Addison’s disease is an autoimmune condition where the body’s immune system erroneously attacks the adrenal glands degrading the external layer. The condition occurs in only about 1-person per 100,000 but happens at all age levels in men and women. Addison’s disease develops when the adrenal glands produce too little cortisol and inadequate levels of aldosterone, severely impacting your health. The adverse condition is often confused with adrenal insufficiency and if left untreated, can be life-threatening.
The adrenal glands are positioned just above the kidneys. When these organs are damaged, it affects your endocrine system, disrupting hormone production. Hormones are vital and used to signal instructions to every tissue and organ in the body. The interior of your adrenal glands, known as the medulla, generate adrenaline hormones while the outer layer, known as the cortex, produces corticosteroids. Certain corticosteroids, glucocorticoids, and mineralocorticoids are essential for life.
Treatment for Addison’s disease requires hormone replacement therapy to balance the body’s levels of adrenaline and return to a healthy baseline level. Here are 12 signs of Addison’s disease, if you display any of the symptoms, consult with a medical professional.
1. Feeling Tired All the Time
Feeling fatigued is a terrible mental and physiological state in which to live. It’s challenging trying to keep your eyes open when all you want to do is fall asleep on your feet. Chronic exhaustion is the most noticeable and incapacitating symptom of Addison’s disease.
Diminished production of adrenaline-like hormones in the medulla area of the adrenal gland takes its toll on your energy levels. A sensation of mental numbness is frequently used to describe the feeling of extreme fatigue felt by people living with Addison’s. Life eventually becomes laborious, and you may find it challenging to handle emotions of joy and happiness.
Fatigue can be treated by a medical professional using HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy). Your doctor administers medication to deliver exogenous hormones, such as cortisol and corticosteroids, to artificially restore hormone levels in the blood. The treatment shows an immediate effect, but you may need to wait for a few weeks to feel fully restored.