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Addison Disease

Also called: Adrenal insufficiency, Adrenocortical hypofunction, Hypocortisolism
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Summary

Your adrenal glands are just above your kidneys. The outside layer of these glands makes hormones that help your body respond to stress and regulate your blood pressure and water and salt balance. Addison disease happens if the adrenal glands don't make enough of these hormones.

A problem with your immune system usually causes Addison disease. The immune system mistakenly attacks your own tissues, damaging your adrenal glands. Other causes include infections and cancer.

Symptoms include

  • Weight loss
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fatigue that gets worse over time
  • Low blood pressure
  • Patchy or dark skin

Lab tests can confirm that you have Addison disease. If you don't treat it, it can be fatal. You will need to take hormone pills for the rest of your life. If you have Addison disease, you should carry an emergency ID. It should say that you have the disease, list your medicines and say how much you need in an emergency.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Start Here

  • (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in
  • (Hormone Health Network) - PDF Also in
  • (UpToDate)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)

Symptoms

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in

Diagnosis and Tests

  • (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)
  • (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)
  • Cortisol Test From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish

Treatments and Therapies

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in

Living With

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health, Clinical Center) - PDF

Genetics

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

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  • From the National Institutes of Health

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