I'm curious if anyone here is dealing with Addison's Disease - and how they have adapted their diet and lifestyle to help manage/control things?
Just met with an Endo yesterday about chronic exhaustion and various other unexplainable health issues. After the appointment I did some research and based on the tests he has set up and his line of questioning he is trying to rule out Addison's. I have every single symptom of Addison's (some quite severe), and had an episode last year that stronly resembles an adrenal crisis (self treated because I assumed it was just a stomach virus). It occured a couple of days after attempting to go primal the first time. I was in bed very sick for a week and then spent another 2 months trying to recover. It was over nine months before I started to feel "normal" (and my normal isn't that great). Have had a couple more milder episodes. And yes, I did go to the Dr. when this all started, but it took over a year and a half to get into the specialist. They are in short supply here.
Finally switched my diet to strict primal this past April. It has helped ease some of my symptoms (hypoglycemia, blackouts), but I by no means feel wonderful like I know I should if everything was ok. I was trying strength training but the muscle fatigue was getting worse and worse each time until I was dreading it. I still try and get in a couple of sprints every week, but those are getting fewer and farther between. I do take a yoga class once a week because I need/want at least some activity. I have been suffering pretty severe insomnia lately which doesn't help matters.
I go for tests next week, but probably won't get results until December. In the meantime I'm just wondering what I can do for myself to improve my days. I am a stay at home mom with 2 young children so resting isn't always possible (and don't even get me started on trying to reduce my stress level. ) I'd love to hear how others are dealing with this illness.
If it doesn't end up being Addison's, I am guessing that at the very least it is severe adrenal fatigue. I don't know enough about either to know how closely the two are related other than that I will be put on a couple of meds to replace cortisol and aldosterone if it is Addison's. How different are the two?
The two aren't related. Adrenal fatigue is a quack diagnosis. Addison's Disease is real and can be very serious. It cannot be managed through diet alone. I would listen to your endocrinologist and not fall into the trap of self-diagnosing on the internet and trying all kinds of pseudoscientific "treatments" from people whose entire science/physiology education can be summed up as "I read a few articles on the internet."
Adrenal fatigue is not a "quack' diagnosis. If you have chronically low cortisol/DHEA/aldosterone levels but not full-blown Addison's, you'll need to see someone who knows how to treat it (some people require hydrocortisone). If you can find a doc trained in function medicine or functional endocrinology, they generally have a much more intricate knowledge of the endocrine system and underlying factors that affect it.
Yes, as I stated in my post, I AM being seen by an endocrinologist. However, it will be some time before I get my test results back, and until I have them he will not start me on medication. In the mean time, I was looking at things that I can do now to make my life a little easier to live.
Originally Posted by marqueemoon
I had exogenous adrenal fatigue/failure from years of oral steroid use for intractable autoimmune arthritis. If you do have addision's I don't think there is too much that diet can do. You will require exogenous hormone treatment forever. However, while I was (painfully) waiting for my adrenal glands to kick back in I found several things very helpful.
1. Staying grain and sugar free and keeping carb levels low enough that I was burning fat.
2. Completely eliminating caffeine.
3. Trying very hard to get to sleep before 11 pm in a dark room.
4. Supplementing magnesium and vitamin D. I also take quite a lot of potassium which really, really helps with the terrible muscle weakness. But I am not completely sure if that is related to just the adrenal problem.
5. Homemade bone broths.
Good luck. If you don't have Addisons disease, don't give up. Figuring out your health issues can often be a marathon instead of a sprint. Persistence is the key