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sierrawoods
@sierrawoods

Posts: 7
Joined: Feb 20, 2018

Med detective needed, award given - adrenaline spikes

Posted by @sierrawoods, Tue, Feb 20 1:06pm

I'm desperate for help. If I was rich, I'd pay a million $ to get answers. It's hard to summarize: I am a 59 yr old woman. 8 yrs ago I started having what feels like strong adrenaline rushes during the night and especially in the early morning. They disrupt my sleep making me severely sleep deprived. It used to happen a few times a month but in the last year, has been happening daily. This is not as simple as anxiety. My life is not particularly stressful compared to years ago and I've always handled stress well. Physical symptoms come first, then anxiety from adrenaline comes after. On rare days, If I sleep through the night, I wake with excess adrenaline and will be hyper the whole day and evening. Sometimes, I will have a severe "crash" in the afternoon with all kinds of symptoms that have me couch-bound. I take a tiny dose of Amitriptyline (10 mg) before bed to help with sleep, but it's obviously not working well enough. I am on Synthroid for non-Hashimoto's Hypothyroidism since 1996. Despite being 59 yrs old, I am not yet officially in menopause (last period was May 2017). TSH, fT4, fT3 are normal. Urine catecholamines (epinephrine & norepinephrine) are normal (although that does not necessarily reflect what is in the brain). Plasma ACTH is normal. I've tested negative for autoimmune disorders. Cortisol was high a few years ago (34.3 mcg/dL) but it's currently high-normal. DHEAS normal. Accompanying the start of this was phantosmia and occasional RLS. My diet is excellent, including a few good supplements. Until last yr when it started happening daily, I was exercising 6 days/wk. I cannot tolerate it any more – any exercise beyond mild cardio/aerobic causes an increase in symptoms. I meditate and have tried all kinds of herbal teas. I've experimented with different possible solutions, to no avail. I'm a voracious researcher (only legit sites) and still cannot figure this out. I'm normally a positive, active, happy person who loves to help others but this is ruining my life. I cannot make any plans, cannot get my work done, cannot even visit friends. I had to stop my volunteer work with children. 🙁 I'm starting to become depressed and hopeless. I've been to a total of about 9 doctors about this problem and they just shrug their shoulders and send me hope with more disappointment. The only help offered was an addictive prescription for benzos but I refuse to be treated for something without knowing the cause. Ideas: an atypical tumor on my pituitary or adrenal glands? Maybe, but I can't get a doctor to order the necessary MRIs. Perhaps not endocrine but a sleep disorder? High A.M. adrenaline is typical for sleep apnea but it should not cause these severe symptoms, and I really do not think I have sleep apnea (I don't have other symptoms). A neurological disorder? Maybe, but I can't get a doctor to order an MRI of my brain to make sure my pituitary gland is okay. If you've gotten through this far and you have any thoughts, please chime in. If your idea leads to a proper diagnosis and I get well (or treated properly) I will be your slave for life 😉 Okay, seriously. I'm not in a good place right now.

REPLY

I will add this: If I get a solution to this problem, I will be so overjoyed that I will spread the information widely…here and everywhere I have the opportunity. These boards are wonderful for patients and I look forward to getting more involved. People are suffering and we need to support each other. This is a great way to do so.

I'm assuming that you've been evaluated for pheochromocytoma since you mentioned catecholamines were normal. That came to mind. Hormonal imbalance or adrenal dysfunction — something is telling your brain to produce more epinephrine. There is a breakdown in the communication. Autonomic dysfunction?

Apparently you can have normal catecholamines but still have pheochromocytoma.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16982588

@sierrawoods, Welcome to the group and I hope someone has the solution to your riddle. When you wake up with this high adrenaline, do you have any other physical symptoms? The reason for the question is that I awake feeling as if everything inside my body is vibrating. Yea, I know that is weird, but I can not find any other way to describe it. The best answer I have found in researching is that I am have a panic attack in my sleep. I have no dreams, or at least any remembrance of them. I do not understand how this is possible, but that is the best answer I have found. It is a bit disconcerting, but not really painful, just strange. If you find your answer, I will be very interested in what you learn. Would someone please try to help Sierra find an answer or point in that direction?

