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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:12 pm 
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Location: Kuala Lumpur
I have been diaqnosed as having Addison' s disease. I realise it is a rare condition, and I think I understand it after my specialist has explained it to me several times, but I can' t explain it properly to my family. Can you help?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:14 pm 
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The adrenal glands sit on top of each kidney, and produce hormones (chemical messengers) that control the levels of vital elements in the body and regulate the breakdown of food. Addison' s disease occurs when the adrenal glands do not produce sufficient quantities of these vital hormones.
In most cases, the cause for the failure of the adrenal glands is unknown, but tuberculosis was a common cause in years past.

You are correct in calling it a rare disease. The common symptoms are weakness, lack of appetite, diarrhoea and vomiting, skin pigmentation, mental instability, low blood pressure, loss of body hair and absence of sweating.

The disease is diagnosed by special laboratory tests that measure the body' s response to certain drugs. The complications include diabetes, thyroid disease and anaemia.

Treatment involves taking a combination of medications (different types of steroids are used) to replace the hormones missing from the body. The dosages vary greatly from one patient to another. Frequent small meals high in carbohydrate and protein should be taken, and any infections must be treated rapidly. Patients must wear a bracelet warning doctors of their condition, and carry an emergency supply of hydrocortisone with them at all times.

Treatment can give most of these patients a long and useful life, but they cannot react to stress (both physical and mental) adequately, and additional treatment (eg. hydrocortisone) must be given to cover these situations. The ultimate outcome of the disease depends greatly on the patient' s ability to follow strictly all treatment regimes.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:00 pm 
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More information about Endocrine System:

• Graves' disease http://www.dreddyclinic.com/findinformation/gg/gravesdisease.htm

• Goiter http://www.dreddyclinic.com/findinformation/gg/goiter.htm

• Male hypogonadism http://www.dreddyclinic.com/findinformation/mm/malehypogonadism.htm

• Hyperthyroidism http://www.dreddyclinic.com/findinformation/hh/hyperthyroidism.htm

• Hypothyroidism http://www.dreddyclinic.com/findinformation/hh/hypothyroidism.htm

• Addison's disease http://www.dreddyclinic.com/findinformation/aa/addisonsdisease.htm

• Hyperparathyroidism http://www.dreddyclinic.com/findinformation/hh/hyperparathyroidism.htm

• Polycystic ovary syndrome http://www.dreddyclinic.com/findinformation/pp/polycysticovarysyndrome.htm

• Cushing's syndrome http://www.dreddyclinic.com/findinformation/cc/cushingssyndrome.htm

• Acromegaly http://www.dreddyclinic.com/findinformation/aa/acromegaly.htm

• Hypopituitarism http://www.dreddyclinic.com/findinformation/hh/hypopituitarism.htm

• Thyroid nodules http://www.dreddyclinic.com/findinformation/tt/thyroidnodules.htm

• Thyroid cancer http://www.dreddyclinic.com/findinformation/tt/thyroidcancer.htm

• Prolactinoma http://www.dreddyclinic.com/findinformation/pp/prolactinoma.htm

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