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Addison’s Disease

Addison’s Disease

 Addison’s disease, also known as hypocorticism, hypocorticolism and adrenal insufficiency is a hormonal disorder wherein the adrenal glands do not produce enough hormones such as cortisol and aldosterone.

This neurotransmitter is affected by Calm PRT and AdreCor

Adrenal Glands: Overview

On top of each kidney lies the small, hormone-secreting organs called the adrenal glands. Each of them is consist of an inner portion known as the medulla and an outer part called cortex. The cortex produces 3 types of hormones which include glucocorticoid hormones, mineralocorticoid hormones and sex hormones.

Glucocorticoid  hormones, particularly cortisol maintain and control the blood sugar levels in our body. These hormones also decrease immune response and aid the body’s response to stress. Mineralocorticoids such as aldosterone, on the other hand, helps regulate the potassium and sodium balance while sex hormones, estrogen and androgen, affect sexual drive and development.

What causes Addison’s disease?

Damage to the adrenal cortex may lead to the development of Addison’s disease.  It can lower the production of the hormones produced by the gland.  Such damage may be caused by:

  • §  Infections like fungal infections, HIV or tuberculosis
  • §  Hemorrhage and blood loss
  • §  Tumors
  • §  Autoimmune disease
  • §  Use of anticoagulants

Risk factors that can contribute to the disease include:

  • §  Hypopituitarism
  • §  Chronic thyroiditis
  • §  Grave’s disease
  • §  Dermatis herpetformis
  • §  Hypoparathyroidism
  • §  Myasthenia gravis
  • §  Testicular dysfunction
  • §  Pernicious anemia
  • §  Type 1 diabetes
  • §  Vitiligo

What are the symptoms of Addison’s Disease?

Patients suffering from Addison’s disease may experience:

  • §  Chronic diarrhea
  • §  Changes in heart rate and blood pressure
  • §  Patchy skin color
  • §  Paleness
  • §  Unnaturally dark skin areas
  • §  Fatigue
  • §  Decreased or loss of appetite
  • §  Nausea and vomiting
  • §  Mouth lesions
  • §  Salt craving
  • §  Unintentional weight loss
  • §  Slow slugginsh movements

Addison’s Disease: Treatment

Patients are required to take corticosteroids as replacement for the insufficient hormones and this may be for a lifetime. Usually, a combination of mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids are given. Example of which are fludocortisone and hydrocortisone.

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