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What causes Addison's disease?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Addison's disease can be caused by almost anything that damages or destroys the adrenal glands. Actually, the exact cause of the disease is unknown in about 70 percent of people with Addison's disease. In those cases, there is usually some kind of autoimmune reaction in which the body's immune system attacks the adrenal glands. In other cases, Addison's disease may be caused when the adrenal glands are damaged by cancers, infections, or other diseases. In children, the disease can be caused by genetic problems with the adrenal glands.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.