Have you been evaluated for paraganglioma?

http://columbiasurgery.org/conditions-and-treatments/paraganglioma

Hello, @sierrawoods — I'd like to add my welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. That really does sound frustrating.

As I'm guessing you are aware, we don't offer medical diagnoses through this online community, but we do have some lay "medical detectives" or members who have been through complicated "mystery illnesses" who may be of help. I thought you might like to meet @oldkarl, @krista, @lanitawynnyoung, @tiffie, @seelindsay, @gailb, @cclong, @kdubois, @lily2013, @jodyalbright, @mariah1 and @vdouglas. @johnbishop and @contentandwell may also have a thought.

Does the timing when the adrenaline rushes started seem to correlate with any medications you started or other significant happening, @sierrawoods ?

Hello @sierrawoods — I can share my favorite research search engine…in case you aren't already using it. Google Scholar – https://scholar.google.com/ – It will find a lot of research articles, studies and more. One of the benefits is being able to sort the links by Year to find the latest info for a topic.

Hope you find some answer soon!
~ John

Join the crowd. I hope you are more successful. There surely are answers for many of us somewhere…I had requested a hormonal work up and this request went nowhere. Will be following this to see if I can learn more. Thanks for the post.

@lisalucier

Hello, @sierrawoods — I'd like to add my welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. That really does sound frustrating.

As I'm guessing you are aware, we don't offer medical diagnoses through this online community, but we do have some lay "medical detectives" or members who have been through complicated "mystery illnesses" who may be of help. I thought you might like to meet @oldkarl, @krista, @lanitawynnyoung, @tiffie, @seelindsay, @gailb, @cclong, @kdubois, @lily2013, @jodyalbright, @mariah1 and @vdouglas. @johnbishop and @contentandwell may also have a thought.

Does the timing when the adrenaline rushes started seem to correlate with any medications you started or other significant happening, @sierrawoods ?

Jump to this post

@lisalucier @sierrawoods Hi. I wish I could contribute but this is not something with which I am remotely familiar. It did take me a while to get a diagnosis of my non-alcoholic cirrhosis but that's where the commonality ends. I did do some research myself but I really was not looking for the pertinent things apparently, I got nowhere. I think my doctor should have though.
JK

Hello @sierrawoods… after taking myself to Mayo, we learned that I had been misdiagnosed by my home medical center with a rare endocrine condition, and Mayo figured out that all of my symptoms were caused by medications/drugs building up in my body for 12 years. They figured out the genetically, I don't properly-metabolize most medications, and the result of these drugs building up inside of me showed clinically as endocrine symptoms. Have you had pharmacogenomics testing done?

Hi, @sierrawoods — wondering how things are going with you, especially whether you are still having the adrenaline spikes and the crashes in the afternoons? Are you feeling like you are any closer to some answers?

Thank you, everyone, for your input. I apologize for taking so long to respond. My mother is having some potentially serious health problems and my life, the last few months, has pretty much been taking care of her doctor appointments, moving her to a new senior apartment, caring for her, etc. I'm still having the excess adrenaline in the mornings but have been using a new hack that's probably not good long term, but I'm desperate: I've been taking 1/2 tablet of Benadryl during the night when I use the bathroom. It's a tiny amount and it helps me to fall back asleep when I wake too early. Basically, it turns the adrenaline "rush" into a slower adrenaline "stream" that gets delayed maybe an hour. I got this tip from another message board that explained how histamine can cause excess adrenaline. Next, I'm going to try L-Theanine and then, if that doesn't work, I'll try Phosphatidylserine. The afternoon crashes are still there, but have become less frequent and less severe and I'm not sure why. The only change I've made is adding coconut oil to my breakfast (about 1 teaspoon each day), but that could be a coincidence. I still have horrible exercise intolerance and crash if I do more than one physical task each day (shopping, cooking a meal, cleaning a room, etc.).

