The symptoms of Addison diseases can appear gradually or suddenly depending on the progression of the disease. Addison diseases occurs when your body produces less than the needed amounts of cortisol and aldosterone. The disease can occur in anyone regardless of age, sex, weight or height. The treatment options for Addison diseases vary based on the severity of the disease. In most instances, a doctor will recommend the use or hormones to replace the cortisol and aldosterone needed for your body to function. The treatment for Addison diseases is lifetime, but necessary to sustain your quality of life. By following doctor's orders, the effects of Addison diseases can be minimized and you can avoid experiencing some symptoms of the diseases.
Symptoms of Addison diseases include muscle weakness, weight loss, and low blood pressure. The low blood pressure can often lead fainting. Other commonly experienced symptoms of the disease include darkening of the skin, muscle pains and depression. Darkening of the skin can cover the body and is most noticeable around scars. It is also visible around skin folds, the knees, knuckles and other pressure points on the body. Irritability may also occur. Many people will not experience symptoms until the latter stages of the disease. The symptoms usually develop slowly over a period of time that can extend into months. Some sufferers of Addison diseases have reported also experiencing salt cravings, nausea and vomiting. Due to the nature of the disease, low blood pressure or hypoglycemia may also be experienced.
Acute Adrenal Failure
Some sufferers of Addison diseases may have a sudden onslaught of symptoms. The symptoms are the signs that acute adrenal failure has occurred. Acute adrenal failure or addisonian crisis is marked by low blood pressure, high potassium, and pain in the lower back. The pain experienced from Addison diseases may also extend to the abdomen and legs. After acute adrenal failure has occurred, severe diarrhea and vomiting may also be experienced. Both symptoms of Addison diseases can lead to dehydration that will require hospitalization to treat. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, loss of consciousness may also occur.
When to Seek Help
If you have not been diagnosed with Addison diseases, you should seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms. The earlier you seek help, the more likely your doctor can map out a treatment course. Your doctor can conduct diagnostic exams to determine if your symptoms are the result of Addison diseases or another condition. If you have already been diagnosed with Addison diseases, seek medical attention if your symptoms worsen or you experience the signs and symptoms of acute adrenal failure. Failure to seek medical help as soon as the symptoms have worsened could prove to be fatal. Once a person with Addison diseases enters addisonian crisis or acute adrenal failure, they are in extreme danger. The life-threatening condition is often treated with hydrocortisone, sugar and saline solution. The treatments are designed to return your body's sugar, blood pressure and potassium levels to acceptable levels until the crisis is over.