If you regularly experience extreme fatigue or muscle and joint aches, it may point to a condition like Addison’s disease. At Fort Wayne Endocrinology, Ashok Kadambi, MD, Desiree Heim, NP-C, and Crystal Webb, NP-C, specialize in diagnosing and treating Addison’s disease. To make an appointment at the practice in Fort Wayne, Indiana, call the office or use the online booking feature today.
Addison’s disease is a rare disorder characterized by adrenal insufficiency. It occurs when your adrenal glands –– located just above your kidneys –– produce too little of certain hormones, like cortisol and aldosterone.
Symptoms of Addison’s disease include:
If you’re a woman, you might also experience the loss of body hair or a loss of libido.
Make an appointment at Fort Wayne Endocrinology if you experience symptoms like salt cravings, muscle and joint pain, or gastrointestinal problems like nausea and diarrhea. That’s especially true if these symptoms persist even after at-home measures of care, like over-the-counter medication and rest.
To diagnose Addison’s disease, your Fort Wayne Endocrinology provider reviews your health history and asks about your symptoms, including when they first started, if they occurred suddenly or over an extended period, and if any activities, like exercise, make them worse.
Next, they order several tests, including:
Certain blood tests can determine the amount of sodium, potassium, cortisol, and other hormones in your blood. Abnormal results often indicate a problem with your adrenal glands. There are also blood tests that can identify antibodies in your blood associated with Addison’s disease.
Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) is a chemical that causes your adrenal glands to produce cortisol. During an ACTH test, your provider measures the level of cortisol in your blood. Then, they administer an injection of ACTH and measure your cortisol levels again.
If your provider suspects you have Addison’s disease as a result of pituitary disease, they might order an insulin-induced hypoglycemia test. First, your provider administers an injection of insulin. Afterward, they measure the levels of sugar and cortisol in your blood.
There’s no cure for Addison’s disease, but it’s possible to manage uncomfortable symptoms through a combination of prescription medication, hormone replacement therapy, and healthy lifestyle changes.
Depending on your needs, your Fort Wayne Endocrinology provider might recommend:
These oral medications restore your cortisol levels to normal. You take them on a set schedule to restore your body to balance.
Fludrocortisone acetate is an oral corticosteroid that restores the levels of aldosterone throughout your body.
It’s also important to eat plenty of salt, especially during the summer months or when exercising. Fort Wayne Endocrinology can make recommendations for meals and snacks.
To explore treatment for Addison’s disease, make an appointment at Fort Wayne Endocrinology by calling the office or booking online today.