Monday, 1 January 2018

Effective Treatments For Addison's Disease + Ways Of Diagnosis


Treatment for Addison's disease involves taking hormones to replace the insufficient amounts being made by your adrenal glands, in order to mimic the beneficial effects produced by your naturally made hormones.
It’s important to keep your stress level down if you Addison’s disease. Major life events, such as a death of a loved one or an injury, can raise your stress level and affect the way you respond to your medications. Talk to your doctor about alternative ways to relieve stress, such as yoga and meditation.

How Addison's Disease Can Be Diagnosed

A definitive diagnosis of Addison’s disease requires that definitive tests be carried out. These tests measure the amount of cortisol and aldosterone in the blood and urine, and document a lack of the normal increase in the levels of these two hormones after administration of ACTH given by injection. An elevated blood level of ACTH should also be found.If the patient is very sick and Addison’s disease is suspected, treatment can be initiated while the diagnostic tests are being done.

Once the diagnosis of Addison’s disease is established, an effort should be made to find the cause by checking for tuberculosis and other infections through skin tests and x-rays. Antibodies to adrenal tissue, especially to 21OH can now be measured, and are specific to autoimmune Addison’s disease.

Treatments For Addison's Disease


All treatment for Addison's disease involves hormone replacement therapy to correct the levels of steroid hormones your body isn't producing. Some options for treatment include:

  1. Oral corticosteroids. Hydrocortisone (Cortef), prednisone or cortisone acetate may be used to replace cortisol. Your doctor may prescribe fludrocortisone to replace aldosterone.
  2. Corticosteroid injections. If you're ill with vomiting and can't retain oral medications, injections may be needed.

Since all of the manifestations of Addison’s disease are caused by the lack of cortisol and aldosterone, the treatment is to replace these with similar steroids. Cortisol is usually replaced orally by hydrocortisone or cortisone acetate, less often with prednisone tablets, divided into morning and afternoon doses.

Aldosterone is replaced by an aldosterone-like synthetic steroid, fludrocortisone (Florinef®) tablets given once daily. The doses of each of these medications are adjusted for the individual’s size and any co-existing medical conditions.


Author: Richard Smith