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Diseases » Addison's Disease » Glossary

Glossary for Addison's Disease

  • APECED Syndrome: APECED is a recessively inherited genetic disease characterized by the presence of two of the following three conditions: impaired parathyroid function, yeast infection (candidiasis) and impaired adrenal gland function (Addison's disease). It is an autoimmune disease resulting from a genetic defect. The body's immune system malfunctions and attacks it's own body tissues.
  • Acromegaly: A hormonal disorder involving excess growth hormone production by the pituitary gland.
  • Addisonian crisis: Severe adrenal gland complication from Addison's disease.
  • Adrenal Cancer: A malignant cancer that develops in the adrenal gland. The tumor may be nonfunctioning (does not produce hormones) or functioning in which case excessive levels of hormones can cause a variety of symptoms depending on which hormone is involved. Adrenal hormones made in the cortex (outer part of the gland) are aldosterone, corticosteroids and androgenic steroids. Adrenalin and noradrenalin are the hormones made in the medulla (central part of the adrenal gland).
  • Adrenal disorders: Disorders affecting the adrenal glands
  • Adrenal insufficiency: Where there is insufficient secretion of hormones secreted from the adrenal glands
  • Amenorrhea: Absence of menstrual periods due to many possible causes.
  • Amyloidosis: A rare group of metabolic disorders where a protein called amyloid accumulates in body organs and tissues where it can cause damage and is potentially fatal. Symptoms depend on the organs involved. There are numerous forms of the condition: primary amyloidosis, secondary amyloidosis, hemodialysis-associated amyloidosis and familial amyloidosis.
  • Anorexia Nervosa: A disorder where a distorted sense of body image leads to self-starvation to the point of death in some cases.
  • Arthrogryposis multiplex congenita -- pulmonary hypoplasia: A rare congenital syndrome involving degeneration of the brain and spinal cord and characterized by facial, head, skeletal and muscular abnormalities. Reduced fetal activity causes many of the problems.
  • Autoimmune diseases: A group of disorders in which the primary cause is the an inflammatory reaction caused by the body's own immune system attacking tissues
  • Blastomycosis: A fungal infection caused by Blastomyces dermatitidis and resulting in lung, skin, bone and genitourinary involvement.
  • Chromosome 13 ring syndrome: A rare chromosomal disorder where genetic material from one or both ends of chromosome 13 is missing and the two broken ends have rejoined to form a ring. The resulting type and severity of symptoms is determined by the amount and location of genetic material missing.
  • Chronic infections: Ongoing and often slow progressing infection; opposite to acute infections.
  • Coccidioidomycosis: An infectious disease caused by a fungus called Coccidioides immitis which is found in the soil. Transmission usually occurs through inhalation but can rarely occur through the skin. Very rarely, infection can spread throughout the body to involve the skin, bones, joints, lungs and central nervous system which can be fatal if untreated.
  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia: Congenital genetic disease with insufficiency of the adrenal glands
  • Cryptococcosis: A fungal infection caused by Cryptococcus neoformans which primarily affects the central nervous system and the lungs. People with weakened immune systems such as AIDS sufferers are generally more susceptible to this type of infection.
  • Cushing's disease: A condition of hyperadrenocorticism which is secondary to excessive pituitary secretion of ACTH. Cushing's disease is different to Cushing's syndrome which refers to the effects of glucocorticoid excess from any cause.
  • Depression: Various syndromes with excessive anxiety, phobias, or fear.
  • Diabetes: Failing or reduced ability of the body to handle sugars.
  • Endocrine system conditions: Medical conditions affecting the endocrine systems, such as the related hormones or glands.
  • Fatigue: Excessive tiredness or weakness.
  • Histoplasmosis: Lung infection from fungus Histoplasma capsulatum
  • Hyperpigmentation: Excess skin pigment or coloration
  • Hypoadrenalism: Reduced adrenal gland activity.
  • Hypoglycemia: Low blood sugar level
  • Hypopituitarism: A disorder caused by reduced pituitary hormone levels. Hormones produce by the pituitary gland produces growth hormones, prolactin, thyroid stimulating hormone, antidiuretic hormone and others.
  • Immune disorders: Disorders that affect the immune system
  • Impotence: Inability to attain or sustain an erection.
  • Irritability: Excessive feelings of annoyance or frustration.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome: Spasms in the colon wall
  • Low blood pressure: Blood pressure that is too low
  • Muscle weakness: A condition which is characterized by an inability of the muscles to function at their full strenght
  • Nausea: The queasy feeling of nausea and often also vomiting.
  • Pena Shokeir syndrome, type 1: A rare congenital syndrome involving degeneration of the brain and spinal cord and characterized by facial, head, skeletal and muscular abnormalities. Reduced fetal activity causes many of the problems.
  • Pituitary Cancer: Cancer of the pituitary gland.
  • Pituitary conditions: Any condition that affects the pituitary
  • Polyendocrine deficiency syndrome: A condition where more than one endocrine gland fails to function normally in terms of production of hormones. Symptoms can vary depending on the glands involved and the severity of the gland dysfunction.
  • Polyendocrine deficiency syndrome type 1: Multi-endocrine syndrome commonly affecting children
  • Polyendocrine deficiency syndrome type 2: Multi-endocrine syndrome usually affecting young adults.
  • Triploid syndrome: A complete extra set of chromosomes.
  • Tuberculosis: Bacterial infection causing nodules forming, most commonly in the lung.
  • Tuberculosis, pulmonary: Lung infection caused by a contagious bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Infection occurs through inhalation of contaminants from infected people. Infection may spread from the lungs to other organs. The infection may incubate for years, be asymptomatic or produced symptoms within weeks. Immunocompromised people may suffer severe symptoms.
  • Vomiting: Vomiting or retching symptoms.
  • Weight loss: Loss of body weight.


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