Monday, May 28, 2012

Weather is getting hot...

Those of us with Addison's Disease have or will learned to be cautious when exposed to high temperatures. We just don't handle heavy sweating and salt and potassium loss. It is a balancing act to keep the two in the right ratio...drinking too much without enough salt and we flush ourselves out. If we are taking fludrocortisone this helps to retain sodium but can lead to low potassium. Some have to really watch the potassium foods they consume as they tend to have high potassium. As I stated: it is a balancing  act! Not always easy...but necessary to live well with Addison's. 

I love warm weather but I can't take the heat! So I stay inside a lot! Or time your outside activities to a cooler time of day. It's all about compromise and knowing what your body is telling you. Getting overheated can be very serious for us so take measures to protect yourself from the heat of summer. 

Drink lots of fluids and get enough salt to insure you enjoy your summer! And if you need to keep your potassium levels up, a banana or tomato can be a good option there.

Have a great summer!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I don't look like me anymore!

I believe that life has a way of cutting us down to size. I can see that I used to be a thin little thing who couldn't understand why anyone had a weight problem, I wouldn't have admitted to it, but I am afraid it was true. Well, I am one of those with too much weight having taken up residence on my body. It embarrasses me, it disgusts me, but I am apparently not strong enough to do something about it. I am sure most do not know that I have an illness that requires me to take steroids to live and that they have finally destroyed my metabolism, and I have a thyroid disorder, all creating a perfect storm for weight gain. And I have to add menopause! I am not happy with myself. But am I ready to get serious about doing something about it?

So, those of you who have been diagnosed with Addison's Disease and have seen a big change in your body and looks, it happens to many of us at some point. The sad thing is it happens to many newly diagnosed patients and not only are they struggling to feel better, they see a rapid weight gain. Of course many times there has been a large weight loss before diagnosis and you need to gain back the lost weight but it doesn't stop...and is soon way out of control.  I took steroids for years without being over weight but then things changed! Why? Probably age and hormones affecting the metabolism. Doesn't help much to tell myself this...I want to be the thin me again!

And when friends make unkind remarks or fail to recognize you...that really wounds, doesn't it? So, there can be a real and troubling change to the appearance of those with Addison's, which strikes at our core! You are not alone when this happens...and of course it is much more important to feel well and take our medicines in order to achieve this wellness, but it does seem to add insult to injury when the steroids we require affect us so.

Don't let it change the inner you! You are still the same person you were before the steroids. Now, I agree, that is not as much comfort as losing the weight but be patient and happy with the person facing you in the mirror each day. It will get better with diet and exercise. Try a lower carb and higher protein diet with no white foods and less sugar. I personally have made the move away from artificial sweeteners so that means I am eating more sugar but I feel it is better for me...you just have to think portion control! That's my big obstacle! I love to eat! And for most of my life could eat whatever I chose and as much as I wanted. Well, that day is over and I am having trouble coming to grips with it. Denial, really! But I have to take responsibility for my situation and make the changes needed.

Let's not let Addison's win!