Diagnosing Addison's Disease
Diagnosing Addison's disease in its early stages can be extremely difficult. Because the symptoms of Addison's disease appear very gradually, it is important to consult your doctor immediately if any symptoms develop. A diagnosis of Addison's disease is typically made through laboratory tests.
In its early stages, it can be difficult to make an Addison's disease diagnosis. When diagnosing Addison's disease, the doctor will ask a number of questions about matters such as:
- Personal and family medical history
- The symptoms a person is experiencing
- Medications they are taking.
The doctor will also perform a physical exam and recommend certain tests.
A diagnosis of Addison's disease is made by using laboratory tests. The aim of these tests is first to determine whether levels of cortisol are insufficient and then to establish the cause. X-ray exams or a CT scan of the adrenal and pituitary glands also are useful in helping to establish the cause.
(Click Addison's Disease Testing to learn more about Addison's disease tests used to diagnose Addison's disease.)