Hi I'm Lynsey, an interiors and still life stylist working on commercial photoshoots, interiors magazines and TV. I was diagnosed with Addison’s Disease in August 2019 and I wanted to work on a personal project about the pickle addiction and salt cravings which come along with the condition, but also to raise awareness of it. 

"These images show how I view pickled food, based on a typical sickly sweet afternoon tea."

At first glance the images appear to be cakes, deserts and very sweet things but in fact it is all made with pickles! 

I wanted to look at my relationship with salty foods and pickles and how these cravings can compare with people with a sweet tooth.

Here’s my salty story

In May 2019, I had my first suspected near crisis on holiday in Corfu. The day before, the headaches and nausea started and by the morning of the flight I was vomiting and feeling weak. This continued throughout the whole journey and for a few days into the holiday. I eventually saw a local doctor who gave me a steroid injection (my Endo nurse has told me that this could have saved my life!). I assumed it was a just tummy bug. When I started to feel better and could eat, all I wanted was salty food! The first thing I managed to keep down was salt and vinegar Pringles. At the time, I was in absolute heaven licking the flavoured powder off the crisps! For the next few days I happily ate feta and olives (I was lucky to be in Corfu) and they just hit a spot I didn’t even know why at the time!

At the end of July 2019, the crazy heatwave we had sent me into near crisis number two. I tried in vain to keep hydrated through my three days of vomiting, but nothing worked. I made a doctor’s appointment and almost had to cancel it as I could barely get out of bed. The GP couldn’t do a blood pressure reading as it was so low and immediately called an ambulance to hospital for IV fluids. I ended up staying over night and was given 4 litres of fluids.

It was only after follow up blood tests that my clever GP spotted something was still wrong with my bloods and told me she was going to test me for Addison’s.

I immediately went online and read as much as I could about the disease and everything seemed to suddenly make so much sense - all these (so I thought) unconnected symptoms that I’d been having for so long all fit into place! One of my light bulb moments was reading about, amongst other symptoms, the salt cravings.

For the last 2 years it had been an ongoing joke amongst my family and friends how much I loved pickles (especially salty gherkins in brine and hot pickled peppers). I’ve also had vitiligo for over 10 years, so to read that it can be linked to other autoimmune diseases also made me realise that I must have Addison’s, and I was correct.

Thank you Lynsey for sharing your story and fantastic photo shoot with our charity and community!

Author, concept and styling: Lynsey Fox

Instagram: @_lynsey_fox_

Website: www.lynseyfox.com

Photography: Hannah Slaney

Instagram: @HannahSlaneyPhotography

Website: www.hannahslaney.com

So why do people with Addison’s crave salty, acidic and sour foods? Professor Simon Pearce explains the connection between aldosterone, fludrocortisone and why you should always listen to your salt cravings.

Read "Why Salt?"

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