Friday, August 25, 2006

The Tan and Salt Craving of Addison's Disease.

Hyperpigmentation seen in primary Addison's Disease is caused by an excess of ACTH secreted by the pituitary gland in an effort to stimulate the adrenal gland to produce cortisol. This can be an all-over tan or in areas of pressure such as the waistline, braline, pantyline, knuckles, knees, toes, or elbows. Also seen in autoimmune Addison's Disease is Vitiligo, or areas of pigment loss.


The craving for salt is due to a lack of aldosterone, another hormone produced by the adrenal glands, which controls sodium, potassium and other electrolytes. The medicine prescribed for this problem is Florinef.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Addison's Disease -- Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

You have been given the diagnosis of Addison's Disease or Adrenal Insufficiency, you are not alone. Although this is a rare disorder, only 1 in 100,000 have Addison's Disease, there are support systems available. One of the most useful tools is the internet, where you may read articles about the disease or find a support group in your area or come together by means of a forum or message board. Support groups, forums or message boards allow interchange with other Addison's patients who have been where you are now, or ,like yourself are seeking to learn about the disease. I will be giving you links that will help you find such support and information.For those who are interested in knowing more about Addison's Disease, it is a failure of the adrenal glands, two small glands located above each kidney. Adrenal Insufficiency can also occur due to pituitary disease or injury. This is referred to as secondary adrenal insufficiency. Primary Addison's Disease is due to the glands themselves failing. This can be due to autoimmune antibodies which attack the gland cortex ultimately causing them to stop producing cortisol and aldosterone. Other causes include hemorrhaging, Tuberculosis and certain fungus infections. Patients are given gluco-corticosteroids and fludro-corticosteroids to replace both cortisol and aldosterone.
Hyperpigmentation (primary Addison's Disease)
Low blood pressure
Salt craving
Orthostatic Hypotension
You will find much more information on Addisons Village Forum. Please visit and become part of our online support message board. Addisons Village Forum - Learn To Live & Cope.
Here are some useful links about Addison's Disease
Mayo Clinic.com
Addisons Village Forum - Learn To Live & Cope
The above link is to a compilation of useful links found on my forum.

What is an Addison's Disease Crisis?

If the Addison's Disease patient becomes low on cortisol an Addison's crisis may occur. Many things could trigger a crisis: illness (vomiting, flu, infections) , an accident, dehydration. The symptoms of a crisis are: very low blood pressure, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). If treatment is not given soon enough the patient may lose consciousness and death could occur. For this reason all Addison's patients must carry an emergency injection of steroid to be given intramuscularly. The patient will need emergency care, including, if not already given or in sufficient amounts , steroids, IV fluids. Also, any underlying illness or cause of crisis will need to be treated to restore the patient to a stable condition.A very good source of information which will help an Addison's patient live with their disease is the Addison's Disease Owner's Manual, available from the ADSHG, U.K., including managing a crisis.

Addison's Disease support how important?

Support for the Addison's disease patient is one of the most important aspects of Addisons Village Forum. We are able to offer information about the disease and also give the opportunity to interchange with others, many who have been living with Addison's Disease for a number of years.

I personally have learned so much from others...it give us so much more understanding of what is happening to our bodies. When I am having a bad day, my friends encourage me, when I am just a little forgetful , they 've been there or are there, too! One dear forum member told me she could tell when I was having a bad day...my spelling suffered! She wasn't critical...she was understanding and that's what support is all about, my friends.

Please come and visit Addisons Village Forum - Learn To Live & Cope...we look forward to getting to know you!