Monday, 1 January 2018

Main Causes Of Addison's Disease You Should Know

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Addison’s disease occurs when the adrenal cortex is damaged and the adrenal glands do not produce enough of the steroid hormones cortisol and aldosterone. Cortisol regulates the body’s reaction to stressful situations. Aldosterone helps with sodium and potassium regulation. The adrenal cortex also produces sex hormones (androgens).


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Addison’s disease occurs when the adrenal cortex is damaged and the adrenal glands do not produce enough of the steroid hormones cortisol and aldosterone. Cortisol regulates the body’s reaction to stressful situations. Aldosterone helps with sodium and potassium regulation. The adrenal cortex also produces sex hormones (androgens).

Addison's disease results when your adrenal glands are damaged, producing insufficient amounts of the hormone cortisol and often aldosterone as well. These glands are located just above your kidneys. As part of your endocrine system, they produce hormones that give instructions to virtually every organ and tissue in your body.

Causes Of Addison's Disease

Before I will start I will like to let you know that there are two major classifications for Addison’s disease: Primary adrenal insufficiency and Secondary adrenal insufficiency. In order to treat your disease, your doctor will need to find out which type is responsible for your condition.

Primary Adrenal Insufficiency
Addison's disease occurs when the cortex is damaged and doesn't produce its hormones in adequate quantities. Doctors refer to the condition involving damage to the adrenal glands as primary adrenal insufficiency.
The failure of your adrenal glands to produce adrenocortical hormones is most commonly the result of the body attacking itself (autoimmune disease). For unknown reasons, your immune system views the adrenal cortex as foreign, something to attack and destroy.
Other causes of adrenal gland failure may include:

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  • Tuberculosis 
  • Other infections of the adrenal glands 
  • Spread of cancer to the adrenal glands
  • Bleeding into the adrenal glands, which may present as adrenal crisis without any preceding symptoms.

Secondary Adrenal Insufficiency
Secondary adrenal insufficiency occurs when the pituitary gland (located in your brain) can’t produce adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). ACTH tells the adrenal gland when to release hormones. It’s also possible to develop adrenal insufficiency if you do not take the corticosteroid medications your doctor prescribes. Corticosteroids help control chronic health conditions like asthma.
Another more common cause of secondary adrenal insufficiency occurs when people who take corticosteroids for treatment of chronic conditions, such as asthma or arthritis, abruptly stop taking the corticosteroids.


You may need to take a combination of glucocorticoids medications (drugs that stop inflammation) to improve your health. These medications will be taken for the rest of your life and you cannot miss a dose. Hormone replacements may be prescribed to replace hormones that your adrenal glands are not making.



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Author: Richard Smith