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Adrenal Insufficiency Community
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696538 tn?1229396154

Symptoms of Adrenal Gland disorders

I've been dealing with significant fatigue for years.  Doctors have not been able to resolve it yet.  Over the past 3-5 months it has gotten worst along with muscle weakness, dizziness, mental confusion, all-over joint pain, inability to concentrate, inability to get over colds/sinus infection, etc.  Last blood test showed hormone levels indicative of menopause; cotisol 2.5 ug/dL and vitamin D (25 Hydroxy) - 29 ng/mL.  Would the cortisol and Vit. D levels be connected to menopause or is this non related?  
16 Responses
393685 tn?1425816122
It is not really looked at as "related" but all our hormone levels should be connected together.

Your cortisol is really off. Are you having symptoms? Are you getting acid reflex at all?

Can you consider having a few more labs done. Did you have thyroid tests done?

With a low Vit D - did they also consider running any calcium or PTH tests?

It really sounds as though you could be headed in something other than just menopause. Something else has off too like thyroid - or adrenals.

Did they range out our estrodiol and progestrone at all to see if you are estrogen dominant? Are you still cycling - or were there any surgeries like a hysterectomy?
696538 tn?1229396154
My most troublesome symptoms are noted in my original post. Slight reflux but manageable w/o medication for the most part.  Additional labs ordered yesterday -DHEA-S; ACTH and  another Cortisol to reconfirm original results. All Thyroid test were normal (on the lower end of reference range) with the exception of T3 FREE which was low.  Estradiol was 15 (lower than post menopause range); Progesterone was 0.35. FSH=33.21 and LH=14.29 (both in low post menopausal range). In the summer my Vit D = 19 so it is getting better. Calcium= 9.4 - normal but PTH Intact was 99.7 - High. (Normal Reference range 10-65).  I got my period Monday but hadn't seen it since June, 08. Extremely light flow by today.  No surgeries at all.  The Dr. started me on 5mg of Prednisone and 50,000 IU of Vit. D3.  I go back to the Dr on Monday, 12/8.
393685 tn?1425816122
You have alot going on. taking meno into consideration too.

First - with my personal experience with thyroid. When your Free T3 is off - that controls a huge portion of weight and fatigue issues. Companying joint pain - nausea - anxiety - just to same a few - when the Free T3 is off even the slightest bit.  Something is going on thyroid wise if your TSH is low - with a reading of a Free T3 also on the low side. And then you had a high PTH too.

Is your doctor checking those correlations out?

It's good you are getting the additional testing on the cortisol.

I am still learning so much on the FSH and LS panels. I thought thyroid was tough to get - but this side of it is crazy. Have you posted on the meno board those labs. Mary53 is a wiz at those levels and can really clarify - she is aboout the mno age herself and really gets these labs. She visits alot over on the ovarian cancer side too.

393685 tn?1425816122
opps - sorry LH panels - not LS

Why script the predisone?
Avatar universal

Has your physician ruled out Chronic Fatigue Syndrome ?
Avatar universal

P.S. ~ When I was finally diagnosed with CFS (after many years), my cortisol level was also very low (1.6.. if I remember right). My estradiol and all hormones were low (explains severe PMS symptoms I've had for years). CFS sufferers also suffer from a low thyroid and have low vitamin D levels.
Avatar universal

P.S.S. ~ I'm still thinking... can you tell ? LOL ! The vitamin D script will probably help... as well as the Prednisone. I was on 10 mg of Prednisone daily. The reason why your parathyroid hormone (PTH) was probably high... is because a lack of vitamin D has an effect on the phosphates in your body. When your vitamin D is low... your body will have trouble absorbing calcium. It is then when your body starts to take the calcium and phosphate from your bones and thus... the result is a high PTH.



393685 tn?1425816122
Ahhhhhh

My genius Platelet Gal.  So good :)

Thanks - that is why they test phophorus with PTH. Never was that correlation put together for me.

