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Moxie
09-20-2006, 07:28 PM
Anyone here have Lupus AND Addison's? Looks like I'm headed that way and wonder what the implications and long-term prospects are.

Saysusie
09-21-2006, 08:33 AM
Hi Moxie;
I do not have Addison's Disease, but I just wanted to provide you with a little information about it and its association with Lupus.

In my manyr reasearches, I have run across many case studies involving lupus patients with Addisons Disease. These studies were attempting to find out if Adrenal Failure was due to Lupus (which they say is rare). Addison's disease occurs when the adrenal glands do not produce enough of the hormone cortisol and, in some cases, the hormone aldosterone. The disease is also called adrenal insufficiency, or hypocortisolism. The studies suggest that, adrenal failure has been related to the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies which are seen in Lupus patients. However, Systemic lupus erythematosus is occasionally accompanied by autoimmune disorders of endocrine glands, most commonly the thyroid, but rarely the adrenal glands.

Addison's Disease and Lupus are considered atuoimmune diseases, meaning that the immune system attacks istelf. The major cause of Addison's disease results from an auto-immune reaction in which the body's immune system erroneously makes antibodies against the cells of the adrenal cortex and slowly destroys them.
The symptoms of Addison's are: Slowly progressive loss of cortisol and aldosterone secretion that usually produces a chronic, steadily worsening fatigue, a loss of appetite, and some weight loss. Blood pressure is low and falls further when a person is standing, producing lightheadedness. Nausea, sometimes with vomiting, and diarrhea are common. The muscles are weak and often go into spasm. There are often emotional changes, particularly irritability and depression. Because of salt loss, a craving for salty foods is common. Finally, the increase in ACTH due to the loss of cortisol will usually produce a darkening of the skin that may look like an inappropriate tan on a person who feels very sick. Unfortunately, the slowly progressive chronic symptoms are usually missed or ignored until a sudden event like a flu virus, an accident, or the need for surgery suddenly precipitates a dramatic change for the worse because of the deficient response from the adrenals to one of these stresses. This is referred to as an Addisonian crisis and is a medical emergency.
Auto-immune Addison's disease, the most common type, can be associated with other auto-immune diseases that similarly affect other endocrine glands. The most common one is the thyroid. If an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) coexists with Addison's disease, this is called Schmidt's syndrome. Less commonly associated auto-immune diseases are insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, and insufficiencies of the parathyroid glands, gonads, and vitamin B12 absorption (pernicious anemia). Lupus is not commonly associated with Addison's Disease, but it has happened!
I wish you the very best!!
Peace and Blessings
Saysusie :lol:

MARYCAIN
09-21-2006, 11:16 AM
I don't have addison's disease, but do suffer from a somewhat related problem in that I have been on prednisone for so long that my adrenal glands no longer function properly, so I do have to take 2 different kinds of steroids and parathroid hormone, and have to worry about adrenal failure when I get sick. I've had two episodes of adrenal failure - both precipitated by bad bouts of pancreatitis. In both instances my doctors recognized the problem pretty quickly and treatef it. I do not have the darkening of the skin characteristic of Addison's disease. If I were to go off prednisone, chances are I would eventually recover normal adrenal function - whereas someone with Addison's normally requires medication for the rest of her life.

Just a bit of historical trivia - President John F. Kennedy suffered from Addison's disease throughout his adult life. Medical historians think that the writers Jane Austen and Charles Dickens may have also suffered from Addisons, even though the disease was unknown at that time. So people with Addisons are able to live productive, even amazing,lives.

Moxie
09-21-2006, 06:13 PM
Thank you to Saysusie and Marycain for the Addison's information. This whole thing is a sudden shock --- I was always so healthy and sturdy.

Here is an additional question: Has anyone here suffered adverse effects from Splenda? I've had a gastric bypass and use Splenda in EVERYTHING --- I wonder if that has contributed to my problems.

SoleSinger
09-21-2006, 08:06 PM
I LOVE splenda and it loves me!!! :D

Saysusie
09-22-2006, 09:52 AM
The artificial sweetener sucralose, which is sold under the name Splenda, is a high-intensity sugar substitutes. It is non-caloric and about 600 times sweeter than sucrose (white table sugar), although it can vary from 320 tp 1,000 times sweeter, depending on the food application. The white crystalline powder tastes like a lot like sugar, but is more intense in its sweetness. Sucralose is produced by chlorinating sugar (sucrose). This involves chemically changing the structure of the sugar molecules by substituting three chlorine atoms for three hydroxyl groups. Few human studies of safety have been published on sucralose. One small study of diabetic patients using the sweetener showed a statistically significant increase in glycosylated hemoglobin (Hba1C), which is a marker of long-term blood glucose levels and is used to assess glycemic control in diabetic patients. According to the FDA, "increases in glycosolation in hemoglobin imply lessening of control of diabetes.

Research in animals has shown that sucralose can cause many problems in rats, mice, and rabbits, such as:

Shrunken thymus glands (up to 40% shrinkage)
Enlarged liver and kidneys.
Atrophy of lymph follicles in the spleen and thymus
Increased cecal weight
Reduced growth rate
Decreased red blood cell count
Hyperplasia of the pelvis
Extension of the pregnancy period
Aborted pregnancy
Decreased fetal body weights and placental weights
Diarrhea

I found this article where consumers posted some of the side-effects they had with Splenda:
bloating
abdominal pain
gas, sometimes painful
nausea
heartburn
diarrhea
headaches
migraines (severe headaches)
heart palpitations (fluttering, irregular heartbeats)
shortness of breath
depression
anxiety and panic attacks
spaced-out or drugged sensation
joint pain, especially in the knees
dizziness
In addition, the following possible side effects are being reported more often, although not with the same degree of frequency as those listed above:
lone atrial fibrillation
extreme fatigue
muscle weakness
tingling in the mouth or tongue
tingling in the fingers and hands
numbness in the lips and tongue
swollen lips and tongue
swollen face
redness or welts on the face
mouth sores
blurred vision
pain in the eyes.
Now, I have to tell you this. While researching Splenda, the only sites that I found that gave information about the benefits of Splenda were sites posted by Splenda or Sucrose. So, I would say that you have to make your own judgement as to weather or not you feel that Splenda is contributing to your symptoms or not. Perhaps you can do some more research because everything on the web cannot be taken as Gospel either!!

Best Of Luck
Saysusie