Addison’s disease: Symptoms & Signs, Diagnosis & Tests

Symptoms & Signs

* Changes in blood pressure or heart rate
* Chronic diarrhea
* Darkening of the skin – patchy skin color
* Unnaturally dark color in some places
* Paleness
* Extreme weakness
* Fatigue
* Loss of appetite
* Mouth lesions on the inside of a cheek (buccal mucosa)
* Nausea and vomiting
* Salt craving
* Slow, sluggish movement
* Unintentional weight loss

Diagnosis & Tests

Tests may show:

* Increased potassium
* Low blood pressure
* Low cortisol level
* Low serum sodium
* Normal sex hormone levels

Other tests may include:

* Abdominal x-ray
* Abdominal CT scan

This disease may also change the results of the following tests:

* 17-hydroxycorticosteroids
* 17-ketosteroids
* 24-hour urinary aldosterone excretion rate
* Aldosterone
* Blood eosinophil count
* CO2
* Cortrosyn stimulation test
* Potassium test
* Renin
* Urine cortisol

Addison’s disease: Overview, Causes

Addison’s disease: Symptoms & Signs, Diagnosis & Tests

Addison’s disease: Treatment

Review Date : 11/25/2009
Reviewed By : Ari S. Eckman, MD, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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