I have a 15 year old daughter who has dark circles under her eyes, dark pigmentation on her knuckles, elbows and knees, weight loss, diarrhea, constant sore throat, occasional chills, cold sores inside her cheeks, headaches and sensitivity to light, she has trouble sleeping and has nightmares. She cries easily, seems depressed at times, and is very snappy. Since the fall she has had bouts of low blood sugar. The first was 58 (but she had gone a long time without eating) and yesterday, two hours after devouring a 1/4 pounder, fries and sweet tea, her blood sugar was 68. I took her to the doctor this morning (actually it was a PA) and her blood pressure was 86/54. We went over everything with the PA, and he said he would run blood work, but he was sure she was just depressed. I'm not sure he ordered anything that would point to Addison's, and my big question is how does one get diagnosed? Do I have to ask for her to be specifically tested for that?
If the doctor ordered electrolytes - and has a brain, he may get a clue if she comes back with low sodium and wonky potassium. Addison's is a salt wasting disease so low sodium is a big clue.
The darkening of the skin can be a huge hint but can also occur with blood sugar issues. But the low BP is something that Addison's people have due to the low sodium.
Depressed - makes me want to kick him...
Standard diagnosis is sodium, potassium (most people have low sodium and high potassium, but you can be low in both, I am), cortisol and ACTH testing (several times, at DIAGNOSTIC time of days 8am fasting). Then a ACTH stim test.
Other tests that are helpful are DHEA sulfate, renin and aldosterone. Other hormones should also be tested as well just in case other things are going off as well.
If she feels better after salt, that can keep her out of critical trouble. Until you know about potassium, she should not have much. Get copies of her testing.
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