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Addison's Disease Directory

Addison's disease is a rare condition in which the adrenal glands, located near the kidneys, don't make enough of a hormone called cortisol, which helps the body use protein, carbohydrates, and fat, helps maintain blood pressure and cardiovascular function, and controls inflammation. In another form of the disease, a pituitary gland hormone "turns off" cortisol production. The most common cause is when the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the adrenal glands. Other causes include infection like HIV, cancer, surgery, radiation therapy, and heredity. Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, weight loss, darkened skin, a craving for salt, and diarrhea. Treatment includes medicine to replace the cortisol and aldosterone the body can't make on its own. Follow the links below to find WebMD's comprehensive coverage about Addison's disease, its causes, symptoms, treatment, and much more.

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