What is Addison’s Disease?
Addison’s is a rare disease where the adrenal glands don’t produce enough of the hormones cortisol or aldosterone. The adrenal glands are located above the kidneys. This insufficiency can be caused by the glands not functioning properly or by damage to the adrenal glands. When you are in a stressful situation, your adrenal glands produce cortisol. Aldosterone works to control and regulate sodium and potassium. The adrenal gland also produces androgens or sex hormones.
Is Addison’s Disease inherited?
Scientists don’t know if it can be inherited, or caused by the genes you inherit. However, if you have a family member with Addison’s Disease you have a higher risk of developing it.
Can Addison’s Disease be cured, or is it fatal?
While Addison’s disease cannot be cured, with prompt diagnosis and treatment the patient can have a normal life span and lead an active life. The symptoms can be treated with medication and changes in your lifestyle. Addison’s Disease patients often have periods of fatigue, or may have other associated health conditions. Today, the prognosis for Addison’s Disease is relatively positive.
What’s the difference between Addison’s and Cushing’s Syndrome?
The chief difference between Addison’s Disease and Cushing’s Syndrome patients is their levels of the hormone cortisol. Addison’s Disease is a lack of sufficient cortisol, and Cushing’s Syndrome occurs when there’s too much cortisol.