Addison’s disease, also called primary adrenal insufficiency, isn’t common, only one in 100,000 people experience it.
However, Addison’s disease can affect anyone: it can occur at any age and involves both men and women. People who have this condition can live normal lives if they take their medications. President John F. Kennedy had Addison’s disease.
Cortisol is essential for your body: it helps regulate metabolism, maintain blood pressure levels, and control inflammation. Aldosterone is responsible for the amount of salt and water in your body. When aldosterone levels drop, it results in low blood pressure too.
Causes of Addison's disease
In most cases, problems with the immune system result in Addison’s disease. Your own body starts to attack the outer layer of the adrenal gland, and this, in turn, disrupts the production of cortisol and aldosterone. Scientists don’t know exactly why it happens. Health conditions, such as infections or cancer, may also lead to adrenal insufficiency.