Addison’s Disease is a rare autoimmune disease affecting approximately 1 in 100,000 people. The disease causes the body’s immune system to attack the adrenal gland. Adrenals produce hormones for the body. Potentially life-threatening if left untreated, Addison’s disease is caused by an insufficient production of cortisol in the body, which is often called the stress hormone. Addison’s disease affects both men and women equally and often develops slowly, however the symptoms can manifest+ quite quickly. If the patient doesn’t receive proper treatment, adrenal insufficiency occurs because the body is lacking the necessary hormones to function properly. This dysfunction is characterized by the damaging of ninety percent or more of the adrenal cortex.
Common Symptoms of Addison’s Disease:
In the early stages of Addison’s Disease, symptoms include fatigue, muscle weakness, anxiety, headaches, vomiting, low blood pressure which can lead to fainting episodes, weight loss, achy joints, and cravings for salt due to the loss of sodium through one’s urine. When Addison’s Disease manifests itself in dermatological symptoms, hyperpigmentation or skin darkening can occur. When in adrenal failure or “Addisonian crisis”, one may experience pain in the lower back, torso, and legs as well as severe vomiting and diarrhea which can lead to dehydration, shock, and loss of consciousness.
For answers to your questions or to make an appointment, call us toll-free at (800) 923-7878 to speak with our Patient Care Team about alternative Addison’s Disease treatment.