Addison's Disease - Causes

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If known, what was the cause of Addison's disease in you or a relative?

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What causes Addison's disease?

Failure to produce adequate levels of cortisol can occur for different reasons. The problem may be due to a disorder of the adrenal glands themselves (primary adrenal insufficiency) or to inadequate secretion of ACTH by the pituitary gland (secondary adrenal insufficiency).

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See what others are saying

Comment from: TulsaTime, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 22

I was diagnosed in February 2013. My Addison's disease was caused by undergoing a quadruple bypass. I was fit, worked out, ate right for the previous ten years of my life, a nonsmoker, drank very little. Then one day I experienced dramatic chest pain but not the usual neck, left arm and shoulder pain. It was more like being punched in the solar-plexus. I went to the emergency room and was taken in to the operating room for stents. The doctor found severe blockage in 4 arteries and was not able to do the stents. I was kept sedated for over 24 hours until the cardiovascular surgeon could get in and perform the required bypasses. My BP dropped, sugar dropped and while I came through the actual surgery fine, I went into Addisonian crisis in recovery. A newly graduated endocrine doctor on call was talking to the nurse in recovery who showed him my chart. The endocrinologist immediately suggest Addisonian crisis and the rest is history. They pumped me full of HC (hydrocortisone) and fluids and I was back home in four days.

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Comment from: WendyDavies, 25-34 Female (Caregiver) Published: March 13

My daughter has surgery induced Addison's. After being diagnosed with Cushing's disease she had to have both her adrenals removed giving her Addison's. Surgery was eight years ago. She has managed it pretty well although she has gone into Addison's crisis on several occasions. Recently she has fallen down the stairs three times in the past week so I am concerned that she is having minor blackouts causing the falls. She has an emergency appointment Monday to try and sort this out. Fingers crossed everything will be okay.

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