You have been diagnosed with Addison disease. This disease is also called adrenal insufficiency or hypocortisolism. Take all medicines for this disease exactly as directed. You will need to take replacement hormones for the rest of your life. Your medicine dose may need to be doubled or tripled if you are injured or become seriously ill. You may need an emergency shot if you are in an accident or if you can’t keep your oral hormone pill down because of vomiting. Your steroid dose may need to be increased. Always carry a list of your medicines and dosages along with the name and telephone number of the provider who treats your Addison disease. Increase your salt intake if your healthcare provider advises you to.
The two small adrenal glands sit atop the kidneys. They usually produce hormones called cortisol and aldosterone. Without these hormones, salt and water in the body is lost in urine, which makes blood pressure fall too low. Also, potassium builds up to a dangerous level. In an autoimmune disease, the body makes substances antibodies that damage adrenal glands. Other causes include infections e. Adrenal glands may also develop poorly from birth. Surgery, medicines with harmful side effects, and x-ray treatments can also cause the disorder. Some people may have no symptoms. Others may feel weak, tired, or sick to the stomach; there may also be weight loss, decreased appetite, low blood pressure, depression, or skin and hair changes.
Sympathoadrenal hormone concentrations remained unaltered. Addison patients have an increased risk of developing hypoglycemia, probably as a result of increased glucose oxidation and decreased glucose production due to greatly diminished cortisol release, thus leading to improved insulin sensitivity 4. In adrenalectomized rats, free-choice ingestion of sucrose has been shown to reduce the detrimental metabolic effects of cortisol deficiency 5, 6. In some people, comfort food ingestion is likewise favored in stressful situations, increases well-being, and reduces anxiety 8, 9. These changes probably involve the endogenous opioid system 9, Autoimmunity was the underlying cause of the disease in eight of the patients and bilateral adrenalectomy because of pheochromocytoma and venous thrombosis, respectively, in two patients. Adrenal insufficiency was accompanied by hypothyroidism treated by T 4 substitution in nine patients and by chronic atrophic gastritis in three patients. Patients and control subjects except for two men in need of antihypertensive medication and one woman with hypothyroidism treated with T 4 substitution had no other acute or chronic diseases, no further kind of medication, and no abuse of nicotine, alcohol, or drugs. Each volunteer gave written informed consent before participation, and the study was approved by the local ethics committee.