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Addisons Disease Essay

The disease I’ve been reading and researching about is called Addison’s Disease. Addison’s Disease is an uncommon condition in which the adrenal glands, above the kidneys, don’t make enough of a hormone called cortisol, which helps regulate the body’s use of a protein, carbohydrates and fat, helps maintain blood pressure and cardiovascular function and controls inflamation. Causes to how a person will acquire and the usual type of people to get Addison’s Disease are from diseases like HIV, cancer, surgery, radiation therapy and hereditary. Signs and Symptoms consist of those similar to a stomach virus.

Signs of Addison’s Disease include low blood pressure, darkening of skin and type 1 diabetes. Symptoms of the disease usually develop slowly but consist of muscle weakness and fatigue, weight loss and decreased appetite, salt craving, low blood sugar, nausea, diarrhea or vomiting, muscle or joint pains, irritability and depression. A person with some of the signs and symptoms of Addison’s disease will most likely not have it but if they don’t have color discoloration, low blood pressure, darkening of the skin and the urge to have salty foods then they should consult with a doctor.

To diagnose Addison’s disease your doctor will first ask you if you have had cancer, have Hiv or family history of Addison’s disease, and a physical examination to determine if there have been any skin discoloration. Other tests such as Blood tests to check for high potassium or low sodium levels, your cortisol and ACTH levels may be checked, ACTH stimulation Tests to check how your hormone levels are, Imagining test such as Ct scans or MRI’s to look for damage to the adrenal glands. The order of tests would be determined through the ones with least side affect probability, so the hysical test would be first, then blood test, then an ACTH stimulation Test, and finally the Imaging Tests.

Addison’s Disease treatment is made up of medicine, self-care and being prepared for when your body is under a great amount of stress, if your doctor has the slightest thought that you have Addison’s he will put you on medication right away. Medicine will need to be taken as prescribed and will be for the rest of your life to replace the cortisol and aldosterone that your body is not producing. To have a decent self-care means you need to get enough salt in your diet, weigh yourself regularly, onitoring your blood pressure, and get regular checkups.

Be prepared for drastically bad feelings amongst your body, have a shot of emergency medicine with you at all times, and wear a medical tag for when a doctors needs to know if you have to have a cortisol shot. Being diagnosed with Addison’s is tough but with these treatments it gives you the option to live. Addison’s disease could be hard to deal with but thanks to todays technology and research it gives a patient hope. After reading about Addison’s disease it made me grateful that I’m healthy and sorry for the people that have to suffer from the disease.


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