Addison's disease: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment

Addison's disease: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment ©

Addison's disease is a rare endocrine disease, adrenal insufficiency. It was first described in the mid-19th century by the British physician Thomas Addison, whose name bears the disease today. will talk about what causes the development of Addison's disease, methods for its diagnosis, treatment options.

Addison's disease: the essence of the disease, causes

Addison's disease is a violation of the endocrine system, due to which the adrenal glands are not able to produce hormones (primarily cortisol). Primary adrenal insufficiency is very rare – in 50 cases per 1 million. The disease is twice as common in men, the average age of the diseased is 40 years.

Reasons for the development of Addison's disease: primary, secondary, iatrogenic form (long-term use of corticosteroids):

congenital genetic diseases; autoimmune destruction of the adrenal cortex. tuberculosis infection; cancer (lungs, mammary glands, intestines) and metastases; removal of adrenal glands or their necrosis (with AIDS).

Addison's disease is dangerous by the development of complications, such as adrenal insufficiency, the transition of the disease to the cardiovascular form.

Symptoms of Addison's Disease

Symptoms of Addison's disease are not specific and are characteristic of a number of other diseases. So, patients may complain of:

weakness, constant feeling of tiredness; decreased appetite, the appearance of addiction to salty; weight loss due to dehydration; decreased appetite and subsequent attachment of nausea and vomiting; diarrhea or constipation; mental disorders (irritability, short temper and depression, memory impairment, psychosis, tremor); the appearance of hyperpigmentation of the skin (becomes darker), pigmentation of the mucous membranes; pain in the abdomen and muscles; violation of sensitivity in the limbs, paralysis (a consequence of excess potassium); hypoglycemia (low blood glucose); lowering blood pressure, tachycardia; vitiligo; alopecia areata.

Darkening of the skin is the main symptom of Addison's disease. Deposition of melanin primarily increases in areas of skin friction, in areas exposed to sunlight (in the palmar folds, on the interphalangeal joints, scars), nipples of the mammary glands, and also on the mucous membranes (lips, cheeks).

In exceptional cases, the symptoms of Addison's disease occur unexpectedly, the general state of health worsens literally before our eyes. This condition of acute adrenal insufficiency is called the addison crisis. He is deadly.

Addison's disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention

With the above complaints, you should contact your family doctor. He will analyze the patient's complaints, analyze the family history, perform an examination, and, if necessary, send him for a consultation with a geneticist. Laboratory studies are also necessary, for example, it is important to determine the level of glucose, potassium, sodium, chlorine, cortisol in the blood serum in the early morning, adrenal hormones (the level of adrenocorticotropic hormone in the plasma). An ultrasound scan, adrenal CT scan, and MRI of the brain will be recommended for the patient.

Addison's disease cannot be cured, the patient is prescribed lifelong hormone replacement therapy, glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids. Infectious processes are sometimes detected, then antibiotic therapy is temporarily indicated. Suffering from Addison's disease, it is recommended to take an increased amount of sodium chloride and ascorbic acid.

In the treatment of Addison's disease, it is important that the patient adheres to a certain regimen. So, you can not engage in heavy physical labor, experience stress, take barbitu sleeping pills, abuse alcohol, drink alkaline mineral water.

Addison disease prevention does not exist. Since the disease is genetic, when planning a child, couples should consult with a geneticist. In order to prevent a congenital pathology of the adrenal glands in a child, a pregnant woman should exclude the influence of tobacco smoke, alcohol, and drugs on her body.

With appropriate therapy and measures to prevent acute adrenal insufficiency, the life expectancy of patients with Addison's disease does not decrease.

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Angelo L. Lyons

Almost every blog has this page. The exception is anonymous blogs, where the author either creates a certain mystery, or it is easier for the author to express his thoughts when they do not know about him, or he does not want to advertise himself by his occupation.

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