I have Addison's disease- I was diagnosed when I was 10. I'm 31 now. I am a woman, so I can't help with the E.D. part of your problem, sorry.
Originally Posted by amyb
I usually don't say much in the forum, but I just needed to put my 2 cents in.
To answer your questions- no, you cannot manage Addison's with just saltwater and supplements. Addison's requires medication. If you don't treat it, you will die from it.
With Addison's, your body lacks the ability to release potassium and hold onto sodium in the blood. This alone makes Addison sufferers very prone to dehydration- water follows salt, and if your body is losing salt, it loses water as well. That is only one part of the problem. Having high potassium is also toxic to your heart.
Because of my potassium levels, I have to watch what I eat- can only have 1-2 bananas a week- and I cannot take medications that may raise potassium levels (which is all forms of birth control for women, lol).
As far as medications go, there are 2. Hydrocortisone (Cortef) and Fludrocortisone (Florinef). Florinef's job is to balance the sodium/potassium ratio in your blood. Cortef helps balance out glucose levels, helps your body respond to "stress" both self inflicted (chronic worrying for example) and actual stress- being sick, getting injured, etc. There is a daily dose (maintenance) and a "stress dose" for when you get sick/injured/need surgery/that kind if thing which for me is 3x maintenance 3x a day for 3-5 days.
Are there side effects? Yes. To me, they were minimal. When I first started my meds, the worst side effect I had was a voracious appetite- which caused me to gain 90 pounds that I am trying to lose. That went away when my levels were finally balanced. The other side effects I have are minimal in my opinion- slow healing (cuts that take 3-4 days in normal people take 7-10 days to heal on me), lower body temperature- I average 97 degrees when healthy, I cannot tolerate weather that is hot and humid- I can deal with up to 85 with no humidity or about 75 with. After that, I need AC and sports drinks (Powerade zero.) When I do get sick- which happens more often then most because I have lowered immunity- I almost never register a fever. For me, fevers start at 98.5 degrees-normal people are 98.6. If I get to 99 degrees, I am in trouble. Usually by 101 I'm considering the hospital. (That has only happened to me 1 time- I hit 102 and was in the hospital 4 days.) Most things I can fight off on my own with extra meds, lots of fluids, lots of sleep, and antibiotics. I also have a very low (nonexistent) libido. That's from the broken adrenals.
I have been on my meds a long, long time now. I have even been able to have my doses decreased a few times, but I will be on these meds for life.
Oh, I did have a question for you- do you bronze? Does you skin "change colors"- do you turn brownish when you aren't feeling well, or are your knuckles/knees/elbows a darker shade the the rest of you? (It's an Addison thing.)
Very sorry for the all over the place novel. Feel free to message me if you have any questions about living with Addison's- I will be more than happy to talk about it.
Began Paleo journey 06/08/2014
Beginning weight: 244.3 pounds/ 41.8% bodyfat
Current Weight: 235.4 pounds/41.0% bodyfat
Goal weight: 150 pounds/ 15% bodyfat
"The path to a better life begins with a single step."