What is Addison’s Disease?
Addison’s Disease is a rare and destructive disorder that affects the endocrine and hormone system. It occurs in all age groups, and can affect both men and women equally. Up to 4 of every 100,000 people have Addison’s Disease. This disease occurs when the adrenal glands do not produce enough cortisol which is part of the class of hormones called glucocorticoids which affect almost every organ in your body. Cortisol helps to provide nutrients to your body, as well as regulating your fat, protein, and carbohydrate intake. It also raises blood sugar levels, and even helps your body respond to stress which is one of the most important functions.
Cortisol made naturally in your body is precisely balanced because it is regulated by the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. When this hormone becomes unbalanced it can start to affect all aspects of your body. The reason your body does not produce cortisol can be because of many different reasons. It may be an issue with your adrenal glands themselves, or your pituitary gland simply isn’t working right. The symptoms of Addison’s Disease can be seen in routine checkups or in emergency instances, so it is only then that you will know if you indeed have Addison’s Disease.
The symptoms include:
- Weight loss
- Muscle weakness
- Low blood pressure
- Hyper-pigmentation of the skin or gums
As the condition worsens, people with this disease can have major problems with other illnesses and other disorders because of the weakened immune system. The problem with this disease is that many of these symptoms start small and only are noticed when the symptoms become very acute which could mean the disease is very advanced. At this point, women can stop having their periods, you can have abnormal heart rhythms, severe pain in the abdomen, uncontrollable vomiting, kidney failure, and peripheral vascular shut down. These are all very serious and can be life threatening.
Although there are some conventional treatments for Addison’s Disease, more often than not people are turning towards herbal remedies. Natural remedies are gentle and effective at the same time. They do not harm your body as conventional medicine does, and they create no side effects since they are natural. There are many herbs that can word towards helping you with the disease such as Borage, Siberian Ginseng, and Huang Qi. They help to support the adrenal glands so that they can function better and fight daily stressors that can take a toll on your body. Ginger can also be wonderful for help with the nausea and vomiting you may experience. Even licorice can enhance the flow of certain minerals through your body. Other natural remedies for Addison’s Disease are to eat healthy and do a form of meditation such as Yoga or Tai Chi.