I had pancreatitis (admitted) at ages 14 & 22, but escaped the needle etc. (got lucky) Then at age 33, I got a sore throat, followed closely by a bout of pleurasey. I lost over 30 lbs in just a few weeks. My fam Dr refused to see me for f/u. My boss at work asked me to see a Co Dr. That morning the Co Dr considered, but dismissed diabetes. That same day, after a few tiny sips of Coke, it was meat-wagon trip to ER and admitted in DKA, & Dx’d w/DIABETES. That was 1979, nearly 40 years ago.
Back in 2012, I fell and broke 5 ribs, displaced posterior (back) fractures 5-9, and acute kidney failure. I also lost my fight-flight response, dawn phenomena, and BG spikes due to things like a cold etc. In short my diabetes became more stable & easier to manage, so I did not complain. One problem was, I would get an infections, w/o a clue I had it.
Addison’s is a dysfunction of the adrenal glands. Think AD RENAL, they sit on top of each kidney, hence like ad-ons to the kidneys. Also like kidneys, loss of one, is not a big deal, if the other kidney is functional & can take up the slack.
Fast forward to Last Feb (2018). I fell causing a hematoma in my remaining adrenal. Last year was HELL. Very poor medical care, little help. Most of what I now know about Addison’s and managing it with diabetes, I learned the hard way, road of hard knocks, or experience.
While most cases of Addison’s is auto-immune, my Addison’s is due to trauma damage.
Here are a couple things to consider, that make diabetes management much more complicated. Addison’s is treated with STEROIDS. I expect most here have either experienced D management on steroids, or have heard horror stories of it. Like insulin for diabetes, steroids for Addison’s is a life long need of 24/7 management.
While steroids increase a diabetics insulin dose, untreated or undertreated Addison’s can cause hypos. Addison’s also change the dynamics of my spikes and drops etc. It’s a WILD ride, after having over a decade of great stable diabetes management on MDI, that stable, predictable state is gone…gome…gome.
I had not needed to watch for keytones for many years, now, I learned the hard way I need to be alert to Sx and when I need to check for keytones…
Another thing, I seem to have to deal with is STRESS. Due to Addison’s, my adrenals no long respond with natural steroid hormones in response, and if I fail to take extra (stress dose) steroid dose.it seems I to have caused me, otherwise unexplainable BG drops/hypos.
I went through a rough period whan Addison’s was setting up house in my body, not yet being treated w/steroids, my stable diabetes turned “BRITTLE”, a label that was bestowed upon me on a ER trip last year. My BGs were swinging wildly between 40s and near 400, sometimes more than once in a single hour.
Anyone here with diabetes AND Addison’s feel free to jump in here, with your questions, experiences and tips, if you have any.