Dr. Anhalt completed his post-doctoral fellowship in pediatric endocrinology talks about Addison's disease.
Read the full transcript »
Male Speaker: There is a condition called Addison's disease, what is Addison's disease? Dr. Anhalt: Addison's disease is a condition that was named after Dr. Addison who first described it and just like we have Cushing's Syndrome which is a condition of Cortisol access, Addison's disease is a condition of Cortisol deficiency and this can occur as a result of destruction of the Adrenal gland which is a triangular shape glad that sits on top of the kidney that makes a hormone called Cortisol amongst other or a destruction of a part of the brain that stimulates the Adrenal gland to make Cortisol. In individuals who have either one of these conditions that is a destruction of the Adrenal Gland or of the gland in the brain that makes the Adrenal gland make Cortisol, one can experience a variety of symptoms including loss of weight, increased skin pigment, loss of energy and fatigue, diarrhea, heart weakness and ultimately comma and death, if not appropriately recognized and treated. Male Speaker: So in other words if you have these symptoms, a doctor could do a blood test and if you find it how is it treated? Dr. Anhalt: It's fortunate today that with a relatively simple blood test most Endocrinologist can make the diagnosis of Addison's disease fairly readily. And once that is done the treatment is quite simple. It involves the replacement of cortisol through taking a pill and advising families that in times of stress either with an illness or surgery or in case of a trauma or accident the increasing of the dose of the medication, just like the body itself will increase the dose of its stress hormone naturally, one would have to do that and somebody who is dependent on taking pills. And if they couldn't take it by pill form, either because they were vomiting or had stomach upset, there are fortunately injectable forms that can be used in its place.