My TSH is very low/normal, my Free T4 is high/normal, my Free T3 is low/normal, and my Reverse T3 is high/normal. My serum A.M. Cortisol is very high/normal. The very low/normal TSH suggests that I should reduce my Synthroid dose, but I'm afraid that if I do that, my low/normal Free T3 will drop to below normal and I'll feel worse in the afternoons. My high A.M. Cortisol could be causing my high/normal Reverse T3, which binds to the T3 receptors, blocking T3. It makes sense to me that if I can get my very high/normal A.M. Cortisol down to mid-normal, my Reverse T3 should come down and my Free T3 should go up. That's my plan for now for the morning adrenaline rushes. I'm hoping that this will also help with the exercise intolerance because I think it's the low/normal T3 that is causing my muscles to weaken so quickly. I hope it's this simple because I don't have any other explanations.

Note: I went to an ENT to see if he could enlighten me but all he did was prescribe Nystatin for possible intestinal yeast overgrowth. He thinks my problem is unrelated to my thyroid and is being caused by the overgrowth. I may or may not do as he suggests. I only have one risk factor for this – being on oral contraceptives which sightly increases your odds. I do not eat or crave sugar/sweets and I do not have excess intestinal gas. He doesn't want to actually test me first before prescribing this drug, so I'm reluctant. Any thoughts, people?

After tackling this adrenaline and crash problem, I think I'm going to look into these boards for another problem that has me baffled – high triglycerides and high cholesterol despite an excellent diet. I know thyroid problems are associated with high lipids, but there has to be something else contributing to it and the high lipids were still there when I was exercising 6 days a week. Oh well, that's for another time.

Here are my responses to your individual questions:

@jigglejaws94 – I have considered autonomic dysfunction and am currently trying to balance it out by pampering my parasympathetic nervous system. I've been meditation, having my husband massage my back, using aromatherapy, listening to relaxing music, etc. It hasn't helped much yet, I think, but they're good practices anyway, so I'll continue. As for the pheochromocytoma, I have mentioned it to at least three doctors and none of them think it's possible. They will not order any tests. Very frustrating. As for the paraganglioma, the doctor explains that I would be having the adrenaline rushes all the time and with no regular pattern. The fact that I'm currently only having them in the early morning suggest it is not paraganglioma (or pheochromocytoma).

@gman007 – I'm sorry about your panic attacks. That must be horrible. The only physical symptoms I have beyond the strong adrenaline feelings are sometimes a pounding heart (not fast), and maybe some body warmth – almost like a hot flash but not as severe. I've considered that the adrenaline rushes are related to menopause but I doubt it because I don't have the adrenaline during the day while I do have occasional, mild hot flashes. Also, I doubt menopause would cause my afternoon crashes, especially since they've been going on for the last ten years, including way before menopause (I'm still not officially menopausal).

@lisalucier – You asked, "Does the timing when the adrenaline rushes started seem to correlate with any medications you started or other significant happening?" There is only one thing: Back in 2008, I had an anovulatory month (no ovulation) and then a weird period, two weeks late, that started, stopped, and then started again with very heavy bleeding. I know this had something to do with fluctuations in my estrogen, progesterone, etc. That's when I had my first crash, and they were awful back then, keeping my couch-bound for days. That's why my doctor put me on birth control pills. But the crashes continued, and even got more frequent, even though the pill was supposed to stabilize my hormones. The morning adrenaline rushes started two years later, in 2010, without any change in medicines or activities. By 2008, when this all started, I had already been on Synthroid for 12 years and Amitriptyline for maybe 10 years. No new meds since then.

@johnbishop – Thanks for the tip! When using Google, I usually start with "Scholarly articles: " and then I add my search terms. Your way is better, so I'll create a bookmark to use https://scholar.google.com/ from now on. 🙂

@kdubois – I have heard of this problem and have considered that I might have it, but I never pursued the idea. Thanks! I'm going to look into testing for it for sure. Wish me luck getting my doctor to say it is medically necessary so insurance pays for it…it's expensive.

Thanks again, everyone. All my best to you.

