Addison’s disease

Addison’s disease is a more severe form of adrenal insufficiency that occurs when the adrenal glands are not producing enough of certain steroid hormones. Usually it is the glucocorticoids and mineralcorticoids hormones that are not being produced at the correct level. Addison’s disease can occur in children and adults alike and it is even possible for certain animals to develop the disease as well.

Diagnosing Addison’s Disease
There are a variety of symptoms that could occur as a result of having Addison’s disease. While some of the symptoms are just as a result of an adrenal insufficiency, some of them are just noticeable with Addison’s disease. If some of the symptoms are noticed with you or your child then you would need to go to your doctor to get a proper diagnosis.

As some of the symptoms of Addison’s disease could be attributed to a different condition you cannot just do a self-diagnosis of this disease. You will need to speak with your doctor in order to be sure that you are suffering from an adrenal insufficiency as they are more qualified to determine your condition and give advice on treating it.Diagnosing Addison’s disease is typically done with either blood tests or medical imaging but there are a variety of techniques to diagnose this disease.

Symptoms of Addison’s Disease
Addison’s disease symptoms can be difficult to recognize as they are symptoms of other health issues and they are not necessarily signs of a major health problem. Some symptoms of Addison’s disease include vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, nausea, sweating, mood swings, muscle weakness, regular fatigue or dizziness, unexplained weight loss, lower blood pressure, and more.

If you have Addison’s disease you will not necessarily have all or even a majority of the symptoms. If even a few of the symptoms are noticed then you may want to get a proper diagnosis for your possible condition. Some of the less common but more severe symptoms of Addison’s disease include: having difficulties standing up, severe anxiety, joint and muscle pains, cravings for salty foods, and more.

Treating Addison’s Disease
Once it comes time to treat Addison’s disease you will need to balance the hormone production levels so your body is producing a normal level of steroid hormones. In order to do this you will be required to take hormone supplements to make up for the hormones that are not already being produced. This can be done by getting your doctor to prescribe you to something like hydrocortisone (pill form) so the lack of cortisol is made up for each day.

There are other drugs that can be used to treat Addison’s disease as well but your doctor will be able to recommend you the best option available. It is also important to make sure that you speak with your doctor as soon as you believe that you may have Addison’s disease as you want to treat it as soon as possible. This is especially important if you notice it in your child as the symptoms could be more severe for them, especially at such a young age.

Someone with Addison’s disease or any type of adrenal insufficiency could have a major attack at some point if the disease is not treated properly. It may also be required for you to carry cortisol that can be injected for these emergency situations. However, this may only be necessary for those with a more severe condition. Either way, living with Addison’s disease and not treating it is a very dangerous risk to take so speak with your doctor immediately if you notice some of the symptoms for the disease so you can get a proper diagnosis.

Last updated on Feb 23rd, 2010 and filed under Endocrine System. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed