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    Posted February 28, 2014 by
    Huron, Ohio
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Living with a rare disease?

    Addison's Disease

    I was recently diagnosed with Addison's disease of which I had never heard of before. My whole life has changed and I was once a thriving teacher to now being a housewife trying to decide if I want disability. Addison's disease affects the adrenal glands ability to produce cortisol which is a hormone that helps control many functions. Symptoms include low blood pressure, weight loss, chronic fatigue, muscle weakness, blood sugar abnormalities likely hypoglycemia,Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, Inability to cope with stress
    Moodiness, irritability, and depression. You can do your own research but WebMD has good information on the condition. John F Kennedy also had this disease.

    I recently being diagnosed have not learned a lot yet about this disease but I know that you can go into crisis and die if it is not treated properly. The treatment is steroids which is lifelong and require stress dosing in times of stress, illness, or injury. A person with Addison's cannot regulate there body in time's of stress and the steroid helps with this, there is even an emergency inject-able dose of steroids if needed, kind of like an epi-pen.

    Personally with this disease I have had problems with low blood pressure, and even passed out from it, and severe hypoglycemia which has caused me to seek medical treatment on more than one occasion. The disease is manageable with proper medication dosage and I hope to soon be in the manageable column. I live everyday with pain and severe fatigue which has caused me to fear driving because of not knowing when I may become so exhausted that I could fall asleep while driving. I manage my sugar as best as possible and although I am not a diabetic I have to test regularly because of severe lows which can cause a coma.

    This disease is not well known to people and maybe if you include it in your piece it will be. I think awareness should be made to this illness because it may save someone's life. A medic alert tag is suggested to alert people of steroid dependency and also alert emergency personnel of possible complications with injury or illness.

    I am learning new things everyday about this illness with the help of support groups and an Endocrinologist (the specialist that treats this disease). I will continue to fight and learn so I too can live a normal life as the great JFK once did.
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