Addison's Disease: Diagnosis Can Be More Difficult Than Treatment

In This Article


Addison's disease, or primary adrenal insufficiency, is most commonly caused by an autoimmune destruction of cells in the adrenal cortex. Unfortunately, the clinical presentation of the disease is often nonspecific and the 'text book' patterns of electrolyte disturbance infrequently observed. On the other hand, when the disease is suspected, an aetiological diagnosis can quickly be made using commercially available autoantibodies. Moreover, with current treatment, typically involving both glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids, patients with Addison's disease can be expected to have a normal lifespan.