Living With Addisons - A Ben's Friends Patient Support Community

What is the Difference Between Primary and Secondary Addison's Disease


#1

Addison’s disease, also known as primary adrenal insufficiency and hypocortisolism, is a long-term endocrine disorder when adrenal glands steroid hormones. Symptoms generally come on slowly and may include abdominal pain, weakness, and weight loss. Darkening of the skin in certain areas may also occur. Under certain circumstances, an adrenal crisis may occur with low blood pressure, lower back pain and [loss of consciousness. An adrenal crisis can be triggered by stress, such as from an injury, surgery, or infection.

Addison’s disease arises from problems with the adrenal gland such that not enough of the steroid hormone cortisol and possibly aldosterone. are produced. Most often this is due to damage by the body’s own immune system Other causes include certain medications, sepsis, and bleeding into both adrenal glands.

Secondary Addison’s (adrenal insufficiency) is caused by not enough adrenocorticotropic hormone) (ACTH) (produced by the [pituitary gland)or CRH (produced by the hypothalamus. Despite this distinction, adrenal crises can happen in all forms of adrenal insufficiency

Addison’s disease affects about 0.9 to 1.4 per 10,000 people in the developed world. It occurs most frequently in middle-aged females. Secondary adrenal insufficiency is more common. Long-term outcomes with treatment are typically good.