15 Facts About Addisons Disease

15 Facts About Addisons Disease

Addisons Disease is a serious and life threatening illness where the Adrenal glands fail to function resulting in insufficient amounts of Cortisol and Aldosterone in the body. Here are 15 facts about Addisons Disease to help you better understand the condition.

addisons disease

One

Addison’s disease is not usually diagnosed until at least 90% of the adrenal cortex has been destroyed. This can take months or years and is often referred to as primary adrenal insufficiency.

Two

Some of the symptoms of Addisons Disease include severe fatigue and weakness, loss of weight, pigmentation of the skin, dizzyness and low blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, salt cravings, painful muscles and joints.

Three

Addisons Disease was first identified in the UK in 1855. The condition is named after Thomas Addison a doctor who first wrote about the illness whilst working at Guys Hospital in London.

Four

People with Addisons Disease are steroid dependent. This means they are reliant upon taking cortisol medication every day. Cortisol is the “stress hormone” and without it the body would go into adrenal crisis and eventually die.

Five

If you have Addisons, you will also need to take a medication called Fludrocortisone. This is prescribed to replace the aldosterone steroid normally produced by the adrenal glands. Without Aldosterone in the body their would be an electrolyte imbalance leading to low blood pressure and dehydration.

Six

People on steroid replacement therapy will need to stress dose during times of illness such as infection, high temperature and fever. Addisons patients will need to be aware of their wellbeing and any illness will need to be compensated to prevent Adrenal crisis.

Seven

When someone with Addisons exercise in a way that is more physically demanding than usual, they will need to take a little extra steroid medication beforehand to help the body cope with the added stress.

Eight

Often sudden shocks such as being in a car crash, learning of the death of a loved one or a big argument can result in a need to increase Steroid coverage. Additional emotional stress can clear cortisol faster than usual and make an Addisons patient very unwell.

Nine

Addisons Patients will always need extra steroid coverage during dental procedures, operations and certain hospital tests which place more than usual stress on the body.

Ten

Often when low in cortisol, patients with Addisons disease can develop brain fog and poor concentration levels. This can affect the ability to work out what medication is needed. Therefore it is important to always wear a medic alert band.

Eleven

Addisons patients will need to carry an emergency injection with them in case of sudden adrenal crisis. The emergency injection can be life saving. Many patients have died from adrenal crisis and the condition should be taken serious and can be life threatening.

Twelve

If someone with Addisons has prolonged vomiting due to an illness or stomach bug, they will need an emergency injection and immediate hospital treatment.

Thirteen

Some Addisonians will need to increase their fludrocortisone medication when on holiday  or under extreme temperature climbs around 30˚ Celsius. this will help to avoid dehydrations and becoming dangerously unwell.

Fourteen

Too much steroid coverage on a regular basis can result in Cushing’s Disease, weight gain, bone problems, diabetes and a moon shaped face. it is important for a patient to be on the correct dose so as to ensure they are not under or over replaced as both not enough and too much cortisol can have serious consequences.

Fifteen

Many people have not heard of Addisons and it is not always familiar to some doctors or medical staff. It is always a good idea to carry a letter about the illness incase of emergency and just incase the people treating the illness do not understand the importance of emergency cortisol replacement.

I hope these 15 facts are useful and helpful. Please do share this post to help spread the word and awareness for Addisons Disease and Adrenal Insufficiency.

Angela x

 

addisons disease

You may also like the following posts on Adrenal Insufficiency

My adrenal crisis and the truth about how I feel 

What’s it really Like to Have Adrenal Insufficiency

Children have Adrenal Insufficiency Too

Why the Adrenal Pump is a brilliant treatment for Adrenal Insufficiency 

From Cancer to Adrenal Insufficiency – A Brave Story

 My First Magazine Appearance and the fight to Kick Adrenal Insufficiency in the Butt! 

