Addison’s disease is a condition caused by improper functioning of the adrenal glands. This adrenal abnormality is characterized by extreme emaciation, fatigue, anemia, and a darkening of the skin. Addison’s disease occurs in women and men equally when the adrenal glands do not produce enough of the hormone cortisol and, occasionally, the hormone aldosterone. The earliest symptom is usually tiredness. This becomes progressively worse until physical effort becomes quite difficult. Other symptoms include a loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, alternating constipation and diarrhea, headaches, dizziness, inability to sleep and pains in the stomach, lower back and extremities.
The internet provides some great resources for those who would like to find out more about Addison’s Disease – including symptoms, diagnosis and treatment options. Here are some of the sites available on the world wide web:
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases provides a good resource online called Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Information Service. The page found at http://endocrine.niddk.nih.gov/pubs/addison/addison.htm is rather extensive and provides an overview of Addison’s Disease, including symptoms, diagnosis and tests, and treatment. This site also has links to other resources and organizations providing information about Addison’s Disease.
The United States National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health produce an online resource called Medline Plus that covers various medical and health care topics. The page available at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/addisonsdisease.html provides information on Addison’s disease, including management for the disease and links to other related articles and online resources. There is also a link to current information on research and clinical trials being conducted in relation to this disease.
The Mayo Clinic has a good online educational and informational resource on the website called Mayo Clinic.com. The page dedicated to Addison’s Disease can be found at http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/addisons-disease/DS00361 and provides links to various articles related to this condition. This site has a link to an article about coping with Addison’s disease which is written for those patients and families who are learning to live with the condition.
The Healthscout Network provides an accessible online encyclopedia of diseases and conditions and the page found at http://www.healthscout.com/ency/68/82/main.html provides an excellent overview of Addison’s Disease, including treatment and symptoms. This page has a handy section titled “Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Addison’s Disease” which may be a helpful tool for those just beginning to work with a medical team to address this condition.