From the United Kingdom:
My niece has Addison's disease as well as diabetes. Does the Addisons greatly affect the diabetes or does the diabetes affect the Addisons? She has had several 'major' hypo attacks which have left her hospitalised; are these related and if so how?
Addison's disease affects the adrenal glands.
Cortisone is the name of the replacement hormone used to treat Addisons. (Sometimes the replacement is called cortisol; although technically this is a different version of the hormone used for replacement therapy).
When the amount of the hormone is too low the patient feels tired, and may have low blood pressure (hypotension), and low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Severe cases can cause death if untreated.
Your niece's doctor should explain to her and her parents about the levels of the hormone cortisol and the treatment. It is actually quite easy to titrate the cortisol dose, except for stress when larger doses are needed. The doctor can tell them when to use stress doses of cortisol.
Original posting 3 Jan 1999
Posted to Other Illnesses
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:00
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