Because the symptoms of Addison's disease progress slowly, they are usually ignored until a stressful event like an illness or an accident causes them to become worse. This is called an addisonian crisis, or acute adrenal insufficiency. In most cases, symptoms are severe enough that patients seek medical treatment before a crisis occurs. However, in about 25 percent of patients, symptoms of Addison's disease first appear during an addisonian crisis.
An addisonian crisis can cause life-threatening complications unless immediate treatment is provided.
(Click Addisonian Crisis Symptoms for more information about symptoms of an addisonian crisis.)
(Click Addisonian Crisis Treatment for more information about treatments for an addisonian crisis.)
People with Addison's disease should learn as much as possible about their disease and about situations that can cause a hormone deficiency. People should also talk with their friends and family about Addison's disease. Recognizing early warning signs of an addisonian crisis (and learning about ways to minimize the effects of such a crisis) will help people live healthy lives.
(Click Living With Addison's Disease for more information.)