Addisons Disease

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Healthy Care

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the life expectancy of someone with Addison disease?

  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • A lot of vomiting
  • Dangerously high potassium levels in the blood, which may cause a heart attack
  • Diarrhea
  • A rapid drop in blood pressure
  • Stroke (blockage of blood flow in the brain)

What are the chances I have Addisons disease?

You may be at a higher risk for Addison’s disease if you:

  • have cancer
  • take anticoagulants (blood thinners)
  • have chronic infections like tuberculosis
  • had surgery to remove any part of your adrenal gland
  • have an autoimmune disease, like type 1 diabetes or Graves’ disease

Does anyone know anything about Addisons disease?

Addison’s disease is a disorder in which the adrenal glands – which sit on top of the kidneys – do not produce enough of the hormones cortisol and aldosterone. (Hormones are chemicals that control the function of tissues or organs.) Cortisol helps the body respond to stress, including the stress of illness, injury, or surgery.

How to diagnose Addison's disease?

To diagnose Addison’s disease, a doctor will:

  • review the individual’s medical history
  • ask if any close relatives have an autoimmune disorder
  • ask about symptoms, when they began, and their effects on everyday life
  • carry out a physical examination
  • request tests, such as blood tests, urine tests, and a CT scan

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