Addison's Disease

Addison's Disease

FREE Shipping in Canada

Buy Addison's Disease medication online from PocketPills with FREE prescription delivery and LOW dispensing fees. Renew your Addison's Disease prescription or schedule a consultation to receive a new prescription today!

We make it unbelievably easy to fill prescriptions, consult with pharmacists, and order medications online

What would you like to do?

info

Refill your prescription

Consult a doctor online

Upload your prescription

Get started by entering your phone Number

+1

By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Use & Privacy Policy
chevron_left

Facts

Causes

Symptoms and Complications

Making the Diagnosis

Treatment and Preventions

FAQs

chevron_right

Facts

Addison's disease, also known as primary adrenal insufficiency, is a rare condition that affects the body's hormonal activity. It is estimated that Addison's disease affects about 4 out of every 100,000 individuals, appearing in all age groups and affecting both genders equally. This disease is named after Dr. Thomas Addison, who discovered it in 1849.

Addison's disease occurs when the body's adrenal glands are not able to make enough of the hormones cortisol or aldosterone. Each hormone works differently and plays important roles in the human body.

Cortisol helps the body respond to stress. It also helps maintain blood pressure and blood sugar; slow the immune system's inflammatory response; and regulate the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Aldosterone is involved in keeping adequate blood pressure and water and salt balance in the body.

The disease usually presents slowly, worsening over time, and is often diagnosed during an incident of trauma or stress.

Causes

Addison's disease is usually caused by an autoimmune reaction, where the body attacks its own adrenal glands and prevents them from functioning properly. Other possible causes of Addison's disease include tuberculosis, trauma with bleeding into the adrenal glands, surgery, fungal infections, inflammation, and cancer. Addison's disease may also be caused by genetic disorders.

A similar condition called secondary adrenal insufficiency occurs when the pituitary gland does not make enough adrenocorticotropin (ACTH), a hormone that stimulates the adrenal glands to produce cortisol and aldosterone. Possible causes of secondary adrenal insufficiency include pituitary tumours, brain surgery, reduced blood flow to the brain, or brain infections. It can also be caused by suddenly stopping corticosteroid medications after taking them for a prolonged period of time. In this case, the problem is usually temporary.

Symptoms and Complications

People with this condition may experience chronic fatigue and muscle weakness. Other symptoms include:

  • salty food cravings
  • lack of appetite
  • nausea or vomiting
  • weight loss
  • constipation or diarrhea
  • darkened skin on exposed and unexposed areas of the body (also called hyperpigmentation) – this is a symptom of primary adrenal insufficiency
  • low blood pressure (which may lead to fainting)
  • low blood sugar
  • lower tolerance to cold

Making the Diagnosis

Physical examination, a discussion of symptoms, and medical tests are the best ways to determine if a person has Addison's disease.

The goal of the medical test is to first determine whether the levels of cortisol (in the blood) are sufficient, and then to identify the cause (primary or secondary) with the adrenocorticorticotropic hormone (ACTH) test and the corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH) stimulation test.

The ACTH stimulation test looks at the adrenal glands' ability to produce cortisol. Blood and urine cortisol samples are collected before and after an injection of synthetic (manmade) ACTH. Low or no cortisol in samples after the injection indicates Addison's disease or primary adrenal insufficiency.

When the response to the ACTH test is abnormal, a CRH stimulation test is helpful in determining the cause of adrenal insufficiency. CRH is produced by the hypothalamus in the brain to stimulate the pituitary gland to produce the ACTH, which then stimulates the adrenal gland to produce cortisol and aldosterone. A synthetic CRH is injected, and the blood cortisol is measured before and after the injection. Individuals with Addison's disease respond to the CRH test by producing high levels of ACTH but little cortisol. On the other hand, if CRH fails to stimulate the pituitary gland to produce ACTH, secondary adrenal insufficiency is suspected.

Other tests, such as imaging technologies (e.g., CT scan or MRI), are used to examine the size and shape of the adrenal glands, the pituitary gland, and the hypothalamus.

