21,122 members16,744 posts

Sudden Extreme fatigue, complete intolerance to cold I am convinced that I have adrenal fatigue. Can the adrenal gland be attacked by lupus?

Sadly, the medical profession do not acknowledge this condition but I am convinced there is something wrong with my adrenal gland.

A recent example was yesterday, got up, felt very tired but reasonably ok. I knew that I had a coffee date with a friend and didn't want to let them down, so kept going. Felt cold so put extra jumpers on, went for coffee, felt very hot but as the coffee went on, I could feel myself getting more tired until I knew that I needed to get home. Dashed to the car as by now I was freezing, drove home, staggered through the door, ignoring the 2dogs and crawled into bed, freezing and shivering and unable to really do anything for about 2hours. Eventually got up, put jumpers on, ate some food and started to feel better. This has happened quite frequently in the past 12 years, less so since I went on methotrexate but the feeling is gathering momentum. I have for over a decade taken steroids with only a few years gap. They make a real difference to my overall health but wondering if I have damaged the adrenal gland.

Anyone else had this type of episode? Sadly my rheumy is always at great pains to say he cannot treat my tiredness but this is more than tiredness.

Thank you for listening


4 Replies

Hello Chablise

I know that feeling all too well and I am sure that I am not alone.

When I first got ill, ME was all over the media, and your story fits with that. Poor sleep, waking up tired no control of temperature.

There have been suggestions of phosphate poisoning and mitochondria issues and notions of the Epstien Barr virus playing a part. There is a suggestion that the problem is compound.

ME took the name yuppie flu and then farmers flu because of the sheep dip connection.

i once got a letter telling me that I could no longer give blood because ME might be form of slow infection - Which is related to CJS or mad cow decease!

Will we ever get a full answer?

Doubt it. For now we play the hand we are dealt and manage our lives as best we can from day to day.

You will get your life back one day, but you will never run the new york marathon.


Hi Chablis.

You have been diagnosed with SLE for 10 years now but this cold and tired feeling is something new?

Personally I am very familiar with that sensation of suddenly feeling so very cold. It is usually after I gave had something to eat. I go freezing cold to the touch but I also feel cold inside and cannot stop shivering. I have to get on the sofa with a hot drink, heat pack, and blanket until I feel back to normal. Also I have to turn the heating up at that point. My heating bill is quite high even tho I live in a small flat. Have to wear warm clothes all year and in the winter cannot go out without looking like I am going to the north pole.

Social activities in particular tire me and I can begin them with enthusiasm but suddenly feel completely drained and have to just zone out.

I am on azthioprine and chills is one of the side effects. As far as damage to the adrenal glands goes, that can happen with long term steroids but I think you would have other symptoms as well, not just the tiredness and chills. Your doctor can order a special test to see if your adrenal glands are producing sufficient cortisol.

In the meantime you can ask to be referred to an occupational therapist to get some advice about how to cope with the tiredness. It is one of the things they specialise in.


I'm waiting for a day at home so I can do a 24hr urine collection in order for a test to be done to check my adrenal function. I'm always tired and mostly overly hot, occasionally yes I do get icy cold and usually find too after eating my evening meal. Have you done this urine collection test? X


Hi, not done the urine test, but will ask my rheumy. These are symptoms that I have experienced before but when my lupus was completely out of control. Whilst I am taking methotrexate, I had considered the lupus to be less active but I am getting the feeling that as you sink lower into the illness, you have no idea how bad you are getting.... Does that make sense? Thankfully I do not work which allows me to sleep when necessary.

Good luck with the urine test, m


You may also like...