@sierrawoods

Thank you, everyone, for your input. I apologize for taking so long to respond. My mother is having some potentially serious health problems and my life, the last few months, has pretty much been taking care of her doctor appointments, moving her to a new senior apartment, caring for her, etc. I'm still having the excess adrenaline in the mornings but have been using a new hack that's probably not good long term, but I'm desperate: I've been taking 1/2 tablet of Benadryl during the night when I use the bathroom. It's a tiny amount and it helps me to fall back asleep when I wake too early. Basically, it turns the adrenaline "rush" into a slower adrenaline "stream" that gets delayed maybe an hour. I got this tip from another message board that explained how histamine can cause excess adrenaline. Next, I'm going to try L-Theanine and then, if that doesn't work, I'll try Phosphatidylserine. The afternoon crashes are still there, but have become less frequent and less severe and I'm not sure why. The only change I've made is adding coconut oil to my breakfast (about 1 teaspoon each day), but that could be a coincidence. I still have horrible exercise intolerance and crash if I do more than one physical task each day (shopping, cooking a meal, cleaning a room, etc.).

My TSH is very low/normal, my Free T4 is high/normal, my Free T3 is low/normal, and my Reverse T3 is high/normal. My serum A.M. Cortisol is very high/normal. The very low/normal TSH suggests that I should reduce my Synthroid dose, but I'm afraid that if I do that, my low/normal Free T3 will drop to below normal and I'll feel worse in the afternoons. My high A.M. Cortisol could be causing my high/normal Reverse T3, which binds to the T3 receptors, blocking T3. It makes sense to me that if I can get my very high/normal A.M. Cortisol down to mid-normal, my Reverse T3 should come down and my Free T3 should go up. That's my plan for now for the morning adrenaline rushes. I'm hoping that this will also help with the exercise intolerance because I think it's the low/normal T3 that is causing my muscles to weaken so quickly. I hope it's this simple because I don't have any other explanations.

Note: I went to an ENT to see if he could enlighten me but all he did was prescribe Nystatin for possible intestinal yeast overgrowth. He thinks my problem is unrelated to my thyroid and is being caused by the overgrowth. I may or may not do as he suggests. I only have one risk factor for this – being on oral contraceptives which sightly increases your odds. I do not eat or crave sugar/sweets and I do not have excess intestinal gas. He doesn't want to actually test me first before prescribing this drug, so I'm reluctant. Any thoughts, people?

After tackling this adrenaline and crash problem, I think I'm going to look into these boards for another problem that has me baffled – high triglycerides and high cholesterol despite an excellent diet. I know thyroid problems are associated with high lipids, but there has to be something else contributing to it and the high lipids were still there when I was exercising 6 days a week. Oh well, that's for another time.

Here are my responses to your individual questions:

@jigglejaws94 – I have considered autonomic dysfunction and am currently trying to balance it out by pampering my parasympathetic nervous system. I've been meditation, having my husband massage my back, using aromatherapy, listening to relaxing music, etc. It hasn't helped much yet, I think, but they're good practices anyway, so I'll continue. As for the pheochromocytoma, I have mentioned it to at least three doctors and none of them think it's possible. They will not order any tests. Very frustrating. As for the paraganglioma, the doctor explains that I would be having the adrenaline rushes all the time and with no regular pattern. The fact that I'm currently only having them in the early morning suggest it is not paraganglioma (or pheochromocytoma).

@gman007 – I'm sorry about your panic attacks. That must be horrible. The only physical symptoms I have beyond the strong adrenaline feelings are sometimes a pounding heart (not fast), and maybe some body warmth – almost like a hot flash but not as severe. I've considered that the adrenaline rushes are related to menopause but I doubt it because I don't have the adrenaline during the day while I do have occasional, mild hot flashes. Also, I doubt menopause would cause my afternoon crashes, especially since they've been going on for the last ten years, including way before menopause (I'm still not officially menopausal).

