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What is Addison's disease?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Addison's disease, also called primary adrenal insufficiency, is a hormonal disorder in which the adrenal glands are underactive, which leads to a shortage of certain hormones. The lack of these hormones affects many aspects of the body, especially the ability to control blood pressure and react to stress. It also changes the body's balance of water, sodium, and potassium. Because of these physical effects, Addison's disease causes a person to feel weak or dizzy when standing up after sitting for a long time. It can also lead to severe dehydration and a weakened immune system. The disease can be tough to diagnose because it can be caused by a variety of conditions that damage the adrenal glands, including cancers, infections, and autoimmune reactions.

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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.