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Ursa Major

My Doctor's Visits Here In Germany

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I haven't updated you guys on what is happening with my thyroid and adrenals during the last few months. I guess part of that was due to frustration, as my regular doctor in Canada is so very ignorant.

Because the thyroid meds (dessicated thyroid/Armour) wasn't working very well, due to obvious adrenal fatigue, I was tested for adrenal insufficiency. The following week my doctor's office called back to tell me everything was 'normal', which was no surprise.

I picked up a copy of the results and told my doctor that I had no intentions of talking with her about them, but would rather find somebody else to help me.

My cortisol levels were in the lower third of the so-called normal range. Very bad and not normal at all. But my aldosterone level was terrible. Aldosterone is a hormone the adrenal glands produce, that regulates the calcium and salt in the body, amongst other things.

According to my doctor's lab, the normal range for aldosterone is 60 to 780 something (I don't remember exactly what the measurement was). That is an awfully large range. From all my research I found out that anything below the upper third of this range needs to be medicated with fludrocortisone. My level was 73. Not normal at all.

I went to see my older brother's doctor here in Germany the week after I arrived here. I brought him copies of my test results. He took one look at my aldosterone levels and exclaimed, "Wow, that is dangerously low, something needs to be done immediately!" Of course, he only confirmed what I knew already.

I saw him again, and had to write him thirteen pages in between visits (which I mailed to him) to answer his questionnaire. He diagnosed me as a result with Addison's disease, hypothyroidism and fatigue syndrome.

I am now taking hydrocortisone, fludrocortisone and dessicated thyroid, as well as some homeopathic remedies. This doctor is a regular MD as well as a homeopathic and a naturopathic doctor. The combination is exactly what is needed in a fabulous doctor, and I wished all doctors were as knowledgable and personable as him.

I am starting to actually have some energy again and need much less sleep as well. As a result of my metabolism starting to gear up to normal now, I have lost about five pounds already. Things are looking up! I think I will return to Canada a new person. :)

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I am so glad you got some answers. Your dr sounds fabolous, to bad we cant find any like that in the US or canada.

I hope you feel great again and keep us updated. When do you return back to canada?

paula

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Oh Ursa--I can't tell you how happy I am to hear this! :D

Yes, your doctor sounds like the perfect combination--with common sense mixed in ;) This trip was just what you needed for so many reasons--I'm so thrilled for you.

Thanks for letting us know :)

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Ursa, that's wonderful! I'm so happy to hear that you are feeling better and have found some answers!

Does this doctor know any doctors within an hour or two of where you live in Canada who might be more reasonable than your old one?

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To answer your questions: I will return to Canada on August 17th. It isn't possible to change doctors in my area, as there is a doctor shortage, and many people have no family doctor at all. And this German doctor has no connections to Canada.

If my doctor refuses to accept his diagnosis (which I have in writing), he will, at my request (as I am supposed to stay in contact with him) write a letter to my doctor (in English), to help her see reason.

I have enough hydrocortisone and fludrocortisone to last me about four months, and she is willing to prescribe Armour. So, there will be time to figure it out after returning to Canada. If everything else fails, I can order those meds over the Internet.

Patti, yes, this doctor is charming, has common sense, is knowledgable and knows what he is doing. I just hate giving him up!

Just seeing him and getting my health looked after was worth the trip to Germany, even without seeing my family.

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So glad to hear that things are looking up! :) It's always good to hear new like this.

My sister was recently tested for adrenal fatigue and the results came back below the normal range. Her doc. insisted on testing her over again and said if the numbers went up one or two points , putting them in the normal range then she'd let it go. Can you imagine? Fortunately sis went to a women's health specialist that did more testing and accepted her prior results as meaning she had adrenal fatigue and told her to ditch her doc.

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Ursla,

How wonderful ! I really believe there's alot of us (me included) that don't get the attention we need when it

comes to our adrenals. I find it so frustrating that I can't do as much as I want because I'm so wiped out, especially to plan to do activities two days in a row. I have to rest in between. I think its just great you found this doctor. Looking forward to hearing more when you get home.

Gail

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Great news Ursa! So glad you found a good doctor over there to help you.

Enjoy the rest of your trip. :)

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Wow! If you have addison's, your potassium levels must be dangerously high. I hope the drs are addressing that issue as well. How is your blood pressure? Not too low I hope.

neesee

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Wow! If you have addison's, your potassium levels must be dangerously high. I hope the drs are addressing that issue as well. How is your blood pressure? Not too low I hope.

neesee

My potassium levels were in the normal range (in this case it is true) last time they were tested. My blood pressure was getting dangerously low and 'sinking', but is in the normal range most of the time now.

I found out in the meantime that my dad had tuberculosis after the war. This doctor here in Germany suspects that I may have had fairly mild, undiagnosed tuberculosis as a child, based on my history and symptoms.

I did some research on Addison's disease a couple of weeks ago. About 80% of people with AD have developed antibodies to their adrenal glands. The rest either had a great shock, a lot of stress, or it was caused by tuberculosis!

And you can have tuberculosis of the adrenal glands as well. If an ultrasound shows calcium deposits on the adrenal glands, that is a pretty sure diagnosis of tuberculosis. So, just to be sure that isn't the case for me (or to find out if it is after all), I will demand from my doctor to order the ultrasound when I see her next.

It really saddens me to know now that my dad must have had undiagnosed Addison's disease. He did have tuberculosis, a few terrible shocks during the war, and tons of stress in his life. His blood pressure was always dangerously low, and he always had trouble staying awake. He had very little stress tolerance as well. His doctor never bothered getting to the bottom of his low blood pressure, but told him to drink lots of coffee to bring it up. About the worst advice for somebody suffering from adrenal failure! I am surprised he didn't die sooner than 74. In the end he drank several pots of coffee a day. That's right, not a few cups, but a few pots, just to get through the day.

If only he would have had Internet back then, to figure it out himself, as I have done!

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Yes, you certainly can get addison's from renal tuberculosis. My dad had renal tb when I was a child. It's something I will never forget. He almost died from it. His drs wondered if he grew up on a farm because you get this form of tb from drinking unpasturized milk. His mom's family were farmers from Iowa. He did spend one summer on his aunts hog farm in Ilinois.

It appeared that he developed cancer in that kidney when he got older.

By the way, his grandparents were german, from Switzerland.

neesee

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