Question about Addison's disease : LUSENET : ER Discussions : One Thread

Does anyone know about this disease? I looked it up in a medical book and it sounded pretty serious. It said renal failure could occur if a person was not treated right away and that you would have to take meds for the rest of your life. Chen said Rambo would be fine in a couple of days and it didn't seem to be serious.

-- amanda (, March 27, 2000


This is the low-down on Addison's: it's a defficiency of adrenocorticosteriods. In plain language, the adrenal glands aren't doing their job. The person has to take supplementary hormones for the rest of his/her life and monitor blood pressure frequently to warn of impending Addison's crisis - a complication which potentially involves vascular collapse and death. With treatment the prognosis is excellent. Reportedly JFK and Abe Lincoln had Addison's, so you can see that normal function is possible. The part I don't get is that people with Addison's are supposed to avoid exposure to infections since infection can precipitate Addison's crisis. That would seem to be pretty difficult for a ICU nurse!

I happened to have the test from Hell on endocrine disorders the day of the epi, so I was brushed up on it - that being said, I couldn't figure out what they were getting at until the end.

-- Chava (, March 27, 2000.

My cousin was diagnosed with Addison's when he was 16. He leads a very normal life but will be on medication every day for the rest of his life to ensure this. I know when he was diagnosed he went to the doctor because he was lethargic for several weeks. He has a hard time putting on weight even though he eats constantly. That seems to be the biggest effect it has on him. Hope that helps!

-- Becky (, March 30, 2000.

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