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June 23, 2007
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Addison Disease

What is Addison disease?

Addison disease is an hormonal (endocrine) disorder involving destruction of the adrenal glands (small glands adjacent to the kidneys). In patients with Addison disease, the diseased glands can no longer produce sufficient adrenal hormones (specifically cortisol) necessary for the normal daily body functions. The disease is characterized by weight loss, muscle weakness, fatigue, low blood pressure, and sometimes darkening of the skin in both exposed and non-exposed parts of the body.

Addison disease affects about 1 in 100,000 people. It occurs in all age groups and afflicts men and women equally.

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Next: How does Addison disease occur? >>

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