Addison’s disease

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Addison’s Disease

Addison’s disease, also known as adrenal insufficiency, is a rare condition in which the body doesn’t produce certain hormones. Addison’s disease is rare; only 1 in 100,000 people have it.

Adrenal glands are located above the kidneys and produce hormones the body requires. In Addison’s disease, the adrenal cortex is damagedand doesn’t produce enough aldosterone and cortisol hormones.

Hormones Produced by Adrenal Glands:

Cortisol is released during stress, and it helps regulate the body’s carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. It also controls blood pressure, cardiovascularfunction, and inflammation. At the same time, aldosterone has a key role in balancing body fluids and salts. Low levels of aldosterone cause a drop in blood pressure.

What Causes Addison’s Disease?

The most common cause of Addison’s disease, according to research, is the autoimmune response from the body in which the body’s immune system attacks body tissues, especially the adrenal cortex, the outer portion of the adrenal gland. Other causes include:

  • Genetics
  • Physical injury to adrenal glands (Primary renal insufficiency).
  • The faulty pituitary gland cannot produce adrenocorticosteroid (ACTH) which doesn’t signal adrenal glands to produce hormones. (Secondary renal insufficiency)
  • Long-term useof steroids
  • Other comorbid conditions like tuberculosis, HIV, and cancer.

Symptoms of Addison's disease:

Symptoms of Addison’s disease onset slowly take over months. The following symptoms occur commonly:

  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Low blood pressure
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fainting
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain accompanied by muscle pain
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Loss of body hair

The cure for Addison's Disease:

Treatment of Addison’s disease requires the replacement of missing adrenal hormones with synthetic ones.

  • Some medicines are available which help recover the deficient hormones. Cortisol is replaced by the drug hydrocortisone, while the drug fludrocortisone replaces the aldosterone hormone.
  • A combination of glucocorticoids can be taken to avoid inflammation, but it requires a lifetime medication without missing a single dose
  • One should not self-medicate because the dose varies with the patient’s severity and age.

Addison’s disease can be life-threatening if it isn’t diagnosed easily. If you are facing the symptoms mentioned above, which are not going away, it is better to seek medical advice. We have the best team of professional healthcare providers. Contact us now for consultations on managing this illness.

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