Treatment and Preventions

Hormone replacement therapy is the standard treatment for Addison's disease. In other words, these medications are supplementing or replacing the hormones that the adrenal glands are not making. Hydrocortisone or prednisone is used to replace cortisol, and fludrocortisone is used to replace aldosterone. The dose of each medication is adjusted to meet the individual's need.

Since the cortisol levels fluctuate throughout the day, multiple doses of hydrocortisone is required within 24 hours to best mimic the constant changes in this hormone level. Cortisol production normally increases under stressful situations – people with Addison's disease often require a higher dose of hydrocortisone when they are faced with acute physical stress, such as an infection or a surgery.

It is recommended that people with Addison's disease carry identification (e.g., MedicAlert® bracelet or necklace) to let medical staff know of their condition. In the event of an Addisonian crisis (also known as adrenal crisis) where low blood pressure, low blood glucose, and high potassium levels may cause unconsciousness, identification alerts the medical staff to urgently administer hydrocortisone and other required supportive treatment.


Frequently asked questions

How to buy Addison's Disease medications online?

You can purchase medications to treat Addison's Disease online here with us. Just find your medication above or search it here and complete your order. Need a prescription? Get a prescription online here from one of our Canadian doctors.

Can I get brand name Addison's Disease medications or chose to get generics?

Absolutely. You can always communicate your preference for brand or generic medications during your online consultation. As a policy, PocketPills advocates generic medications as more affordable and more likely to be covered by your insurance plan

Can I get a prescription on PocketPills for Addison's Disease?

Yes, our physicians can prescribe medications online during your consultation. Once you accept a prescription, you'll have the option to pick it up from any pharmacy or we'll deliver it right to your door at no additional cost. Click here to get an online prescription.

References

All material © 1996-2021 MediResource Inc. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Recent posts

08/07/2021

Stroke: Signs, Recovery, and Prevention With Clopidogrel

A stroke is a condition where the blood vessels supplying the brain are damaged, blocked, or ruptured. This results in a lack of blood and oxygen supply to a part…

READ MORE

chevron_right
08/07/2021

How To Help Someone With Multiple Sclerosis And Its Symptoms?

Finding out that your loved one has multiple sclerosis can be challenging to accept. Multiple sclerosis or MS is a long-standing autoimmune disorder where the body’s immune cells wrongly attack…

READ MORE

chevron_right
08/07/2021

How To Help Someone Suffering from Muscle Pain Or Spasms?

Muscle pain or cramps are relatively common, affecting about 20% of Canadians. Their intensity and severity are different for everyone suffering from it and depend on the underlying cause. Sometimes…

READ MORE

chevron_right
08/07/2021

What are over the counter medications, and how to buy them in Canada?

Table of Contents Over-the-counter (OTC) medications in a nutshellCan you buy over-the-counter medicine online?How to buy over the counter medicine with PocketPills?What are the most popular OTC medicines and why?What…

READ MORE

chevron_right
08/07/2021

Generic drugs in Canada: What are they & how to buy?

Table of Contents Generic drugs in a nutshellWhat is the difference between generic and brand-name drugs?What are the main advantages of generics over brand-name drugs?How to buy generic medications with…

READ MORE

chevron_right
08/07/2021

Brand medications in Canada: What are they & how to buy?

Table of Contents What are brand medications?What does brand mean in medicine?How to buy brand medications with PocketPills?Are brand medications both prescription and over the counter?What is the difference between…

READ MORE

chevron_right

Required in all British Columbia Pharmacies. Pharmacy practice issues may be reported to the College of Pharmacists of BC

Refill your prescription

You don't have to wait in line at the store to fill your prescriptions. You can have your doctor fax your prescription to them, input the details of your old pharmacy online, or take a picture of your prescription with the online pharmacy app.

Consult a doctor online

Skip the waiting room! See a Canadian doctor online, for free and get treated for any common condition on your phone.

*Note: Fully covered with a British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba or Ontario health card.

Upload your prescription

Upload a picture of your prescription(s), allowing us to receive an image of your prescription and begin the process of filling your prescription(s). However, we will require the original hard copy of your prescription to be sent to us in order to complete filling your prescription.