Addison's disease is a rare endocrine disorder which results in the body not producing sufficient amounts of certain adrenal hormones. Your adrenal glands are located just above each of your two kidneys. The adrenal glands are really two endocrine ( ductless or hormone producing ) glands in one. The inner part of the adrenal ( called the medulla ) produces epinephrine ( also called adrenaline ) which is produced at times of stress and helps the body respond to "fight or flight" situations by raising the pulse rate, adjusting blood flow, and raising blood sugar. Cortisol mobilizes nutrients, modifies the body's response to inflammation, stimulates the liver to raise the blood sugar, and also helps to control the amount of water in the body. They include cortisol, aldosterone and supplementary sex hormones. In a person with Addison's disease, only the adrenal cortex is affected. Cortisol production is regulated by another hormone, adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH), made in the pituitary gland which is located just below the brain. This condition is also called primary adrenal insufficiency. Also called adrenal insufficiency or hypocortisolism, Addison's disease can occur at any age, but is most common in people ages 30 to 50. Treatment for Addison's disease involves taking hormones to replace the insufficient amounts being made by your adrenal glands.
Addison's disease (chronic adrenal insufficiency) is a rare and progressive disorder that affects between one and six in every 100,000 people. It occurs in all age groups and afflicts men and women equally. Addison's disease is caused by the inability of the adrenal glands to make sufficient amounts of regulating hormones. The adrenal cortex (the outer part) also produces important hormones, the corticosteroids. Classical Addison's disease results from a loss of both cortisol and aldosterone secretion due to the near total or total destruction of both adrenal glands. These glands form part of the endocrine system, which works with the nervous system and the immune system to help the body cope with different events and stresses. It helps maintain blood pressure and 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. If ACTH is deficient, there will not be enough cortisol produced, although aldosterone may remain adequate. This is secondary adrenal insufficiency, which is distinctly different, but similar to Addison's disease, since both include a loss of cortisol secretion.
Causes of Addison's Disease
The common Causes of Addison's Disease :
Symptoms of Addison's Disease
Some Symptoms of Addison's Disease :
Treatment of Addison's Disease
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