Skip to content
    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Addison's Disease

    Important
    It is possible that the main title of the report Addison's Disease is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

    Synonyms

    • chronic adrenocortical insufficiency
    • primary adrenal insufficiency
    • primary failure adrenocortical insufficiency

    Disorder Subdivisions

    • None

    General Discussion

    Addison's disease is a rare disorder characterized by inadequate production of the steroid hormones cortisol and aldosterone by the outer layer of cells of the adrenal glands (adrenal cortex). The symptoms of classic Addison's disease, also known as primary adrenal insufficiency, result from the insufficient production of these two hormones. Major symptoms include fatigue, gastrointestinal abnormalities, and changes in skin color (pigmentation). Behavior and mood changes may also occur in some individuals with Addison's disease. Increased excretion of water and low blood pressure (hypotension) can lead to extremely low concentrations of water in the body (dehydration). The symptoms of Addison's usually develop slowly, but sometimes can develop rapidly, a serious condition called acute adrenal failure. In most cases, Addison's disease occurs when the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the adrenal glands causing slowly progressive damage to the adrenal cortex.

    Resources

    National Adrenal Diseases Foundation
    505 Northern Bloulevard
    Great Neck, NY 11021
    USA
    Tel: (516)487-4992
    Fax: (516)829-5710
    Email: nadfmail@nadf.us
    Internet: http://www.nadf.us/

    Hypoparathyroidism Association, Inc.
    PO Box 2258
    Idaho Falls, ID 83403
    Tel: (866)213-0394
    Fax: (205)524-3857
    Tel: (866)213-0394
    Email: hpth@hypopara.org. hpth@hypopara.org. hpth@hypopara.org. hpth@hypopara.org
    Internet: http://www.hypopara.org

    American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc.
    22100 Gratiot Ave.
    Eastpointe, MI 48021
    Tel: (586)776-3900
    Fax: (586)776-3903
    Tel: (800)598-4668
    Email: aarda@aarda.org
    Internet: http://www.aarda.org/

    NIH/National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney Diseases
    Office of Communications & Public Liaison
    Bldg 31, Rm 9A06
    31 Center Drive, MSC 2560
    Bethesda, MD 20892-2560
    Tel: (301)496-3583
    Email: NDDIC@info.niddk.nih.gov
    Internet: http://www2.niddk.nih.gov/

    MedicAlert Foundation International
    2323 Colorado Avenue
    Turlock, CA 95382
    USA
    Tel: (209)669-2401
    Fax: (209)669-2456
    Tel: (888)633-4298
    Email: Inquiries@medicalert.org
    Internet: http://www.medicalert.org

    Hormone Health Network
    8401 Connecticut Avenue
    Suite 900
    Chevy Chase, MD 20815-5817
    Fax: (310)941-0259
    Tel: (800)467-6663
    Email: hormone@endo-society.org
    Internet: http://www.hormone.org/

    Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
    PO Box 8126
    Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
    Tel: (301)251-4925
    Fax: (301)251-4911
    Tel: (888)205-2311
    TDD: (888)205-3223
    Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

    Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Support Group
    PO Box 66
    Waihi
    Hauraki, 3641
    New Zealand
    Tel: 6433584507
    Fax: 6433584506
    Tel: 0800224698
    Email: CAHNZ@snap.net.nz
    Internet: http://www.cah.org.nz/

    Addison's Disease Self-Help Group (UK)
    P.O. Box 1083
    Guildford, Surrey, GU1 9HX
    United Kingdom
    Email: info@addisons.org.uk
    Internet: http://www.addisons.org.uk

    Autoimmune Information Network, Inc.
    PO Box 4121
    Brick, NJ 08723
    Fax: (732)543-7285
    Email: autoimmunehelp@aol.com

    AutoImmunity Community
    Email: moderator@autoimmunitycommunity.org
    Internet: http://www.autoimmunitycommunity.org

    For a Complete Report:

    This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

    The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

    It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

    This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

    For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

    Last Updated: 6/28/2012
    Copyright 1985, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2012 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

    WebMD Medical Reference from the National Organization for Rare Disorders

    Last Updated: May 28, 2015
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

    Hot Topics

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    diabetes supply kit
    Pack and prepare.
    Balding man in mirror
    Treatments & solutions.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    acupuncture needle on shoulder
    10 tips to look and feel good.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    woman biting a big ice cube
    Habits that wreck your teeth.
    apple slices with peanut butter
    What goes best with workouts?
    Pink badge on woman chest to support breat cancer
    Myths and facts.

    Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

    It's nothing to sneeze at.

    Loading ...

    Sending your email...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    Women's Health Newsletter

    Find out what women really need.