Addison's Disease - Essay

1297 Words6 Pages
Anatomy & Physiology
Gerald McGraw
January 27, 2012

Addison’s Disease

A disorder that takes place when your body produces an insufficient amount of certain hormones that are produced by the adrenal glands is called Addison’s disease. With Addison’s disease, the adrenal glands do not produce enough cortisol and often times an insufficient amount of aldosterone as well. Doctors sometimes refer to Addison’s disease as the illness of chronic adrenal insufficiency, or also called hypocortisolism. “In 1855, Thomas Addison first described adrenal insufficiency, which was subsequently named after him. The basis of Addison disease has dramatically changed since its initial description. Originally, the disease usually resulted from
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A person should visit their doctor for the diagnosis of this disease if they have severe fatigue, muscle or joint pains, salt cravings, unintentional weight loss, and gastrointestinal problems, such as vomiting and abdominal pain and nausea. The cause of Addison’s disease is the result of the adrenal glands being damaged and producing insufficient amounts of cortisol and aldosterone as well. The adrenal glands are located just above the kidneys. Being part of the endocrine system, the adrenal glands produce hormones that give instructions to almost every organ and tissue in the body. The adrenal glands are made up of two different sections. The interior (medulla) which produces hormones similar to adrenaline. The (cortex) outer layer has the role of producing a group of hormones that are called corticosteroids; these include mineralocorticoids, glucocorticoids and the male sex hormones known as (androgens). Addison’s disease takes place when the cortex is damaged and does not produce hormones in adequate quantities. Doctors often refer to this condition that involves damage to the adrenal glands as a primary adrenal insufficiency. When the adrenal glands fail to produce adrenocortical hormones it is commonly a result of an autoimmune disease where the body is attacking itself. For an unknown reason the immune system sometimes views the
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