Addison's Disease

Occurs when the adrenal glands don't produce enough hormones

Symptoms

  • Changes in blood pressure or heart rate

  • Chronic diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, or loss of apetite resulting in weight loss

  • Darkening of the skin in some places, causing the skin to look patchy

  • Paleness

  • Extreme weakness, fatigue, and slow, sluggish movement

  • Mouth lesions on the inside of a cheek

  • Salt craving

Causes

  • Results from damage to the adrenal cortex.
  • Damage causes the cortex to produce less of its hormones.
  • Damage may be caused by the immune system mistakenly attacking the gland, infections, hemorrhage, blood loss, tumors

Treatment

  • Replacing corticosteroids will control the symptoms of this disease.
  • Usually need to take drugs for life.
  • People often receive a combination of glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids.
  • Some people are taught to give themselves an emergency injection of hydrocortisone during stressful situations.
  • Most people are able to lead normal lives.

Facts

  • There are no guidelines for preventing Addison's Disease
  • A chronic disease
  • Involves endocrine system
  • Not genetic