Addison´s Disease

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The human body is a complex and variable collection of cells trying to maintain homeostasis constantly. A simple example of this is sweating to help cool the body down. The endocrine system secretes hormones and depending on the functionality of the endocrine system, there can be small changes which produce huge problems within the body resulting in disease. These diseases typically go undiagnosed for periods of time due to their sometimes subtle, common, and fairly benign symptoms in the early stages. Approximately 75% of people who are eventually diagnosed with Addison's disease present gradually (Carson-DeWitt, 2011).
Addison's disease is rare being that, in the United States, it occurs in 5 out of 100,000 people and it develops after 90% or more of the adrenal cortex has deteriorated (Delmar, Cengage Learning, 2011). Approximately 70% of the people afflicted present in conjunction with an auto-immune disorder (Carson-DeWitt, 2011). According to Carson-DeWitt, in 20% of these cases, tuberculosis is the cause of the cortex destruction (2011). However, there are other causes for the damage to the adrenal cortex resulting in Addison's disease which include but, are not limited to; infections, blood loss, tumors, the use of anti-coagulants, and sometimes genetic deficiencies. (Rennert, 2012).
The adrenal glands are located on the top of the kidneys and they are composed of two glands with separate functions (Smeltzer, Bare, Hinkle, & Cheever, 2010). The medulla releases catecholamines and is surrounded by the cortex which secretes glucocorticoid hormones, mineralocorticoid hormones, and sex hormones (Rennert, 2012). Smeltzer, Bare, Hinkle, & Cheever state glucocorticoids, specifically Cortisol, is involved ...

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