Addison's Disease is a rare hormonal disorder which affects approximately 1 to 2 per 100,000 people. It affects men and women alike and occurs in all age groups, including children.
Addison's disease is caused mainly by an autoimmune reaction of your body (formerly a large percentage of Addison’s disease was caused by tuberculosis), trauma with hemorrhage into the adrenals and surgery. Fungus infections as well as carcinoma can also be the cause.
Addison's disease occurs when there is chronic primary adrenal insufficiency or when the adrenal glands, the small glands that are located above each kidney, cease to function properly, this is also referred to as hypoadrenalism.
The adrenal glands are made up of two parts; the inner part called the medulla, which regulates epinephrine commonly known as adrenaline, which is produced in times of stress. The inner part is usually not affected by Addison's Disease. The outer part, the more critical is the adrenal cortex and it produces many hormones, the two more important ones being cortisol and aldosterone. These hormones are necessary to sustain life.
Symptoms of Addison's Disease