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Dr. Daghari Zakieh Jasem*


Addison's disease is a rare condition. Only one in 100,000 people has it. One way the body keeps itself in balance is by using chemical messengers called hormones to regulate various functions. Addison's disease is a disorder that occurs when your body produces insufficient amounts of certain hormones produced by adrenal glands. In Addison's disease, adrenal glands produce too little cortisol and insufficient levels of aldosterone as well. Also called adrenal insufficiency, Addison's disease occurs in all age groups and affects both sexes. Addison's disease can be life-threatening. Just above each of your kidneys is a small adrenal gland. These glands make hormones essential to a healthy life. When they don't make enough of these hormones, Addison's disease is the result.It can happen at any age to either men or women. In Addison's disease, the adrenal glands don't make enough of a hormone called cortisol, or less often, a related hormone called aldosterone. That's why doctors call the illness ''chronic adrenal insufficiency,'' or hypocortisolism. Cortisol's most important function is to help the body respond to stress. It also helps regulate the body's use of protein, carbohydrates, and fat; helps maintain blood pressure and cardiovascular function; and controls inflammation. Aldosterone helps kidneys regulate the amount of salt and water in your body -- the main way to regulate blood volume and keep blood pressure under control. When aldosterone levels drop too low, kidneys cannot keep salt and water levels in balance. This makes blood pressure drop.

Keywords: Addisons Disease, Hypocortism, Kidney.

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