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How does stress affect someone with Addison's disease?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Stress has a pretty significant effect on people with Addison's disease. Addison's disease causes a shortage of cortisol, which is a hormone responsible for helping the body cope with stress. So when people with Addison's disease experience stressful events-such as illness, injury, surgery, or psychological stress-they could go into Addisonian crisis. This means that they could have symptoms like severe muscle pain, vomiting, very low blood pressure, and even loss of consciousness or shock. If people with Addison's know they're putting their bodies through stress, whether it's psychological or emotional, they should talk to their doctors about adjusting medication levels to help their bodies cope with the additional strain.

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