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Adrenal Insufficiency?

So I'm debating whether or not I need to go back to the doctor. About a year ago I had some blood work done for something else and my cortisol level was included in that. The doctor mentioned it was low at the time but nothing else. I figured if it was an issue he'd elaborate right?

Anyways flash forward to now and I'm coming to terms that something is up. I've really probably had fatigue and abdominal issues and such for around 5 years at least. But it's just now gotten to the point where I'm like this can't be normal. This fall I've felt like I've been constantly sick. I'm always tired. I haven't even been up 12 hours today and I'm fighting to keep my eyes open. Being in college everyone around me is always complaining about being tired and drinking caffeine so it feels normal - but they're also getting like 6 hours of sleep in a week while I'm wasting over 50 hours of my time on sleep and still feeling exhausted.

I'm also always nauseous. It's like I'm pregnant and have morning sickness (I'm not lol). Some days it goes away and others it stays until I go to sleep. And I'm really sensitive to food and smells. If somebody is cooking and I'm not hungry the smell makes me want to throw up, I have to leave the room it's so bad. I've really lost my appetite too. Sometimes it's to certain foods or food groups, others nothing sounds appetizing. Even thinking of water will make me feel sick on occasion.

Lastly - though I'm sure there's more wrong with me - is the pain. I've gotten abdominal pain since I was probably 11 or 12. My parents took me to the ER the first couple times scared that I had appendicitis. It's never really gone away. I had ultrasounds and blood work done a few years ago but everything came back normal. I was put on ulcer meds which helped a bit but I still get sharp pains. From time to time they're so bad I can't move for several minutes until it subsides. I'm also just generally sore all the time. My shoulders, back, stomach, even my hands.

Sorry this got so long, but I guess what I'm wondering is, should I go see a doctor and get some cortisol tests done again?
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Avatar universal
COMMUNITY LEADER
Cortisol is an anti-inflammatory so as for the pain, it is usually muscular or joint pain.  So that is consistent with the back, shoulder and hand pain.

I don't know about the GI issues but many have them, not sure if it is related or just happens.

The nausea though is a classic low cortisol symptom. Have you any tests that show low sodium or weird potassium levels? AI is a salt wasting disease. Do you feel better after something salty or crave salt? Do you have a tan?

Fatigue is also a symptom but is so general it can be almost anything...

You would need an endocrinologist to run tests (at 8am, fasting) usually several times, plus other testing to support like sodium and potassium and other hormones, and then a stim test as well.
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Avatar universal
Thank you. I'm not sure if I've had any tests done showing my sodium or potassium levels. Honestly my doctor isn't very cooperative. I did go ahead and make an appointment with a new one. It doesn't hurt to get it checked out. Though 8am sounds terrible - and to think just a few years ago I was up and going before 6am every day!

As far as the salt cravings, I don't really crave things usually. It's more that everything else seems disgusting than something seeming really good. In that case I do tend to gravitate towards saltier foods. I've never noticed them making me feel better though. And for the tan, I live in Florida so I've always been tan all the time.
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Avatar universal
COMMUNITY LEADER
Next time you feel nausea, go for a salty thing on purpose.

Doctors tend to get a bit wiggly on the adrenals - there are a lot of things out there not medically accepted like the "fatigue" and it makes the whole topic seem taboo and frankly even endos tend to gloss over it. I wonder if they just get a day in school and that is it.

Not everyone gets the tan but it can be a symptom.
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