Author: Jade Barajas
Addison’s disease is a disease characterized by progressive anemia, low blood pressure, great weakness, and bronze discoloration of the skin. It is caused by inadequate secretion of hormones by the adrenal cortex. As you know, JFK had Addison’s disease. It was caused by a rare autoimmune disease.
Cancer cells that spread from other parts of the body to the adrenal glands can also cause Addison’s disease. Addison’s disease is not contagious. Rarely, Addison’s disease runs in families. It may be due to genetic predisposition. In some cases, a person may not develop symptoms for months or even years.
Addison’s disease cannot be cured. It can be significantly improved with hormone replacement therapy and the avoidance of common triggers. If treated properly, Addison’s disease patients can be better assured of living a longer and healthy life. However, it can also cause death. Addison’s disease can cause skin darkening.
This disease was named after Dr. Thomas Addison. He discovered it in 1849. He is a British physician who first described the condition on the constitutional and local effects of the disease of the suprarenal capsules. All of Addison’s six original patients had tuberculosis of the adrenal gland.