenal insufficiency are often ignored until a stressful event, such as surgery, a severe injury, an illness, or pregnancy, causes them to worsen.
Huh, they say the same thing about fibromyalgia.


My truck is at her own doctor's right now, but perhaps after she comes back I should make an appointment.