Hi, I have been suffering with a wide range of symptoms for about 10 years and just recently been told by my doctor that it is most likly Addison's . ( due to patches of darkened skin). I have not had the determining tests but everything seems to exactly what I have been experiencing. The only symptom that I can't find anywhere that I have is unexplained lactation, does anyone else experience this symptom? Or is it not even Addison's related? I have looked and looked for answers so any insight would be greatly appreciated!
I would find a pituitary center (at a larger hospital or university hospital) if you can and get a neuro-endo to evaluate you. I would also get copies of all the testing that you have had.
Hyperpigmentation while a symptom of Addison's is IMHO, not diagnostic as it can happen with other disorders. It may not be Addison's strictly either as it may be pituitary source as if you have another pituitary issue with the prolactin (which may or may not be causing the lactation) then you could have several concurrent issues going on.
You have to get the proper testing before you get on the replacements - and you need a whole host of testing probably to get to the source of the lactation (had that myself - hurts like the dickens!) which means good thyroid panels and knowing all the meds you are on etc.
I have in the brain/pituitary tumors section for patients a bunch of links in the health pages that may help you with both education and maybe finding a center to help. Dr P is also helpful!
Thanks for the info. I have had an MRI my pituitary gland is normal and prolactin levels are normal as well. No one can figure it out and I have been to about 7 different specialist so now there thinking Addison's. Just wondering if lactation can be a symptom of Addison's dissease?
What type of MRI did you have? Was it a dynamic pituitary MRI? Who reviewed the MRI? I ask as radiologists can miss the lesions, and smaller ones can fall between the 3mm slices of the normal MRI - so a normal MRI can be, or may be misleading (one of my tumors hid for 12 years!). I also had normal or near normal prolactin levels and I still had a prolactinoma - so sometimes the level is a bit misleading too - sometimes. In other words, it can be NOT a straight line.
As far as I know, lactation is not a symptom of Addison's. Usually that is nausea, craving salt (it is a salt wasting disease), low BP, the tan or spots, fatigue, weight loss and things along those lines. People though can vary.
I do think you need to find a pituitary specialist. IMHO... And send your films off to be read by a surgeon.
Hello Kristy, I believe I may have an answer to your question. But I want to first note that I am not a doctor, only a first year medical student, and thus have no authority on medical guidance or counseling. I'm in the so-called "book smarts" stage. But hear me out as I have an interesting theory.
Today I was studying about the pituitary gland, ACTH release, Addison's disease, and some other things. I have been learning recently how different elements of the endocrine system "crosstalk" with each other. I saw in my books that something called Angiotensin II is known as a prolactin-releasing factor. I also saw that something called beta-endorphins can also function as a prolactin-releasing factor. Prolactin is a hormone secreted by your pituitary that helps develop breast tissue and increases breast milk production. I was immediately intrigued as to if a symptom of Addison's Disease would be increased lactation (I will explain why below), and that is what led me to this thread. You might know even more about Addison's Disease than I do given your medical history, but for thoroughness of my thoughts I will say some things here you may already know.
In Addison's disease, as you know, your adrenal glands are compromised. I will talk about two main effects here. Your adrenal glands make aldosterone, which serves (among other functions) to retain salt from your urine, and thus retain water as the water follows the salt. If you don't have aldosterone, you end up losing water, and thus get decreased blood volume. Your kidneys sense this decreased blood volume and secrete a hormone called renin to compensate. This renin activates a pathway that involves the production of this something I mentioned earlier called Angiotensin II. This angiotensin II helps constrict blood vessels to raise your blood pressure, and it also helps stimulate the production of aldosterone in your adrenal glands. But since you STILL can't make aldosterone in this final step (if you have Addison's disease), your kidneys keep making more renin, and thus you get even higher levels of this Angiotensin II. Follow my statement in the second paragraph about how this could theoretically contribute to lactation.
Your adrenal glands also make cortisol when stimulated by a hormone called ACTH that comes from your pituitary gland. Normally, this cortisol regulates (feeds back) on the level of ACTH produced, so if you have high cortisol, it will tell the pituitary to stop making ACTH; but if you have low cortisol (here due to Addison's), your pituitary gland will have no one to scold it into stopping ACTH production. While making more ACTH, your pituitary gland will also make a few other "side products" as I like to call them. The most "classic" one is melanocyte-stimulating hormone, which will stimulate your skin cells to make more melanin pigment, causing the "hyperpigmentation" of Addison's disease. Another one of these "side products" is beta-endorphins, which I said in paragraph 2 that I have read about them being a so-called "prolactin releasing factor" that may lead to increased breast milk production.
So that is my line of reasoning here. I have been totally honest in that this is a theoretical line of reasoning on my part, I do not have any research studies or statistics to back this up. I am not a medical professional and thus you should not necessarily hold my opinion in the same light as true health care professionals. Your problem could be totally unrelated. At the end of the day, we both have the same question as to if Addison's disease can cause lactation, so I hope we both find that answer!
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I am a bit confused. You are posting in a thread about a prolactinoma, but your question, I think, is about Addison's?
I think if you are asking about Addison's and if your ex has a true form - aka the auto-immune form - then there is a risk but what the risk is... is probably not great. I am not a doctor so ask yours. I am basing my response on that auto-immune thyroid disease runs in my family for at least 3 generations. Does everyone have it? No. I do - my brother does not. My mother does not. My grandmother and Aunt did. Oddly in doing the DNA test for it my brother came out higher risk, I came out normal. It jumps around.
It is at least livable and the medications are getting better.
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