(Adrenal Insufficiency; Adrenocortical Hypofunction; Chronic Adrenocortical Insufficiency; Hypoadrenalism)
DefinitionAddison's disease is a rare disorder of the adrenal glands. With Addison's, the adrenal glands do not produce enough of the hormones cortisol and aldosterone.
|Addison's occurs because of damage to the cortex.|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
CausesAddison's disease is the result of gradual damage to the outer layer of the adrenal gland. This damage may be caused by:
- The body's own immune system attacking the gland—known as an autoimmune disease.
- Bleeding within the adrenal glands—related to the use of anticoagulant medications and shock
- Surgical complication
- Conditions that are present at birth or due to genetic factors such as enzyme defects and familial glucocorticoid insufficiency
- Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection associated with AIDS
- Fungal infections, including:
- Cancer including metastases from:
- Medications such as ketoconazole or etomidate
- Radiation treatment
- Chronic illness, including:
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