Aldosterone regulates the salt and water levels which affect blood pressure and blood volume. Hpathy) in the United State, 40-60 people out of every 1 million will have Addisons disease. (WebMD) Some risk factors for Addisons disease include autoimmune diseases such as: Chronic thyroiditis, Dermatis herpetiformis, Graves disease, Hypoparathyroidism, Hypopituitarism, Myasthenia gravis, Pernicious anemia, Testicular dysfunction, Type I diabetes, and Vitiligo. (A. D. A. M. ) The symptoms of Addison s disease usually begin gradually. Some characteristics of the disease are chronic fatigue, muscle weakness, loss of appetite, and unusual weight loss.
About fifty percent of the time, one will notice nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Other more serious symptoms include low blood pressure that falls further when standing, causing dizziness or fainting, and skin changes with areas of hyperpigmentation, or dark tanning, covering exposed and nonexposed parts of the body. (MedicineNet. com) Your doctor may suspect you of having Addisons disease from your medical history and physical examination and if blood tests show high potassium, low sodium, and high levels of certain types of white blood cells.
If your doctor does suspect Addisons disease, you will have another blood test to determine your cortisol level. If necessary, X-rays, such as a CT scan or MRI, can also be used to determine damages to the adrenal glands. (WebMD) Since Addisons disease is caused by the lack of cortisol and aldosterone, the treatment is to replace these with similar steroids. Cortisol is usually replaced orally by hydrocortisone or cortisone acetate divided into morning and afternoon doses. Aldosterone is replaced by an aldosterone-like synthetic steroid, fludrocortisone tablets given once daily.
Since Addisons disease is a chronic condition, daily replacement of medication can never be stopped. Patients with Addisons disease should also be taught to treat minor illnesses with extra salt, fluids and extra hydrocortisone. This is especially important if fever, vomiting or diarrhea is present. (Margulies) Some complications may occur if you take too little or too much adrenal hormone supplement. (Memorial Healthcare System) These complications include Hypoglycaemia and adrenal crisis. NHS Choices) Some homeopathic remedies proven to work for this disease include Thuja, Natrum muriaticum, Belladonna, Calcarea carbonica, Iodine, and Phosphorus. But the most homeopathic of all of these remedies is Arsenicum. (Hpathy)
But the prognosis for patients with Addisons disease who are appropriately treated with hydrocortisone and aldosterone is excellent. These patients can expect to enjoy a normal lifespan. Without treatment, or with substandard treatment, patients are always at risk of developing Addisonian crisis which can be fatal.
You should call your health care provider if: you are unable to keep your medication down due to vomiting, you have stress such as infection, injury, trauma, or dehydration, your weight increases over a short period of time, your ankles begin to swell, or you develop other new symptoms. (A. D. A. M. Inc. ) There are, sad to say, no guidelines for preventing Addisons disease. But if you think you are at risk, you should talk to your doctor before its too late. (Baptist Health Systems) Addisons disease can become serious and life threatening, so you should stay alert of signs and see a physician annually.