What is Addison’s Disease? All the information you need about it!
Addison’s is a disease that affects the adrenal glands in the body. Adrenal glands are located just above the kidneys and are responsible for releasing hormones that keep the body functioning normally.
Mostly Addison’s disease strikes when the adrenal cortex is hampered or damaged due to some reason and the glands do not produce enough cortisol and aldosterone in the body. Cortisol helps with the stress in the body and aldosterone helps in sodium and potassium regulation in the body. The adrenal cortex also produces the sex hormones known as androgens.
Here is some more information about the Addison’s disease:
1 What causes Addison’s disease?
Addison’s disease is usually classified into two categories: primary adrenal insufficiency and secondary adrenal insufficiency.
The primary adrenal insufficiency happens when the adrenal glands are damaged to a level where they are not able to produce any amount of hormones on their own. Usually this happens when our body’s immune system attacks these glands and this happens when our body is fighting an auto-immune disease. The immune system then mistakes an organ or an area of the body for the disease and destroys it. The cause of this can be infections, cancer, blood thinners and over administration of glucocorticoids.
The secondary adrenal insufficiency happens when the pituitary gland in the brain does not produce the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) which tells the adrenal gland when to release the hormones.
2 Symptoms of Addison’s disease
People who have Addison’s disease may have the following symptoms:
- Muscle weakness
- Feeling of tiredness and exhaustion
- Decrease in appetite or sudden weight loss
- Low blood sugar levels
- Formation of sores in the mouth
- Increased intake of salt
- Vomiting and nausea.
Some other serious symptoms of Addison’s disease are change in the mental status of the person, regular loss of consciousness, sudden high fever and sudden onset of pain in back, stomach and legs.