Addison's disease is a disorder that occurs when your body produces insufficient amounts of certain hormones produced by your adrenal glands. In Addison's disease, your adrenal glands produce too little cortisol and often insufficient levels of aldosterone as well. Addison's disease symptoms usually develop slowly, often over several months, and may include Muscle weakness and fatigue, Weight loss and decreased appetite, Darkening of your skin (hyperpigmentation), Low blood pressure, even fainting, Salt craving, Low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia), Nausea, diarrhoea or vomiting, Muscle or joint pains, Irritability, Depression Body hair loss or sexual dysfunction in women
Your doctor will talk to you first about your medical history and your signs and symptoms. If your doctor thinks that you may have Addison's disease, you may undergo some of the following tests: Measuring your blood levels of sodium, potassium, cortisol and ACTH gives your doctor an initial indication of whether adrenal insufficiency may be causing your signs and symptoms. A blood test can also measure antibodies associated with autoimmune Addison's disease. ACTH stimulation test, Insulin-induced hypoglycaemia test.
Addison's disease results when your adrenal glands are damaged, producing insufficient amounts of the hormone cortisol and often aldosterone as well. These glands are located just above your kidneys. As part of your endocrine system, they produce hormones that give instructions to virtually every organ and tissue in your body. Your adrenal glands are composed of two sections.