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adrenal hypofunction (addison's disease)

Adrenal hypofunction is an endocrine or hormonal disorder.  Addison's disease occurs when the adrenal glands do not produce enough of the hormone cortisol and, in some cases, the hormone aldosterone. The disease is also called adrenal insufficiency, or hypocortisolism that is characterized by weight loss, muscle weakness, fatigue, low blood pressure, and sometimes darkening of the skin in both exposed and nonexposed parts of the body.


Symptoms (general) may include:


  • Type 1:
    • underactive parathyroid glands
    •  slow sexual development
    •  pernicious anemia
    •  chronic candida infections
    •  chronic active hepatitis

  • Type II:
    • underactive thyroid gland
    • slow sexual development
    • diabetes

Causes may include:

  • disorder of the adrenal glands
  • gradual destruction of the outer layer of the adrenal glands by the body's own immune system
  • autoimmune disorders
  • tuberculosis
  • cancer cells that spread from another part of the body

Treatment may include:


Types include:


  • Type I - occurs in children
  • Type 2 – Schmidt’s syndrome

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Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton Hamilton. Phone: 609-586-7900 Physician Referral: 609-584-5900.

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