@lisalucier – You asked, "Does the timing when the adrenaline rushes started seem to correlate with any medications you started or other significant happening?" There is only one thing: Back in 2008, I had an anovulatory month (no ovulation) and then a weird period, two weeks late, that started, stopped, and then started again with very heavy bleeding. I know this had something to do with fluctuations in my estrogen, progesterone, etc. That's when I had my first crash, and they were awful back then, keeping my couch-bound for days. That's why my doctor put me on birth control pills. But the crashes continued, and even got more frequent, even though the pill was supposed to stabilize my hormones. The morning adrenaline rushes started two years later, in 2010, without any change in medicines or activities. By 2008, when this all started, I had already been on Synthroid for 12 years and Amitriptyline for maybe 10 years. No new meds since then.

@johnbishop – Thanks for the tip! When using Google, I usually start with "Scholarly articles: " and then I add my search terms. Your way is better, so I'll create a bookmark to use https://scholar.google.com/ from now on. 🙂

@kdubois – I have heard of this problem and have considered that I might have it, but I never pursued the idea. Thanks! I'm going to look into testing for it for sure. Wish me luck getting my doctor to say it is medically necessary so insurance pays for it…it's expensive.

Thanks again, everyone. All my best to you.

Jump to this post

@sierrawoods Mayo Clinic and OneOme have been working to bring prices down. As time goes on, this testing will become more feasible for all. Fingers crossed. Until then, all my best to you, as well.

@sierrawoods

Thank you, everyone, for your input. I apologize for taking so long to respond. My mother is having some potentially serious health problems and my life, the last few months, has pretty much been taking care of her doctor appointments, moving her to a new senior apartment, caring for her, etc. I'm still having the excess adrenaline in the mornings but have been using a new hack that's probably not good long term, but I'm desperate: I've been taking 1/2 tablet of Benadryl during the night when I use the bathroom. It's a tiny amount and it helps me to fall back asleep when I wake too early. Basically, it turns the adrenaline "rush" into a slower adrenaline "stream" that gets delayed maybe an hour. I got this tip from another message board that explained how histamine can cause excess adrenaline. Next, I'm going to try L-Theanine and then, if that doesn't work, I'll try Phosphatidylserine. The afternoon crashes are still there, but have become less frequent and less severe and I'm not sure why. The only change I've made is adding coconut oil to my breakfast (about 1 teaspoon each day), but that could be a coincidence. I still have horrible exercise intolerance and crash if I do more than one physical task each day (shopping, cooking a meal, cleaning a room, etc.).

My TSH is very low/normal, my Free T4 is high/normal, my Free T3 is low/normal, and my Reverse T3 is high/normal. My serum A.M. Cortisol is very high/normal. The very low/normal TSH suggests that I should reduce my Synthroid dose, but I'm afraid that if I do that, my low/normal Free T3 will drop to below normal and I'll feel worse in the afternoons. My high A.M. Cortisol could be causing my high/normal Reverse T3, which binds to the T3 receptors, blocking T3. It makes sense to me that if I can get my very high/normal A.M. Cortisol down to mid-normal, my Reverse T3 should come down and my Free T3 should go up. That's my plan for now for the morning adrenaline rushes. I'm hoping that this will also help with the exercise intolerance because I think it's the low/normal T3 that is causing my muscles to weaken so quickly. I hope it's this simple because I don't have any other explanations.

Note: I went to an ENT to see if he could enlighten me but all he did was prescribe Nystatin for possible intestinal yeast overgrowth. He thinks my problem is unrelated to my thyroid and is being caused by the overgrowth. I may or may not do as he suggests. I only have one risk factor for this – being on oral contraceptives which sightly increases your odds. I do not eat or crave sugar/sweets and I do not have excess intestinal gas. He doesn't want to actually test me first before prescribing this drug, so I'm reluctant. Any thoughts, people?

After tackling this adrenaline and crash problem, I think I'm going to look into these boards for another problem that has me baffled – high triglycerides and high cholesterol despite an excellent diet. I know thyroid problems are associated with high lipids, but there has to be something else contributing to it and the high lipids were still there when I was exercising 6 days a week. Oh well, that's for another time.

