Addisons Disease

Topics: Cortisol, Addison's disease, Adrenal cortex Pages: 2 (434 words) Published: March 4, 2008
Addison's Disease
Rachel Phelps

Addison's disease (also known as chronic adrenal insufficiency, hypocortisolism or hypocorticism) is a rare endocrine disorder in which the adrenal gland produces insufficient amounts of steroid hormones . It may develop in children as well as adults, and may occur as the result of a large number of underlying causes. The condition is named after Dr Thomas Addison, the British physician who first described the condition in his 1855 On the Constitutional and Local Effects of Disease of the Suprarenal Capsules. The adjective "Addisonian" is used for features of the condition, as well as patients with Addison's disease. Addison's disease is a disorder of the adrenal glands, called Primary Adrenal Insufficiency. Addison's can also be caused by inadequate secretion of ACTH, which stands for Adrenocorticotropic hormone, by the pituitary gland; it can also be caused by Tuberculosis. Less common causes are chronic infection, manly fungal infections. Cancer cells spreading from other parts of the body to adrenal glands, Amyloidosis is also a cause, as is surgical removal of the adrenal glands. The symptoms of Addison's are not always accurate and can accrue 50% of the time or you can have irregular symptoms. Characteristics of Addison's are chronic fatigue, muscle weakness, loss of appetite, and weight loss. Symptoms that can only accrue 50% of the time are nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Other symptoms that may not accure at all and rarely do are low blood pressure that we result in fainting, and the skin will become darker almost tan. An "Addisonian crisis" or "adrenal crisis" is a constellation of symptoms that indicate severe adrenal insufficiency. This may be the result of either previously undiagnosed Addison's disease, a disease process suddenly affecting adrenal function (such as adrenal hemorrhage), or an intercurrent problem (e.g. infection, trauma) in the setting of known Addison's disease. Additionally, this situation...
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