Addison's Disease

(AKA: Hypocortisolism)

A disorder in which the adrenal glands don't produce enough hormones.

Onset occurs when 90% or more of the cortex is dysfunctional or destroyed.

20k to 200k US cases per year. RARE!!

Occurs in all age groups and both sexes; life threatening.

The adrenal glands produce insufficient amounts of the hormone cortisol and sometimes aldosterone too.

Can last for years.

Requires lab tests or imaging.


- pain: in the abdomen or muscles.

- whole body: sweating, nausea, loss of appetite, light headed ness, fainting, exhaustion, water-electrolyte imbalance, dizziness, low blood pressure, fatigue, or dehydration.

Also common: low blood sugar, insufficient amount of cortisol hormones, reduced sex drive, muscle weakness, darkening of the skin, craving salty foods, weight loss, excess urination, absence of menstruation, or vomiting.

CAUSES: stress damages your adrenal glands, hormones, and organs.



- Dexamethasone (Decadron), Hydrocortisone by injection (Solu-Cortef).

Other: Fludrocortisone


Primary Care Provider (PCP): prevents, diagnosis, and treats diseases.

Endocrinologist: treats metabolic and hormone disorders.


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