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Hi Nikewood,
I cannot tell you what the chances are that you could have Addison's disease. Any diagnosis can only be made by a physician who has examined you and done diagnostic testing.
The diagnosis of Addison's disease, in the early stage, is suspected by a patient's symptoms and medical history. A diagnosis of adrenal insufficiency is confirmed through laboratory tests. The aim of these tests is first to determine whether levels of cortisol are insufficient and then to establish the cause. Radiologic exams of the adrenal and pituitary glands also are useful in helping to establish the cause.
According to the website for the National Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Information Clearinghouse:
The symptoms of adrenal insufficiency usually begin gradually. The most common symptoms are

•chronic, worsening fatigue
•muscle weakness
•loss of appetite
•weight loss

Other symptoms can include

•low blood pressure that falls further when standing, causing dizziness or fainting
•irritability and depression
•a craving for salty foods due to salt loss
•hypoglycemia, or low blood glucose
•in women, irregular or absent menstrual periods

Hyperpigmentation, or darkening of the skin, can occur in Addison’s disease but not in secondary adrenal insufficiency. This darkening is most visible on scars; skin folds; pressure points such as the elbows, knees, knuckles, and toes; lips; and mucous membranes such as the lining of the cheek.
I hope this information has been helpful. You may want to make an appointment with your physician and ask if a work-up to rule out Addison's disease or other hormonal disorders, such as hypothryoidism, may be right for you.
Please keep us posted of your progress.

March 28, 2011 - 5:34pm


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