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Addison’s Disease – Symptoms, Analysis

adrenal glands locationAddison’s disease is characterized by chronic adrenal cortical insufficiency and may occur at all ages and a roughly equal gender distribution.

In the etiology of this disorder may be incriminated the prolonged use of corticosteroids (cortisone, hydrocortisone, prednisone) for various affections.

Due to the multitude of their action, cortical hormones are involved in the most important functions of the body, the body can not survive in their absence.

Addison Disease Symptoms vary in intensity depending by the degree of adrenal insufficiency.

Addison disease onset is insidious. State period is characterized by the following signs and symptoms:

  • Addison's Disease palm hyperpigmentationhyperpigmentation of the skin and mucous membranes, breast areola, large labia, scrotum, palm interlining, elbow, knee;
  •  hairy skin of the head, palms and plants are not pigmenting;
  • hypotension – is increasing while standing and can occur faintness states, the systolic falls below 80 mmHg and minimum below 50 mmHg;
  • fatigue and adynamic – are even more pronounced as the disease is more advanced; initially emphasized in the evening and subsequently become permanent;
  • digestive symptoms – are multiple and variable in intensity, so during the “crisis” (acute adrenal insufficiency) patient may experience abdominal pain simulating a violent acute surgical abdomen, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
  • other digestive symptoms are: loss of appetite, weight loss, “salt hunger”;
  • neurological disorders – muscle atrophy, mixed sensory deficits;
  • genital disorders – females: menstrual cycle disorders, frigidity, men – impaired spermatogenesis, decreased sexual appetite;
  • urinary disorders – decreased amount of urine passed in 24 hours;
  • intellectual activity is diminished.

Regarding laboratory investigations: intermediate metabolisms, blood count, hormones dosing, serum and urinary ionogram, radiological examinations. As follows:

– intermediate metabolisms: hypoglycemia (low blood sugar);

– low blood lipids;

– Hypocholesterolemia (lower blood cholesterol);

– anemia, eosinophilia, lymphocytosis;

Addison_Disease skin– Hormone – ACTH (adrenocorticotropic pituitary hormone) is increased;

– ADH (antidiuretic hormone) is increased;

– blood cortisol value is low;

– Plasma aldosterone is low;

– 17 OH CS and 17 CS are low;

– Na (sodium), Cl (chlorine) are low;

– K (potassium) is increased;

– Urine – Na is high and K is low;

– Radiological examinations (abdominal radiography) may reveal adrenal tuberculosis, calcification in the adrenal glands, in this case the tuberculin skin test may be positive.

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