696538 tn?1229396154
I don't think my doc has ruled out or in anything.  On my 1st visit told doc I might be suffering from adrenal insufficiency (based on my symptoms and a low DHEA test of 17 a few years ago).  He laughed and told me how rare that was.  He examined me, took some blood and gave me his cold. (Yuchhh).  Told me I'd be fine and make a follow up appt for two months.  I left his office frustrated but in a few days the office called me back in.  Doc said to his surprise my cortisol was low.  He gave the small dose of prednisone to try and replace the cortisol.  He does not believe that the level of pain I'm experiencing or the muscle weakness has anything to do with the Vit D levels. CT on my neck revealed a multinodular goiter and several "sub cm nonspecific cervical lymph nodes".  As stated, thyroid tests are normal except Free T3 which is low. Not sure what to make of the lymph nodes.
Avatar universal

If I remember right, my DHEA level was also low. I've been seeing an Endocrinologist, who has been diagnosing and treating CFS long before this illness had a name.

Before getting a CFS diagnosis, your physician should rule out MANY other possible conditions, including lyme disease and autoimmune diseases.

From the government's website (no copyright on there):


A CFS diagnosis should be considered in patients who present with six months or more of unexplained fatigue accompanied by other characteristic symptoms. These symptoms include:

cognitive dysfunction, including impaired memory or concentration
postexertional malaise lasting more than 24 hours (exhaustion and increased symptoms) following physical or mental exercise
unrefreshing sleep
joint pain (without redness or swelling)
persistent muscle pain
headaches of a new type or severity
tender cervical or axillary lymph nodes
sore throat
Other Common Symptoms

In addition to the eight primary defining symptoms of CFS, a number of other symptoms have been reported by some CFS patients. The frequency of occurrence of these symptoms varies among patients. These symptoms include:

irritable bowel, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea or bloating
chills and night sweats
brain fog
chest pain
shortness of breath
chronic cough
visual disturbances (blurring, sensitivity to light, eye pain or dry eyes)
allergies or sensitivities to foods, alcohol, odors, chemicals, medications or noise
difficulty maintaining upright position (orthostatic instability, irregular heartbeat, dizziness, balance problems or fainting)
psychological problems (depression, irritability, mood swings, anxiety, panic attacks)
jaw pain
weight loss or gain

http://www.cdc.gov/cfs/cfssymptomsHCP.htm
Avatar universal

If you push yourself one day... do you pay for it the next day  ?
696538 tn?1229396154
I push myself everyday, so I pay for it almost everyday.  I'm as Assistant Principal at an Elem. School as of 08/08.  I get up @ 5 AM - at work by 6:30 AM and return home by 7 PM.  Try to get in bed by 9 - 9:30 PM but doesn't always work out.  Weekends I do get to sleep until about 8 0r 9 AM and if I'm lucky I get to take a midday nap.

How is your dr treating your CFS?  I thought I had this years ago when they kept giving me b12 shots and they didn't work.  My primary care physician took a bld test that determined at some pt in my life I had mononucleosis. He said I may feel tired fotr the rest of my life.

I learned to live with the fatigue but when the pain and muscle weakness crept in then I got scared and sought out the endocrinologist & rhematologist for answers.
I have these symptoms too:
impaired memory or concentration
postexertional malaise
unrefreshing sleep (I wake up every few hours through the night)
all over joint pain (without redness or swelling)
persistent muscle pain and muscle weakness ( drop things a lot)
headaches (everyday now)
nausea, bloating
night sweats ( I attributed to menopause)
brain fog  
shortness of breath (dr. diagnosed it as adult onset asthma)
chronic cough
visual disturbances (blurring,dry eyes)
irregular heartbeat,
balance problems
irritability, mood swings, anxiety, panic attacks
jaw pain (doctors diagnosed this as TMJ)
weight gain


So you see I've had probles for a while but no one ever put it all together.  Maybe I'll strart toget some answers now.
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