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A 34-year-old member asked:

what is primary adrenal insufficiency (addisons disease)?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Vered Lewy-Weiss
A Verified Doctoranswered
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Adrenal cortex: The adrenal cortex makes lots of hormones. Very important are cortisol and aldosterone which help maintain life and salt balance. Addison's disease is caused by adrenal cortex damage rendering it unable to make these hormones anymore, mostly autoimmune cause in us. Patients often have a bronzed look. Hydrocortisone replacement is a lifesaving necessity. Fludrocortisone may also become necessary.
Dr. Vered Lewy-Weiss
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
Often, yes: Addison's disease is an autoimmune disease which harms the cortex of the adrenal glands. However, anything that damages the adrenal cortex can also cause primary adrenal insufficiency.

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A 32-year-old member asked:

What is the difference between addison's disease and primary adrenal insufficiency ?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Vered Lewy-Weiss
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
Can be the same: Addison's disease is primary adrenal insufficiency and implies that the immune system is attacking the part of the adrenal gland which makes cortisol. Primary adrenal insufficiency doesn't have to be autoimmune, however. Secondary adrenal insufficiency is when the pituitary gland doesn't make enough acth, a hormone which signals the adrenal gland to make cortisol.

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Last updated Jun 25, 2014
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