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Cortisol / Cushings / Addisons / Cymbalta


Guest Cindy

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Guest Cindy

Hi All,

 

I'm going to sound really confused here, mainly as I am!!

 

I have had something going on now for about 10 years, started during my third pregnancy. Significant weight gain beyond normal pregnancy weight and hard to lose after, borderline GD, child was born with some issues and intellectual impairment/autism (which may not be related since all my 5 children have autism!).

 

Anyway, so since then lots of muscle pain, upper body weakness, various things - bowel issues, IBS, nausea, pain, tiredness, very fleeting things happening a lot.

 

Fast forward to a month back - gp put me on a trial of cymbalta - I thought I was going to die. One tablet caused severe symptoms, heart went mad, I was passing in and out of consciousness, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness like you wouldnt believe (I get vertigo all the time and this was worse than that!).

 

Anyway gp put it down as allergic reaction but now I wonder if it was somehting else? My cortisol levels have been tested a few times over the years and have come back abnormal but then they re-tested (via bloods) and it was normal so ignored it. However this recent blood test showed it was significantly abnormal, along with my potassium and iron levels. He also mentioned other things but I wasnt really with it.

 

he wants me to do a 24 hour urine test now.

 

he said he suspected Addisons, however I am fat (93kg) and have no dark patches - although I did about 4 years ago, dark dark knees and stomach while pregnant skin was dark and hard like leather. Not sure if that was related though but it was strange.

 

Anyway, so is he confused or am I? How can he be testing for Addisons but me being fat? Since the cymbalta my pain (fibro they call it) has significantly increased to the point where 6 voltaren and 4 panadol a day do nothing (they usually just took the edge off the daily pain but now do nothing to make it bareable). Hes given me tramadol to trial, I havent started as yet as today is really bad with severe upset tummy adn feeling liek I want to pass out so would rather wait till I feel a bit better!

 

Ideas? anything welcome, Im so desperate for answers and now it appears we may finally be getting there. (Over the years Ive had nerve conductions studies, MRIs x 2, and so many bloods taken it isnt funny! but still no answers, except ANA is always up, CRP is nearly always up, and bloods showed speckled pattern for one of the tests - they thought I may have had lupus or myasthenia gravis at one point due to the severe shoulder and neck weakness. I also get migraines ALL the time and most days vertigo as well. They have ruled out MS for sure but suspect something autoimmue due to a strong family history.

 

thanks so much (hugs to you all!)

Cindy

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Hello Cindy and welcome! You are in a good place for support, information and understanding. When you say your cortisol came back abnormal, do you mean it was high or low? Can you remember what time of day the blood was drawn?

 

It's possible for a person to have what's called cyclical cushings where cortisol is sometimes high and sometimes normal or even low. However, the normal labs don't cancel out the high ones...most endos don't get this.

 

If you feel you have this disease then I would suggest you stick around here and read all you can, ask any questions you might have. It takes tons and tons of tests to either rule cushings in or out. Can you get copies of all your results? This is important.

 

When you had your previous mri was it focused on the pituitary or just the brain? Pit. tumors are generally itty-bitty and can be missed easily.

 

I'm not aquainted with cymbalta, but would be curious to see if one of the possible side-affects is lowered cortisol or acth. Your reaction certainly seems consistent with an adrenal crisis.

 

Best of luck to you and please keep us posted!

 

love,

melly

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I took one pill of Cymbalta for my Fibromyalgia and it threw me into an adrenal crisis. I had Cushing's, had pituitary surgery, then a bilateral adrenalectomy, leaving me with Addison's. I take hydrocortisone every day to stay alive. Most of the time I have no trouble, but that Cymbalta threw me for a loop. I had major bad diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, foggy brained, and I think I had a headache. I was a mess!

 

As Melly said, you could be cyclical, and sometimes we go from one extreme to the other. It can be pretty brutal at times!

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Hi Twinkie and Fatnsassy, Cindy here - I decided to join :)

 

Thanks for your information! Much appreciated. Im really not sure if he meant it was high or low, but he mentioned addisons, but then he also asked me about stretch marks and other things which sounds more like Cushings than Addisons! lol - I do have a fair few but only on my stomach and they are whitish/purple and not that many considering Ive had 5 children!

 

So perhaps he thinks Addisons but is covering his bases?

 

The bloods were drawn at 9.40 in the morning, is that good or bad?

 

I have been a bit concerned (possibly as Ive been googling - never a good thing! lol). I woke this morning with a severe upset stomach for no reason, also felt very faint and nausious, felt waves of nausea and a funny feeling. Started to feel better once I ate something and had a cup of tea. My pain in my usual fibro spots (my neck and shoulders) is absolutely horrific, like I have never felt it before - pretty much feels like Ive been beaten with a base ball bat. Im wondering if this is related to the cortisol levels or if for some other reason my fibro is playing up badly. Im just watching myself, and if it gets really bad - the nausea etc Ill go somewhere but at this stage it could just be a transient thing or a bug. All too confusing. I guess I need to do this urine test (awaiting ending of AF sorry too much information there!) lol so will do it this weekend or monday and get it back.......it ?should show if I have addisons or cushings?

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Glad you could join us, Cindy! :)

 

Generally, if a person has cyclical cushings, then their morning cortisol will be low when it should be high, and high around midnight when it should be low. If I were you, I would ask your doctor for some midnight serums just to make sure your diurnal rythym isn't flipped. (Low cortisol when it should be high and vice versa).

 

If you display symptoms of cushings then I would insist on being tested for that before allowing your doctor to put you on steroids for addisons.

 

Best of luck to you and keep us posted!

 

love,

melly

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Welcome Cindy- I am sorry that you have to be here. Sounds as if you have enough in your life without a health situation. As has been mentioned your cortisol levels can go up and down. One of the most important things you need to do is get copies of all your past records and keep them along with any future test results. That way maybe you can identify a pattern and make sure that the appropriate tests were done at the appropriate time.

Be Well,

Pat

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