adrenal disease

ADDISON’S DISEASE

What is Addison’s disease?

Adrenal glands are located above each kidney. Your life is dependent on the hormones produced by adrenal glands because they help regulate your blood pressure,respond to stress and maintain a balance between water and salt in your body.

In Addison’s disease adrenal glands aren’t producing sufficient amounts of steroid hormones like cortisol and aldosterone.

Addison’s disease can take place in all age groups and in all males and females. It can be life-threatening too.

What are the types of adrenal disease?

There are two types of adrenal disease. In order to treat the disease Endocrinologist in Lahore will have to diagnose the type first.

1.     Primary adrenal insufficiency:  Primary adrenal insufficiency is a condition where your adrenal glands are no longer able to produce hormones because of the severe damage. It is usually caused when your immune system attacks the adrenal gland as a result of autoimmune disease. In this disease, your immune system treats an organ or area of your body as a bacteria, virus, or any other foreign invader and starts attacking them. Other causes of primary adrenal insufficiency are infections in the body, abnormal tumors or cancer, and blood-thinning medications.

2.     Secondary adrenal insufficiency: Secondary adrenal insufficiency occurs when the pituitary gland (located in your brain) is unable to produce adrenocorticotropic hormone ACTH. This hormone signals the adrenal gland to release hormones. Other causes of secondary adrenal insufficiency are certain medications, injuries in the brain, tumors, or genetics.

What are the symptoms of Addison’s disease?

People with Addison’s disease have symptoms like:

  • drowsiness or faint spells
  • extreme tiredness
  • fatigue
  • decreased appetite
  • sudden weight loss
  • sores or blisters in the mouth
  • a decreased heart rate
  • low blood pressure
  • low blood sugar levels
  • darkening of skin
  • depression
  • disturbance in sleep

If Addison’s disease is not diagnosed or treated timely it can become an Addisonian crisis. Symptoms of Addisonian crisis are:

  • agitation
  • hallucinations
  • delirium
  • high-grade fever
  • sudden pain in back, legs and belly
  • confusion
  • restlessness

Addisonian crisis is a medical emergency. Make sure that the person suffering from above mentioned symptoms receives immediate medical care. Or there is a chance that they might die.

How is Addison’s disease diagnosed?

Endocrinologist in Karachi will take in all the details about the medical history of the patient and note down their symptoms. Then they will examine the patient physically. And order blood tests to measure hormone levels. They may also order some imaging tests for diagnosis.

How can Addison’s disease be treated?

The treatment that your doctor will prescribe to you is dependent on the underlying conditions that are causing Addison’s disease.

Medications like glucocorticoids are prescribed, this particular medicine works by stopping the inflammation.

Hormone replacement medications are also part of the treatment plan. These work by replacing hormones that are produced by your adrenal glands.

Patients are supposed to take these medications for their entire lives without missing any doses. Otherwise they may suffer from serious complications.

Alternative therapies like yoga and meditation are also prescribed for patients to keep their stress levels under control.

Patients of Addison’s disease are advised to keep a medical alert card in their wallets or pockets at all times to let others know about their condition.

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