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Addison's Disease

Type, cause, symptoms, treatments, control strategies and statistics
by

Gemma Keers

on 13 May 2013

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Transcript of Addison's Disease

By Gemma Keers ADDISON'S DISEASE Rare endocrine or hormonal disorder that affects about 1 in 100,000 people
Non-infectious
Occurs in all age groups and afflicts men and woman equally
The disease is characterized by weight loss, muscle weakness, fatigue, low blood pressure, and sometimes darkening of the skin in both exposed and non-exposed parts of the body
Occurs when the adrenal glands do not produce enough of the hormone cortisol or the hormone aldosterone
Cortisol helps: maintain blood pressure and cardiovascular function, slows the immune system's inflammatory response, balances the effects of insulin in breaking down sugar for energy and helps regulate the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats
Cortisol is regulated by the brain's hypothalamus and the pituitary gland
Aldosterone is also produced in the pituitary glands. It helps to maintain: blood pressure, water and salt balance in the body by helping the kidney retain sodium and excrete potassium. When aldosterone production falls too low, the kidneys are not able to regulate salt and water balance, causing blood volume and blood pressure to drop
What Type Of Disease Is Addison's? Causes Of Addison's Disease Characteristics of the disease:
Fatigue
Muscle weakness
Loss of apetite
Weight loss
Low blood pressure
Vomitting
Nausea
Dizziness/fainting
Hyper-pigmentation
Irritability and depression
Craving of salty foods
Hypoglycemia
Addisonian crisis (penetrating pain in the lower back, abdomen, or legs; severe vomiting, followed by dehydration; low blood pressure; and loss of consciousness. Left untreated, an addisonian crisis can be fatal)
Symptoms Of Addison's Disease replacing, or substituting, the hormones that the adrenal glands are not making i.e. cortisol or aldosterone.
Increase salt uptake if having aldosterone replacement therapy and fludrocortisone acetate doses are required.
During an adisonial crisis injections of hydrocortisone, saline (salt water), and dextrose (sugar) are required.

SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS:
Patients who require surgery
Pregnant women
Treatment of Addison's Disease Non-infectious and so isn't spread from person to person and the disease itself can't be prevented.
Prevent addisonial crises by taking prescribed medications daily, healthy diet, exercise regulary to fight off infections as well as adrenal failure.
Herbal treatments i.e. ginger to aid nausea and vomitting.
Yoga, meditation and acupuncture to help control stress that can trigger the adrenals.
Patients should wear ID bracelets. Controlling Addison's Disease Incidence Rates: 0.6/100,000 of population/year
Prevalence Total: 4-11/100,000 of population
Age: Can affect any age range
Gender: Both sexes may be affected (may be a slightly higher in women due to the higher incidence of autoimmune diseases, such as thyroiditis, in females).
Genetics: Hereditary factors are important in the development of autoimmune adrenal insufficiency.
Geography: There are no known associations between geography and the development of Addison disease it may be more common, however, in areas where systemic fungal infections are common. Statistics Of Addison's Disease May be due to:
A disorder in the adrenal glands (primary adrenal insufficiency) i.e. the destruction of the adrenal cortex, autoimmune disorders, polyendocrine deficiency syndrome (type I and II), tuberculosis, fungal infections, spreading of cancer cells and surgical removal of the adrenal glands.
Inadequate secretion of Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) by the adrenal glands (secondary adrenal insufficiency) i.e. when a person who has been receiving a glucocorticoid hormone such as prednisone for a long time abruptly stops or interrupts taking the medication, the removal of benign tumours of the pituitary gland, the gland decreases in size or stops producing ACTH (results from tumors or infections of the area, loss of blood flow to the pituitary, radiation for the treatment of pituitary tumors, or surgical removal of parts of the hypothalamus or the pituitary gland during neurosurgery of these areas).
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