Here are my responses to your individual questions:

@jigglejaws94 – I have considered autonomic dysfunction and am currently trying to balance it out by pampering my parasympathetic nervous system. I've been meditation, having my husband massage my back, using aromatherapy, listening to relaxing music, etc. It hasn't helped much yet, I think, but they're good practices anyway, so I'll continue. As for the pheochromocytoma, I have mentioned it to at least three doctors and none of them think it's possible. They will not order any tests. Very frustrating. As for the paraganglioma, the doctor explains that I would be having the adrenaline rushes all the time and with no regular pattern. The fact that I'm currently only having them in the early morning suggest it is not paraganglioma (or pheochromocytoma).

@gman007 – I'm sorry about your panic attacks. That must be horrible. The only physical symptoms I have beyond the strong adrenaline feelings are sometimes a pounding heart (not fast), and maybe some body warmth – almost like a hot flash but not as severe. I've considered that the adrenaline rushes are related to menopause but I doubt it because I don't have the adrenaline during the day while I do have occasional, mild hot flashes. Also, I doubt menopause would cause my afternoon crashes, especially since they've been going on for the last ten years, including way before menopause (I'm still not officially menopausal).

@lisalucier – You asked, "Does the timing when the adrenaline rushes started seem to correlate with any medications you started or other significant happening?" There is only one thing: Back in 2008, I had an anovulatory month (no ovulation) and then a weird period, two weeks late, that started, stopped, and then started again with very heavy bleeding. I know this had something to do with fluctuations in my estrogen, progesterone, etc. That's when I had my first crash, and they were awful back then, keeping my couch-bound for days. That's why my doctor put me on birth control pills. But the crashes continued, and even got more frequent, even though the pill was supposed to stabilize my hormones. The morning adrenaline rushes started two years later, in 2010, without any change in medicines or activities. By 2008, when this all started, I had already been on Synthroid for 12 years and Amitriptyline for maybe 10 years. No new meds since then.

@johnbishop – Thanks for the tip! When using Google, I usually start with "Scholarly articles: " and then I add my search terms. Your way is better, so I'll create a bookmark to use https://scholar.google.com/ from now on. 🙂

@kdubois – I have heard of this problem and have considered that I might have it, but I never pursued the idea. Thanks! I'm going to look into testing for it for sure. Wish me luck getting my doctor to say it is medically necessary so insurance pays for it…it's expensive.

Thanks again, everyone. All my best to you.

Jump to this post

Wow — what a great summation of your problems and great responses to everyone. Have you ever considered this: mast cell activation disease. It can cause a myriad of problems — many that you mention. I'm just starting to learn about this and am reading through Dr. Afrin's book.

@sierrawoods

Thank you, everyone, for your input. I apologize for taking so long to respond. My mother is having some potentially serious health problems and my life, the last few months, has pretty much been taking care of her doctor appointments, moving her to a new senior apartment, caring for her, etc. I'm still having the excess adrenaline in the mornings but have been using a new hack that's probably not good long term, but I'm desperate: I've been taking 1/2 tablet of Benadryl during the night when I use the bathroom. It's a tiny amount and it helps me to fall back asleep when I wake too early. Basically, it turns the adrenaline "rush" into a slower adrenaline "stream" that gets delayed maybe an hour. I got this tip from another message board that explained how histamine can cause excess adrenaline. Next, I'm going to try L-Theanine and then, if that doesn't work, I'll try Phosphatidylserine. The afternoon crashes are still there, but have become less frequent and less severe and I'm not sure why. The only change I've made is adding coconut oil to my breakfast (about 1 teaspoon each day), but that could be a coincidence. I still have horrible exercise intolerance and crash if I do more than one physical task each day (shopping, cooking a meal, cleaning a room, etc.).

My TSH is very low/normal, my Free T4 is high/normal, my Free T3 is low/normal, and my Reverse T3 is high/normal. My serum A.M. Cortisol is very high/normal. The very low/normal TSH suggests that I should reduce my Synthroid dose, but I'm afraid that if I do that, my low/normal Free T3 will drop to below normal and I'll feel worse in the afternoons. My high A.M. Cortisol could be causing my high/normal Reverse T3, which binds to the T3 receptors, blocking T3. It makes sense to me that if I can get my very high/normal A.M. Cortisol down to mid-normal, my Reverse T3 should come down and my Free T3 should go up. That's my plan for now for the morning adrenaline rushes. I'm hoping that this will also help with the exercise intolerance because I think it's the low/normal T3 that is causing my muscles to weaken so quickly. I hope it's this simple because I don't have any other explanations.

