Which are the history and symptoms of Addison's disease?

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giorgiana1976's profile pic

giorgiana1976 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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The disease was first described by physician Thomas Addison first time in 1855. By then, the atrophy was attributed to a massive bleeding of the adrenal gland,due to an operation which affected glands, such an operation to remove a tumor,  and tuberculosis, which remained the second cause of Addison's disease, but in most cases, the origin of the disease was unknown .

Addison's disease symptoms often appear gradually. Chronic fatigue and muscle weakness, lack of appetite and weight loss are characteristic of Addison's disease. In almost half of cases are also present nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Blood pressure is low and falls further to standing, causing dizziness and fainting. It appears skin hyperpigmentation, which is visible at the knees, elbows, fingers and lips.

Patients are irritable and suffer depressions. Because of the lack of salt, is occuring appetite for very salty meals. Hypoglycaemia is present, especially in children. In women, menstrual periods become irregular or stop.

For all these manifestations of the disease progresses slowly, often they are ignored until a stressful event,or an accident,  occurs for the patient  and all the symptoms suddenly worsen. Then is occuring adrenal crisis or acute adrenal insufficiency. In 25% of cases the diagnosis is established after such a crisis.

Symptoms of adrenal crisis are:
- Pain in abdomen, legs or back
- State of severe vomiting and nausea
- Diarrhea followed by dehydration
- Very low blood pressure
- Faint.
Adrenal crisis is a medical emergency and left untreated can be fatal!

versatilekamini's profile pic

versatilekamini | College Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Addison’s disease is also known as chronic adrenal insufficiency or hypocorticism. It is a rare endocrine disorder. In this condition adrenal glands produce insufficient steroid hormones.

Insufficiency of the cortical hormones results in Addision's disease. In this disease the adrenal cortex degenerates, resulting in a number of symptoms, including a characteristic bronzing of the skin, muscular weakness, low blood pressure and digestive disturbance. The sufferers of this disease are cured by a proper administration of cortical hormones from some external source.

This disease is generally diagnosed by blood tests and medical imaging. Most people with primary Addison's have darkening of the skin, including areas not exposed to the sun; characteristic sites are skin creases (e.g. of the hands), nipples, and the inside of the cheek, also old scars may darken.

mkcapen1's profile pic

mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Addison's disease is a condition or hormonal disorder caused by the adrenal glands inability to produce enough of necessary hormones.  The adrenal glands have become damaged and do not produce enough ciortisal and aldosterone.

Symptoms of the disease include the early signs of chronic, worsening fatigue,  muscle weakness,  loss of appetite,  and weight loss.

As the disease progresses the following symptoms may occur, penetrating pain in the lower back, abdomen, or legs,  vomiting and diarrhea, dehydration,  low blood pressure, and loss of consciousness. 

 The disease can be fatal when gone untreated or during a crisis stage of the disease.


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