Last updated:10-15-2008
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Definition and causes

Addison's disease describes a condition in which there is reduced or abolished function of the adrenal gland outer layer, the bark. Binyrebarken is kirtelvæv, which mainly produces two hormones:Aldosterone, Which regulates the body's salt and fluid balance andCortisol, Which is a vital stress hormone with a wide range of effects, including the immune system and body's circulation of nutrients.

Previously, Tuberculosis is the leading cause of Addison's disease, but this disease is no longer as widespread in the Western world. Today is the leading cause auto-immunity, ie. the body's own immune system attacks and destroys binyrebarken. Other causes can be serious infections, operations around the adrenal glands or disease of the pituitary, a gland in the brain, among other things, stimulates the adrenal gland production of cortisol (see hypopituitarism). The disease can occur s

Symptoms of Addison Disease

Addison's disease typically develops slowly (over several years). The symptoms are vague and acting in isolation, often by other diseases. The most common symptoms are:

  • Fatigue and weakness.

  • Decreased appetite, possibly. weight loss.

  • Nausea and vomiting.

  • Constipation or diarrhea.

  • Dizziness.

  • Muscular weakness and muscle pain.

  • Hyper Pigmentation (darkening of the skin and mucous membranes).

  • In women: Loss of kønsbehåring.

  • Low blood sugar.

  • Low blood pressure.

  • Anemia (due to vitamin B-12).

The disease can develop into an emergency modeAddison-crisisWhere the person is exposed to physical stress, for example. serious illness, operations, accidents or similar. This condition is life threatening and symptoms as low blood pressure, nausea and vomiting, fever and unconsciousness.

Precautions and diagnosis of Addison's disease

By suspicion of Addison's disease should go to the doctor. It is often a problem to have suspicions about the disease because of the non-specific symptoms, but Addison's disease is diagnosed easily by measuring hormone levels in a blood sample.

Has it been found Addison's disease and is in medical treatment (see below), you should consult a doctor if diarrhea or vomiting. It is important to disclose his illness when possible. hospitalizations, and you should always have a card with information about the disease and the treatment you are in.

Treatment of Addison Disease

Addison's disease treated with hormone tablets (hydrocortisone or prednisolone) 2-3 times a day to compensate for the low kortisolproduktion in the adrenal glands. Treatment should continue throughout life. Because cortisol is a stress hormone, it is important to increase the dose of 2-3 times when you are ill or otherwise physically stressful. Kortisolbehovet may also rise in pregnancy.

Addison-treated acute crisis with saline drip and hormone grants directly into the bloodstream.

Select and complications of Addison Disease

Failure to comply with hormone treatment, can live quite normally. Often, however, the disease is detected late, and there can be done irreparable deterioration of health. The medical treatment with hormones may cause some side effects, especially if the dose is too high (see Cushing's disease).



Related articles:

Addison disease (adrenocortical insufficiency)
Adrenal glands
Cushing's syndrome (including Cushing's disease)
Hyperaldosteronisme (including Conns syndrome)



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