Blog changes

Thanks to everyone who followed Training Because I Can! over the last nine years. This blog started with Addison's Disease, hypothyroidism and a crazy idea of doing an Ironman distance triathlon. My life has changed and so has this blog. I am using this blog strictly for Addison's Support topics from here on out. I hope to continue providing people with hints for living life well with adrenal insufficiency.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Waking up with Addison's

There are so many people with Addison's on forums that complain about morning nausea and/or fatigue. It also seems that they wait a while after waking to take their hydrocortisone.

You may not be a morning person, you may never be. Taking your hydrocortisone before getting out of bed can make your transition to waking up and getting out of bed much easier.

Here's what you can try, get an alarm clock with two alarms (some cell phones have multiple alarms, excellent for reminding one to take meds). Set one alarm thirty minutes to sixty minutes before you actually want to get up. The night before, put your pills in a small cup, put a water bottle next to your bed and if you don't feel like you can take meds without food, put crackers with the water bottle and pills. When your first alarm goes off, take the pills. When the second alarm goes off, get up.

I'm not exactly sure why some people subject themselves to waking up with nearly no cortisol in their bodies. It takes about 20 minutes for hydrocortisone to get into the bloodstream when you take it orally. That's a long time to wait for the meds to get into your system. Why feel crappy for one + hour out of your day??

Try it, you might like it.


Unknown said...

Good advice ^__^ Thank you. One thing I find is that if I go back to sleep after taking my meds I feel awful when I do finally get out of bed. Better just to get up and go, in my opinion.

Debbie said...

I usually have to take my meds 1 to 2 hrs before attempting to get out of bed. It takes me a long time before I can function. Even doing it that way, by the time I shower, do hair, dress, make and eat breakfast, I'm ready to go back to bed for another two hours. But, this is my "usual", so I've accepted it. I used to feel really guilty, but not anymore. I've created employment that I can do at home, so that way I can work off and on during the day, usually in 2-hr intervals, because I'm down a lot.

I have a question. Since forever, I've taken my meds in the morning on an empty stomach (so that I don't wake up too much). My pharmacist yesterday told me that they can eventually cause a stomach ulcer, so they recommend taking them after a "small meal." Has anyone heard that before?

Unknown said...

I haven't heard that myself, but I suppose it makes sense. Cortisone is quite a serious drug and our stomachs are fairly sensitive.

sue in naples said...

Dusty is 100% correct... since I have been setting alarm to what I call "pill-thirty" 6:30 am I actually go back to deep sleep and wake up feeling no orthostatic hypotension low bp or nasuea ....been doing it for 4 months... wish I had for the last 20 years... do it... its worth it...

Unknown said...


Excellent question, I will do a post on it!

I don't know the answer.

In 8 years of steroids and having a sensitive stomach, I haven't developed an ulcer. That doesn't mean I won't. I take a lot of probiotics and take them in the morning with my HC, perhaps that helps my stomach??

:) Dusty

Heather said...

I started taking my meds in bed the day I was diagnosed, and have continued doing it for eight years. I used to keep little boxes of soy milk on my nightstand so I could take the pills with "milk" but now I just take 'em with water. No ulcers.
I usually stay in bed about 20 or 30 minutes after I take my meds. If I need to get up and get going more quickly, I definitely suffer from low bp and slight nausea until they kick in.

Anonymous said...

I have been splitting my morning dose and take 4mg at 4 am when the dog usually wakes me ( or low cortisol ?) and when I get up at 6am I feel great. I then take Thyroxine and wait for a half hour cos of that - and then have food and the rest of the morning dose. This has been working great for me and I figure that 4mg is less likely to cause an ulcer than the full 14mg. But if I had to - I would just take it all on an empty stomach.

Unknown said...

Hey Anonymous,

Thanks for your comment. I'm wondering what brand of HC you use that it comes in 4 mg and 14 mg quantities? Are you outside of the US?

My pills are only 20 mg so they are hard to accurately break smaller than 5 mg (for me!) I use Qualitest or Westward 254.

:) Dusty

Anonymous said...

Hi Dusty, This is Hysone in Australia and it is a choice of 20mg or 4mg. I use the 20mg as it is cheaper ( bottle lasts longer) and cut them in half. Bingo 1 x 10mg + 1 x 4mg. The 4 mg are also great for late in the day when you only want to take 2mg - if you start to get that running on empty feeling - and there are hours left to do chores. Jane

Unknown said...

Thanks Jane and Heather!

Unknown said...

Related to waking up with Addisons, does anyone have trouble getting to sleep?