Addison’s disease (also chronic adrenal insufficiency) is a rare, chronic endocrine disorder wherein the adrenal glands produce insufficient steroid hormones (glucocorticoids and often mineralocorticoids).
The symptoms of Addison's disease develop insidiously, and it may take some time to be recognized. The most common symptoms are fatigue, lightheadedness upon standing or while upright, muscle weakness, fever, weight loss, difficulty in standing up, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, sweating, changes in mood and personality, joint and muscle pains. Some have marked cravings for salt or salty foods due to the urinary losses of sodium.Affected individuals may note increased tanning since adrenal insufficiency is manifested in the skin primarily by hyperpigmentation.
In suspected cases of Addison's disease, one needs to demonstrate that adrenal hormone levels are low even after appropriate stimulation (called the ACTH stimulation test) with synthetic pituitary ACTH hormone tetracosactide .he short test compares blood cortisol levels before and after 250 micrograms of tetracosactide (IM/IV) is given. If, one hour later, plasma cortisol exceeds 170 nmol/L and has risen by at least 330 nmol/L to at least 690 nmol/L, adrenal failure is excluded.
Treatment for Addison's disease involves replacing the missing cortisol, sometimes in the form of hydrocortisone tablets, or prednisone tablets in a dosing regimen that mimics the physiological concentrations of cortisol.


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