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Thyroid UK
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Adrenal Crisis/Addison's

Hey all,

I've recently been diagnosed with Hypothyroidism but a couple of months after being prescribed Levo, I was feeling much worse (especially irritable/moody) and after a feinting episode I returned to my GP and she took me off Levo and arranged an appointment with an Endo.

I saw him and got a CC'd letter to my GP suggesting that I was primary hypo and the possibility of Addison's.

I looked on the NHS site and read about Addison's and then "Adrenal Crisis" and had an 'Oh my God' moment as it described symptoms and especially my feinting episode to a T.

(Please excuse the detail)

I woke up in the early hours with severe stomach cramps so I went to the bathroom as I feared the runs.

My stomach cramps worsened and then I heard my wife asking me why I was on the bathroom floor.

I opened my eyes to find was was on the floor in a pool of blood (thankfully not poo).

She got me up and I was dripping with sweat but freezing cold, shallow, rapid breathing, confused and pale.

I also went on to indeed have the runs. :(

As I said, I've looked up Addison's and I seem to tick all the boxes down to having low Cortisol and even craving salt and losing weight.

My concerns are that I've got to wait for quite a while before I see my Endo again for further tests and after reading that Adrenal Crisis can be fatal it's left me a little concerned about it happening again if it was caused Adrenal Crisis.

I've told my wife about it just in case it does happen again but I work from home so I'm alone a lot.

I'm trying not to over react but I'm thinking what to do in the meantime.

Maybe carry a note saying I 'may' have Addison's and 'may' be having an Adrenal if found uncontious?

Are there any indications a crisis is on its way or can I do anything to prevent one.

Sorry to throw this out as a big maybe but I'm hoping that someone may have a little knowledge on the subject and could offer a little advice as I'm not yet diagnosed or on meds.

Thanks in advance.

11 Replies

same thing happened to me, I was feeling ill very ill-- I was sweating, cold, trembling, nausea, nerve tingling, I had an excess adrenaline like I was wired up into an electrical socket short circuiting, I was weak, I felt felt like I was dying, I pretty much collapsed in a shop, I spent a week in hosp and had 3 basic bloods done and no one knew what happened, except the 2nd consultant who said iwas suffering burn out- if only he had documented it. 3 yaers later same thing happened and my cortisol was 217nmol. blood. and then not all of thatis useful as some is bound up by proteins and not useable. so I consider it lower but none of the numb nuts wanted to recognise that. I am woman after all. goo d job you are a bloke and taken seriously. carry a note, that is what I am going to do. drink water with salt in, or salty foods. b5 fr adrenals or look up adrenal supporters.

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LOL! Maybe your corset was too tight or maybe you were startled by a gentleman's particularly outlandish moustache? ;)

My Endo is regarded as being a bit dismissive of Hypothyroid types as he reckons "it's a bit too complicated".

I'm not letting him off the hook though.

I'm going to carry a note just in case and I relish the thought of salty foods as I'm a total sodium junky.


I went to an endo like that! He refused to treat me because I was too complicated!!! (I've got Hashi's.) I thought, well, that's no excuse! If he wanted to treat a simple common cold, he shouldn't have become an endo! So I complained to the hospital and got an appologiy, and he got a reprimand! I would have preferred it if he'd got the sack, but you can't have everything.


I like being so 'complex'. ;)

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Sorry to hear about this. Why have you not been fast tracked and seen as an urgent case? I think you should call the Endocrinology dept you have been booked into and tell them your concerns and your symptoms. You need to be seen quickly to rule out Addison's. Have you lost weight or have any other distinct brown patches ? If there is any sign again of the return of these severe symptoms you need to get to A&E. Take care

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I would say just go to A and E tell them what happened , how ill you feel and how concerned you are about adrenal crisis, I did same with my mum as I was convinced she had Addisons, GP refused to write it on her forms, I went straight to A and E, even the emergency doctor was sceptical, but she does have Addisons and is now so much better on steroids. Are you breathless? Do you look like you have been on holiday, tanned? Are the palms of your hands the lines very dark? All things are a sign. Just found out my cortisol levels very high so back to Endo, seems like never ending cycle. My mum has Addisons and hypothyroid, I'm hypothyroid and my teenage son type 1 diabetes and hypothyroid. Hope you get sorted soon, keep us posted. Maria


Thanks @Yummymummy1914.

I feel a bit fake about going to A&E as it happened a couple of months ago now.

I'm part Irish so I never look like I've been on holiday and I am more of a light blue colour. (joking) ;)

Sounds like you've got your work cut out there. :(

It's quite concerning how dismissive healthcare pro's can be regarding Addison's especially as it's potentially life threatening.

At least my GP is on the ball.

Slightly off topic but our GP recently referred my wife to a neurologist due to her having severe migraines.

The Neurologist said "your GP is over-reacting and I shall contact her to tell her so".

After a MRI scan my wife was rushed into hospital for emergency brain surgery after an irregularity showed on the results.

Long my my GP "over-react" I say.

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Just re-read.

I do get breathless but I also have asthma so it's hard to tell although I have noticed it has worsened recently.

God I sound moany. ;)


Not all of us diagnosed with addison's have the dark pigmentation x


Thanks @sorrel89. :)

In the same post as my letter I got another saying my appointment with the Endo had been put back to April due to "unforeseen circumstances" O_o

In all fairness, when I saw my Endo I was experiencing such a major 'fog' and could hardly recall my symptoms and I didn't really link the feinting episode until I read about Addisnon's and adrenal crisis.

My wife had suggested I contact my GP to get some advice about it.

Way back, I originally went to my GP due to extreme fatigue and unintentional weight loss which is how they picked up on Hypothyroidism although I don't have any brown patches which along with 'irregular periods' are the only things I don't get on the list.

I think it's time to see my GP or the Endo dept as you suggested as when I passed out I had no warning apart from stomach cramps which is quite worrying.

First thing I knew, I was on the floor with blood all over my face.

Ah wel. It's not all bad.

At least I don't have to pay for the dentists now. ;)


It is reported that one of the side effects of levo is adrenal crisis. I also suspect I may have adrenal crisis too.


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