Addison’s disease affects the adrenal gland causing a deficiency the hormone cortisol, which in turn affects the gland’s steroid production. Without proper steroid production in the body a host of issues can develop. Addison’s disease can be extremely serious, and sometimes even fatal; worse still, it is often called “The Great Pretender” because at early stages it symptoms fall within the range of host of other possible diseases and ailments. Signs and symptoms, in the early to middle stages, usually include:
In later stages one may progress into acute symptoms, otherwise known as an ‘Addisonian Crisis’ and this is a constellation of symptoms that indicate severe adrenal insufficiency. These symptoms, which signal immediate medical attention, include the following:
There is no cure for Addison’s disease, but steroid treatment can offer a viable method for achieving some degree of hormonal equilibrium.