Lightning Learning: Addison's Disease
When the adrenal glands produce insufficient adrenal hormones, aka hypoadrenalism or primary adrenal insufficiency.
Infections such as TB or HIV
Signs & Symptoms can be non-specific:
Exhaustion, weakness, weight loss, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, abdo pains, headache, hypotension and deep skin pigmentation.
Patients require lifelong daily steroids, and may require extra when unwell.
In UK 1-in-10,000 people have Addison’s disease, with 300-350 new cases diagnosed each year. It is rare but potentially fatal. Addison’s crisis can lead to coma & death. Prompt treatment with steroids & IV fluids is needed.
Signs & symptoms of crisis:
Drowsiness & coma
Tachycardia or bradycardia
Abdominal pain and tenderness & pain in lower back pain and legs
Severe D&V leading to dehydration