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Disease Name:Addison's disease
Addison's disease
Alternate Names:Adrenal insufficiency
Virus Name:Causes of adrenal lack can be grouped by the way in which they cause the adrenals to make insufficient cortisol. These are adrenal dysgenesis (the gland has not formed adequately during development), impaired steroidogenesis (the gland is present but is biochemically unable to produce cortisol) or adrenal destruction (disease processes leading to the gland being injured).
Treatment:Treatment for Addison's disease involves replacing the missing cortisol, regularly in the form of hydrocortisone tablets, in a dosing regimen that mimics the physiological concentration of cortisol. Alternatively one quarter as much prednisolone may be used for equal glucocorticoid effect as hydrocortisone. Treatment must frequently be continued for life. In addition, many patients require fludrocortisone as replacement for the missing aldosterone. Caution must be exercised when the person with Addison's disease becomes unwell, has surgery or becomes pregnant. Medication may need to be enlarged during times of stress, infection, or injury.
Description:Addison's disease (also known as chronic adrenal insufficiency, hypocortisolism or hypocorticism) is a rare endocrine disorder in which the adrenal glands do not create enough steroid hormones (glucocorticoids and often mineralocorticoids). It may develop in children, adults or some species of animals, and may occur as the result of many underlying causes. The condition is named after Dr. Thomas Addison, the British physician who first described the condition in his 1849 publication On the Constitutional and Local Effects of illness of the Suprarenal Capsules. The adjective "Addisonian" is used for features of the situation, as well as patients with Addison's disease.

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