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Date of last update: 10/17/2017.

Forum Name: Diabetes

Question: Do I have Diabetes, or maybe Adrenal Insufficiency?

 Vadoff - Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:53 pm

I took a hormone saliva/blood test through zrtlab's mail-in kit. And I just got back the results.

Here's my problem:
I get tired easily, have low levels of energy, and sleep an average of 12 hours a day (either straight through, or through napping in the afternoon).
I feel really weak most of the day, and only have energy on rare occasions.
I'm underweight at 120 lbs at 5'9" and 21 years of age, and I can't seem to gain weight no matter how much I eat.
Additionally, there's a history of diabetes in my family as my grandfather and both my uncles have diabetes (all on my dad's side).

I've always been skinny, but I was much more energetic when I was younger (even to the point of being considered hyper/add).
It wasn't until late middle school/high school that I started to experience bouts of tiredness/fatigue and sleep longer hours.

Here are the results of the test, I'm not sure what to make of the results and would appreciate any help in interpreting them: ... levels.jpg ... mptoms.jpg
 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:24 pm

Hello, Vadoff,

Your laboratory results would not be a primary indicator of diabetes. Symptoms of diabetes are frequent urination, excessive thirst, extreme hunger, unusual weight loss, increased fatigue, irritability, blurry vision, slow healing of cuts and sores, itchy skin, yeast infections, dry mouth, and leg pain. It can easily be determined if diabetes is an issue by having a fasting blood sugar, which measures the level of glucose in your blood after you have fasted for 8 to 10 hours. If the result is high, your doctor might want to do an A1C blood test, which measures the glycated hemoglobin in your blood stream. Glucose molecules tend to stick ("glycate") to hemoglobin molecules in your blood; the test measures the average blood glucose level over the past few months. Your doctor may also want you to have a glucose tolerance test, which is a series of blood draws after you drink a specific sweet liquid. The test measures if your body's insulin is adequate for proper metabolism of glucose.

Your progesterone level is low normal. The test would have to be repeated to see if this is a chronic issue or if it was incidental. Progesterone is a precursor hormone to the body's synthesis of both estrogen and testosterone.

Your cortisol levels are low except for the noon sample. A saliva cortisol level can be elevated if the person has applied a topical cortisone cream prior to the test (this is not true with the blood test for cortisol). Did you apply a cream before taking the sample? Your doctor would want to do further tests to see if the levels were still low, and would probably elect to do blood tests to confirm the saliva test results. Low cortisol can result in muscle weakness, muscle and/or joint pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, low blood pressure, low blood sugar, mood changes, depression, irritability, sensitive skin, frequent urination, salt craving and sleep problems.

Your symptoms could suggest the presence of depression, but with the initial cortisol tests, they are most consistent with an adrenal function issue. It'smuch too early to suggest that would be the diagnosis, though. As noted above, your doctor would do further tests to make that determination. Your next step is to see your doctor, and make a detailed note of your symptoms to take with you to the appointment.

Good luck to you!

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