Note: I went to an ENT to see if he could enlighten me but all he did was prescribe Nystatin for possible intestinal yeast overgrowth. He thinks my problem is unrelated to my thyroid and is being caused by the overgrowth. I may or may not do as he suggests. I only have one risk factor for this – being on oral contraceptives which sightly increases your odds. I do not eat or crave sugar/sweets and I do not have excess intestinal gas. He doesn't want to actually test me first before prescribing this drug, so I'm reluctant. Any thoughts, people?

After tackling this adrenaline and crash problem, I think I'm going to look into these boards for another problem that has me baffled – high triglycerides and high cholesterol despite an excellent diet. I know thyroid problems are associated with high lipids, but there has to be something else contributing to it and the high lipids were still there when I was exercising 6 days a week. Oh well, that's for another time.

Here are my responses to your individual questions:

@jigglejaws94 – I have considered autonomic dysfunction and am currently trying to balance it out by pampering my parasympathetic nervous system. I've been meditation, having my husband massage my back, using aromatherapy, listening to relaxing music, etc. It hasn't helped much yet, I think, but they're good practices anyway, so I'll continue. As for the pheochromocytoma, I have mentioned it to at least three doctors and none of them think it's possible. They will not order any tests. Very frustrating. As for the paraganglioma, the doctor explains that I would be having the adrenaline rushes all the time and with no regular pattern. The fact that I'm currently only having them in the early morning suggest it is not paraganglioma (or pheochromocytoma).

@gman007 – I'm sorry about your panic attacks. That must be horrible. The only physical symptoms I have beyond the strong adrenaline feelings are sometimes a pounding heart (not fast), and maybe some body warmth – almost like a hot flash but not as severe. I've considered that the adrenaline rushes are related to menopause but I doubt it because I don't have the adrenaline during the day while I do have occasional, mild hot flashes. Also, I doubt menopause would cause my afternoon crashes, especially since they've been going on for the last ten years, including way before menopause (I'm still not officially menopausal).

@lisalucier – You asked, "Does the timing when the adrenaline rushes started seem to correlate with any medications you started or other significant happening?" There is only one thing: Back in 2008, I had an anovulatory month (no ovulation) and then a weird period, two weeks late, that started, stopped, and then started again with very heavy bleeding. I know this had something to do with fluctuations in my estrogen, progesterone, etc. That's when I had my first crash, and they were awful back then, keeping my couch-bound for days. That's why my doctor put me on birth control pills. But the crashes continued, and even got more frequent, even though the pill was supposed to stabilize my hormones. The morning adrenaline rushes started two years later, in 2010, without any change in medicines or activities. By 2008, when this all started, I had already been on Synthroid for 12 years and Amitriptyline for maybe 10 years. No new meds since then.

@johnbishop – Thanks for the tip! When using Google, I usually start with "Scholarly articles: " and then I add my search terms. Your way is better, so I'll create a bookmark to use https://scholar.google.com/ from now on. 🙂

@kdubois – I have heard of this problem and have considered that I might have it, but I never pursued the idea. Thanks! I'm going to look into testing for it for sure. Wish me luck getting my doctor to say it is medically necessary so insurance pays for it…it's expensive.

Thanks again, everyone. All my best to you.

Jump to this post

@sierrawoods. You do a wonderful job of concisely and thoroughly cavering your topic; my wife would be so happy if I could learn to use sentences instead of paragraphs. I have to plead ignorance beyond everything you have discussed and tried. The only other simplistic thing that I would consider is, are you a coffee or tea drinker in the mornings? I consume coffee through the day, but if I had only two cups in the AM, I am certain I would crash in the afternoon, but I am sure you have considered that already. How about a "caffeine nap" around 1PM. A strong cup of caffeinated coffee and a 30 minute siesta and the caffeine will kick in after you wake. I have read that is a millennial life hack. Just a power nap with the addition of some caffeine.

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