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A 39-year-old member asked:

Why does one have low cortisol and high potassium levels in addison's disease?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Cayce Jehaimi
Pediatric Endocrinology 21 years experience
See below: Addison's disease is a state of low cortisol or hypocortisolism. In addition to cortsiol, the adrenal galnd also produces a very important hormone called aldosterone. The latter is responsible for reabsorbing sodium from the urine in exchange for potassium. If such hormone is not produced in sufficient quantity (either isolated or in conjunction with cortisol), potassium levels go up.
Dr. Alok Agrawal
Nephrology and Dialysis 34 years experience
Decreased exchange: In addisons disease there is decreased production of cortisol and aldosterone. These are responsible for decreased potassium excretion in urine and high levels of potassium in blood.

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Similar questions

A 44-year-old member asked:

Why do people with addison's disease have low cortisol and high potassium?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. David Geffner
Endocrinology 54 years experience
Several reasons: Low cortisol is the definition of adrenal insufficiency. High k is due to a combination of aldosterone deficiency in true primary ai (addison's) and dehydration.
A 32-year-old member asked:

Why would someone with addison's disease have low cortisol and high potassium?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Jack Rubin
Nephrology and Dialysis 48 years experience
Addison's disease: Patients with addison's disease have a low cortisol level since the adrenal glands do not produce it. They have high potassium levels because their adrenal glands do not produce aldosterone, which helps the body get rid of potassium in the kidney.

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Last updated Dec 31, 2014

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