Addison’s Disease

Chemically constituted hormones act as the messengers within your body which help in carrying out various functions to keep the body balance maintained. Hormones are created by an adrenal gland which is located right above the kidney. Hormones are one of the most vital elements which are required for a good and healthy life. It is only when a body is not able to produce sufficient hormones that results into Addison’s disease. Known to be one of the most rarely diagnosed medical ailments, it is inferred that one amongst 100000 people are diagnosed with this deformity.

There is no specific age for this disease to occur. This disorder can be diagnosed in both men as well as women. With the help of medication and proper treatment, a person suffering from this disease can live a normal life.

Causes

A malfunction which appears to take place in the adrenal gland is believed to be the root cause of the occurrence of Addison’s disease. According to research, it is inferred that in almost 70% of the cases it is autoimmune deficiency which causes this disorder. This occurs when the immunity system of your body attacks on the adrenal glands by mistake. This phenomenon causes a crucial damage the outer surface of the glands.

Infections which have prevailed for longer duration resulting from diseases such as tuberculosis, infection from fungal attack and HIV cause severe harm to the adrenal gland. Spreading of cancer cells from across different body parts also damage the adrenal gland which leads to the occurrence of Addison’s disease.

Problems or defect found in the hypothalamus or pituitary gland can lead to secondary adrenal insufficiency and thus finally causing Addison’s disease. These glands are responsible for the production of hormones in other parts of the body. These glands are located at the central part of the brain.

Signs & Symptoms

There are several prominent signs and symptoms denoting the occurrence of this disease. They are as follows:

Weakness in the muscle can be felt

There is a severe loss in appetite

People suspected under the influence of this disorder appear to have been suffering severe weight loss

The feeling of nausea is often noticed under the influence of Addison’s disease

Vomiting and occurrence of diarrhoea is a commonly observed characteristic

Diagnosis

It is very difficult to diagnose Addison’s disease in its early stages. The doctors usually check the medical history of the patient along with other signs and symptoms as mentioned above. One of the most prominent symptoms which are observed by the doctor is the dark tanning of the skin. Several lab tests are done to confirm its occurrence.

Treatment

One of the most popular procedures for curing this disease is by replacing the hormones which are not being produced by the adrenal glands. Low blood pressure, low levels of glucose or extremely high levels of potassium can pose a lot of risk and danger. Hence regular injection dosage of hydrocortisone is provided to the patient.

Prevention

There aren’t any suggestive ways by which this disorder can be avoided.