I have an invisible illness

A Doctor Diagnosed with Adrenal Insufficiency 

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34 Comments

  1. January 14, 2016 / 4:56 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this. My spaniel has Addison’s and is on the human medication. We nearly lost him last year and through sheer luck the vet tested him. I’ve never fully understood what it means and I’m sure it’s very similar for dogs as it is humans. I honestly didn’t realise how dangerous it is as any info on dogs having it is very complacent.

    • January 14, 2016 / 9:53 am

      yes it’s a illness that dogs can get as well as children and adults! Thanks for stopping by.

  2. January 14, 2016 / 10:40 am

    I’d honestly never heard of this before so I’ve certainly learnt something by stopping by today. Thank you for making me aware and best of luck sharing this with others. Xx

    • January 14, 2016 / 11:05 pm

      I’m glad i was able to help educate you on the illness.

  3. January 14, 2016 / 11:17 am

    I’ll be honest, i’d never heard of Addisons Disease until i started reading your blog so thanks for sharing this, it’s really helped me to better understand it. Sounds like such a life-limiting and debilitating condition to live with *hugs*. xxx.

    • January 14, 2016 / 11:06 pm

      Thanks Vikki. It can be tough but can be managed with the right medications support and things. I have my hubby with me most of the time and we live near the hospital just incase i collapse from my secondary adrenal insufficiency.

  4. January 14, 2016 / 12:29 pm

    What a fantastically useful post for anyone suffering from Addisons, or who knows someone who is. It must be incredibly hard waiting for a diagnosis, as I’m guessing the symptoms might take a while to pin down, and then remembering how anything and everything (heat, exercise, illness) can affect you.

    • January 14, 2016 / 11:04 pm

      Thanks Cathy. It is hard to get a diagnosis and very hard to figure out what’s wrong. Sadly some people de before it is too late.

  5. Steven Farque
    January 14, 2016 / 1:53 pm

    I would like to thank you for putting this summary together. My wife has Addison’s and I have tried to explain to people what we are dealing with and your summary will help me. I still get emotional when trying to explain her condition to people so I am going print your article and share it with people.
    My lovely wife has been dealing with Addison’s since 2012 and she has shown great resolve in taking care of herself and helping deal with not being able to “fix this” as I say.
    Addison’s not only affects the person that has it but also the entire family because you have to learn to live a little differently and help monitor the person to aid in assuring their continued success with dealing with the disease.

    • January 14, 2016 / 11:03 pm

      Your welcome. It can be difficult explaining addisons. it is very complicated and one minute we can be fine and the next not. I’m pleased you are finding this useful.

  6. January 14, 2016 / 5:01 pm

    This is really interesting. My mum’s dog had Addisons but I haven’t met a person yet although I am guessing the symptoms are similar. Very informative and useful. Thanks

    • January 14, 2016 / 10:57 pm

      Yes there are a lot of dogs that get Addisons. Lol It seems to be known more in the dog world lol

  7. January 14, 2016 / 5:24 pm

    Such a great informative post – I was unaware of Addisons disease, thank you for raising awareness and highlighting this awful disease. Kaz x

    • January 14, 2016 / 10:55 pm

      Thanks. It is something that more people need to know about. ANgela

  8. January 14, 2016 / 7:37 pm

    It has just clicked that you have addisons disease, I don’t know why I did not realize sooner as one of my friends has Addisons and gastropresis ( she has a pacemaker fitted) and is constantly going into crisis. She was diagnosed when she was 14 and is very unwell bless her x

    • January 14, 2016 / 10:54 pm

      Lol. Yes I have secondary adrenal Insufficiency and Addison’s is primary AI. Many of the symptoms are very similar.

  9. January 14, 2016 / 11:41 pm

    There’s so many diseases out there that were never diagnosed before. So it’s important to get the information out there as much as possible

    • January 15, 2016 / 3:34 am

      Yes thats true. There are tons of illnesses which people are unaware of and that can make diagnosis very difficult! For example i was told i had fibro or anxiety and it was all in my head- they finally worked it out but it took time.

