Addison’s disease

Is a rare endocrine disorder. It occurs when the adrenal glands cannot produce sufficient hormones (corticosteroids). It is also known as chronic adrenal insufficiency, hypocortisolism or hypocorticism.

An endocrine disorder produced by cortisone insufficiency and marked by weight loss, fatigue, a darkening of the skin, anxiety, irritability, lack of motivation, and decreased social ability.

Disease of the adrenal glands, causing a change in skin colour to yellow and then to dark brown and resulting in general weakness, anaemia, low blood pressure and wasting away. Treatment is with corticosteroid injections.

A disease that is the result of insufficient production of the adrenal cortical hormones, notably, cortisol and aldosterone.

Addison’s disease is an endocrine disorder characterized by a lack of production of the hormones cortisol and aldosterone, both of which are produced by the adrenal cortex. Each individual has two adrenal glands, one above each kidney. Each adrenal gland has two parts. The inner part is called the medulla, and the outer part is called the cortex. Thus, the outer part of the adrenal gland is responsible for producing the hormones cortisol and aldosterone. Cortisol has many effects on the body, including maintaining blood pressure, maintaining cardiovascular functions, and slowing the immune system’s inflammatory response. In addition, cortisol balances the effects of insulin in breaking down sugar for energy and regulating the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Aldosterone helps the body maintain blood pressure, water, and salt balance. Together these two hormones have a role in the proper functioning of our major organs. Thus, Addison’s disease has a significant impact on the body’s functions.

Disease caused by failure of function of the cortex of the adrenal gland, resulting in deficiency of adrenocortical hormones and disturbance of the normal levels of glucose and minerals in the body. Symptoms, often gradual in onset, include weakness, anorexia, fatigue, increased pigmentation, weight loss, and reduced tolerance to cold. Treatment includes administration of adrenocortical hormones and maintenance of normal levels of glucose and electrolytes in the blood.

Chronic adrenocortical insufficiency possibly due to autoimmune disease, adrenal tumors, or tuberculosis.

An illness caused by insufficient production of hormones in the outer section of the adrenal glands, one situated above each kidney. Hormone deficiency causes fluid and salt loss from the body. Symptoms include fatigue, weight loss, skin darkening, muscle weakness, low blood pressure, vomiting, and diarrhea.

A syndrome due to inadequate secretion of corticosteroid hormones by the adrenal glands, sometimes as a result of tuberculous infection. Symptoms include weakness, loss of energy, low blood pressure, and dark pigmentation of the skin. Formerly fatal, the disease is now curable by replacement hormone therapy.

Also called chronic adrenal insufficiency and hypocortisolism. This is a deficiency of the adrenocortical hormones cortisol, aldosterone and androgens due to destruction of the adrenal cortex. It occurs in about 1 in 25,000 people. In the past, destruction of the adrenal cortex was due to tuberculosis (TB), but nowadays fewer than 20 per cent of patients have TB while 70 per cent suffer from. autoimmune damage. Rare causes include metastases from carcinoma, usually of the bronchus; granulomata; and haemochromatosis. It can also occur as a result of surgery for cancer of the pituitary gland destroying the cells which produce acth (adrenocorticotrophic hormone) the hormone which provokes the adrenal cortex into action.

A medical condition distinguished by an insufficiency of adrenocortical hormones caused by the destruction of the adrenal gland.

A rare chronic disorder known as adrenal insufficiency is characterized by the inadequate production of corticosteroid hormones, specifically hydrocortisone and aldosterone. These hormones are typically synthesized by the adrenal cortex, which is located on top of the kidneys. Concurrently, there is an excessive secretion of ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone) by the pituitary gland, situated at the base of the brain. This heightened ACTH release aims to stimulate the production of corticosteroid hormones. Additionally, the secretion and effects of melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) increase, leading to heightened synthesis of melanin pigment in the skin.

Addison’s disease can be attributed to the destruction of the adrenal cortices caused by various diseases. The most prevalent cause is an autoimmune disorder, wherein the immune system generates antibodies that attack and impair the function of the adrenal glands.

The symptoms of Addison’s disease typically emerge gradually over a span of months or even years. They commonly encompass fatigue, weakness, abdominal pain, and weight loss. Furthermore, the surplus production of melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) can lead to darkening of the skin in the folds of the palms, pressure points on the body, and the oral cavity.

In addition to the chronic symptoms, individuals with Addison’s disease may experience acute episodes known as Addisonian crises, which can be triggered by infections, injuries, or other forms of stress. These episodes primarily manifest due to the deficiency of aldosterone and entail symptoms such as severe muscle weakness, dehydration, low blood pressure (hypotension), confusion, and even coma. Furthermore, the lack of hydrocortisone can lead to hypoglycemia, characterized by low blood glucose levels.

The diagnosis of Addison’s disease is typically established when a patient does not exhibit a proper response to an injection of ACTH, which typically stimulates the secretion of hydrocortisone. This lack of response indicates an impairment in the normal functioning of the adrenal glands and supports the diagnosis of Addison’s disease.

Long-term administration of corticosteroid medications is necessary to replace the deficient hormones in individuals with Addison’s disease. This lifelong treatment aims to provide the body with the necessary corticosteroid hormones it cannot produce adequately. In the case of Addisonian crises, which are acute episodes, immediate management involves the rapid infusion of saline and glucose to address dehydration and hypoglycemia. Additionally, supplemental doses of corticosteroid hormones are administered to restore the hormonal balance and stabilize the individual’s condition.