Illnesses causing Hyper-pigmentation- Addison’s disease

September 16, 2010

in Uncategorized

Addison’s disease is a rare hormonal disorder which affects some individuals. It is believed that the disease affects 1 out of every 100,000 people in the world,  and it is an infection that occur in all age groups and affect both men and women alike. One of the symptoms of the addison’s disease infection is the darkening of both the exposed and non-exposed body parts, low blood pressure, fatigue, muscle weakness and many others.

Addison’s disease occur especially when the adrenal glands cannot produce enough Hormone Cortisol and aldosterone , hence the addison’s disease is sometimes referred to as Hypocortisolism or Chronic adrenal insufficiency.  Cortisol is an important hormone which helps the body respond positively to stress, it also helps the body maintain a steady blood pressure as well as cardiovascular functions, it is critical in aiding the immune system’s slow response to inflammatory problems, It helps a great deal in the body’s metabolism of food components such as fats, proteins and carbohydrates, and it helps regulate the balancing of Insulin for the breakdown of sugar into energy.

The amount of cortisol produced in the body is always balanced due to its important functions in the body. The production of cortisol is also regulated by the brain as well as the pituitary gland, however , failure to produce the sufficient cortisol in the body often result from the gradual destruction of the adrenal cortex, and in some other instances, other glands that work hand-in-hand with the adrenal gland will also be affected .

The symptoms of Addison’s disease begin gradually, worsened fatigue, loss of appetite, and weight loss are some of the earliest symptoms of the infection. The blood pressure of the patient becomes so low and that will cause dizziness. Drastic changes also occur to the skin of an individual who suffer from this infection as dark tanning of the skin sets in. The darkening of the skin are most noticeable on the scars, skin folds, as well as some pressure points such as elbows, lips, knuckles, toes, and the mucous membrane.

Irritability and depression are some other common symptoms of the advanced stage of addison’s disease. The individual’s craving for salty foods become pronounced as the body would have lost considerably high quantities of salt at this stage.  Substituting the hormones which the adrenal gland is not producing in the body is one of the ways of treating Addison’s disease.

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