  10. January 15, 2016 / 7:29 am

    Since reading your blog I’ve started to understand more about Addisions Desease but I had no idea you had to be so careful with the medication! It sounds as thought almost anything can lead to you having to adapt your steroids! It must be very hard to monitor and always in the back of your head, if I do this then the consequence is X. You are doing a great job at raising awareness and I hope that you get the adrinial pump you need xx

    • January 15, 2016 / 1:13 pm

      Thanks Clare. I’m pleased people are beginning to learn more about Addisons and Adrenal Insufficiency

  11. January 16, 2016 / 12:32 pm

    I have heard of the disease but was never too sure what it affected, so thank you for sharing x

    • January 16, 2016 / 8:49 pm

      your welcome. Thanks fro stopping by and commenting. Angela

  12. Sienna
    January 30, 2016 / 3:14 pm

    I was diagnosed with Addison’s in October of ’04 and was surprised when I googled it and could find almost no information pertaining to humans; almost all the info was about dogs!! I always love finding info about Addison’s in humans! Thank you for this article!

    I would like to disagree with one fact though. Not all patients with Addison’s take fludro.

    • January 31, 2016 / 12:05 am

      Thanks. i’m glad you found this and hope it was useful. Angela

  13. Pingback: 15 FACTS ABOUT ADDISONS DISEASE- Term life | Health Files
    • March 18, 2016 / 2:47 pm

      It may be the source but you should not steal and use my content in without permission! It’s breaking copyright Mr Health Files!

  14. Kathleen
    September 15, 2016 / 6:02 pm

    My daughter is a veterinarian and I had an adrenal crisis after driving across country to see her…at that time I was undiagnosed but she looked at me and said, “If you were a dog I would say you were having an Addisonian crisis! Take some of your prednisone!” And I did, and when I got home my doctors said that was a good call, and I got an “official” diagnosis from a (human) endocrinologist. However, the fact that this condition is better known among veterinarians probably saved my life.

    • September 15, 2016 / 7:45 pm

      Oh sorry to hear that but glad she picked up on it for you and helped you.

  15. Nikki
    December 1, 2016 / 7:30 am

    Thank you for bringing awareness to Addisons. I have Addison’s disease as well as Hashimoto Hypothyroidism. I’ve had Hashimoto for 19 years and Addisons for 12 years. I too had a hard time finding information on either diseases. I too could only find information on dogs having the disease. I was originally diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I went in to see my doctor because I kept thinking I was pregnant. Then Several years later I started to loose weight, to the point of being skeletal. My skin turned an orange color and I had no energy. I went to a new doctor who just so happened to go to a conference where Addisons was discussed. Saved my life! Please keep sharing with the world the effects of this disease!! Thank you!!!

    • Angela
      December 2, 2016 / 7:34 pm

      Your welcome and I hope your feeling well.

  16. Rebekah
    December 1, 2016 / 9:52 pm

    Hello,
    I am so glad I found this blog! I was diagnosed with Addisons in 2015 and I just survived my first
    Crisis.
    Even when you do everything right, things can go incredibly wrong, incredibly fast.
    My family is well versed with my medications and was able to speak for me , which made the ER staff move quickly.
    Having this disease is so lonely because it’s so rare and meeting others is impossible.
    So I am very grateful to have found you and your blog.

    • Angela
      December 1, 2016 / 11:46 pm

      Oh nice to meet you and please do visit whenever you can. I hope my posts are useful!

  17. Judy Cody
    January 8, 2017 / 10:55 am

    my name is Judy adrenalin insufficientsey2013 one year in bed without knowing what was wrong now i have been diagnosed and taking hyson daily i also have hypothyrodism just reading this today has taught me so much i will keep following thanks so much

    • Angela
      January 10, 2017 / 5:47 am

      I hope you find it useful 🙂 Lovely to connect.

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