What is Addison’s Disease? What are the Most Important Causes?

Addison’s disease

Addison’s disease is due to Adrenal Hypofunction.

Adrenal Hypofunction

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The most common cause of adrenal hypofunction is Primary Adrenal Insufficiency or Addison’s disease.

Addison’s Disease is characterized by:

  • Tiredness,
  • Dehydration,
  • Hyponatremia, and
  • Hyperpigmentation (due to high ACTH levels and its MSH activity).

Symptoms of Addison’s Disease

All of the the Symptoms of the Disease may not be present in a single patient. These vary from patient to patient. These include:

  • Weight gain,
  • Anorexia,
  • Malaise,
  • Weakness,
  • Feve,r
  • Depression,
  • Impotence in males,
  • Amenorrhea in females,
  • Nausea / vomiting,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Confusion,
  • Syncope from postural hypotension,
  • Abdominal pain,
  • Constipation,
  • Myalgia,
  • Joint or back pain.

Signs of Addison’s Disease

  • Pigmentation, especially of new scars and palmer creases,
  • Buccal pigmentation,
  • Postural hypotension,
  • Loss of weight,
  • General wasting,
  • Dehydration,
  • Loss of body hair,
  • Vitiligo.

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