You are reading a NORD Rare Disease Report Abstract. NORD’s full collection of reports on over 1200 rare diseases is available to subscribers (click here for details). We are now also offering two full rare disease reports per day to visitors on our Web site.
NORD is very grateful to Maria I. New, MD, Professor of Pediatrics and Human Genetics and Director of Adrenal Steroid Disorders Program, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, for assistance in the preparation of this report.
Synonyms of Addison's Disease
- chronic adrenocortical insufficiency
- primary adrenal insufficiency
- primary failure adrenocortical insufficiency
- No subdivisions found.
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.
Addison's Disease Resources
NORD Member Organizations:
(To become a member of NORD, an organization must meet established criteria and be approved by the NORD Board of Directors. If you're interested in becoming a member, please contact Susan Olivo, Membership Manager, at email@example.com.)
The information in NORD’s Rare Disease Database is for educational purposes only. It should never be used for diagnostic or treatment purposes. If you have questions regarding a medical condition, always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional. NORD’s reports provide a brief overview of rare diseases. For more specific information, we encourage you to contact your personal physician or the agencies listed as “Resources” on this report.
The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) web site, its databases, and the contents thereof are copyrighted by NORD. No part of the NORD web site, databases, or the contents may be copied in any way, including but not limited to the following: electronically downloading, storing in a retrieval system, or redistributing for any commercial purposes without the express written permission of NORD. Permission is hereby granted to print one hard copy of the information on an individual disease for your personal use, provided that such content is in no way modified, and the credit for the source (NORD) and NORD’s copyright notice are included on the printed copy. Any other electronic reproduction or other printed versions is strictly prohibited.
Copyright 1985, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2012
NORD's Rare Disease Information Database is copyrighted and may not be published without the written consent of NORD.