Addison’s disease (Adrenal Insufficiency) – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment

Adrenals glands are part of the endocrine system. This system is responsible for secreting hormones. These hormones regulate metabolism, growth, reproduction and other processes. These small glands are just above kidneys. Adrenal glands produce hormones that respond to stress. These hormones also serve the purpose of regulating water and salt, and blood pressure.

Cortisol is one of these hormones. It plays a key role in digestion, heart function and many other functions. Mineralocorticoids maintain potassium – sodium balance in the body. Male sex hormones Androgens influence libido, muscle mass and also cause sexual developments in men.

What Causes Adrenal Insufficiency?

Adrenal glands fail due to following:

  • Adrenal gland infections
  • Tuberculosis
  • Cancer spreading to adrenal glands
  • Adrenal gland bleeding
  • Corticosteroids (given to treat arthritis, asthma and a few other chronic conditions)

A person suffers from Addison’s disease when adrenal glands do not produce these hormones in adequate amount. 30 to 50 years old men and women are at higher risk. Addison’s disease is also known as adrenal insufficiency.

Symptoms of Addison’s Disease

Symptoms of this disease are vague. This makes it difficult to diagnose the Addison’s disease. However, if a person experiences following symptoms then he should visit the nearest doctor for Adrenal saliva test:

Muscle weakness or muscle pain Joint pain
Fatigue Fever
Diarrhea, Nausea and/or vomiting Loss of appetite
Fainting or lightheadedness Irritability, depression or anxiety
Hyperpigmentation (darkening of skin) Pain in lower back, legs or abdomen (Pain is severe and sudden)
Slurred speech or confusion Salt food cravings
Seizures Sluggish Movements

adrenal saliva test

Tests for Addison’s Disease Diagnosis 

Adrenal saliva test or adrenal insufficiency test is an efficient test for the diagnosis of Addison’s disease. The adrenal saliva test is also known by some other names including adrenal fatigue saliva test and adrenal fatigue test. This test measures the level of minerals and hormone in the body. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or Computerized Tomography Scan (CT Scan) is used to see the size of adrenal glands of the patient.

A patient suffering from Addison’s disease is given prescription hormones. These prescription hormones include cortisone acetate, hydrocortisone or prednisone. Fludrocortisones is given when the body is not producing sufficient amount of hormones. These hormones are usually given in the form of pills. Dehydroepiandrosterone improves sex drive and mood in women suffering from this disease. Once this disease is confirmed after adrenal saliva test; a patient has to take these pills for the rest of life.

Therefore, do not ignore these symptoms and find a clinic for an Adrenal saliva test.

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