Addison’s disease is an insidious, usually progressive hypofunctioning of the adrenal cortex. It causes various symptoms, including hypotension and hyperpigmentation, and can lead to adrenal crisis with cardiovascular collapse.
The disease is assumed to be an autoimmune disease, unless there is evidence otherwise. Usually, adrenal autoantibodies can be detected.
Diagnosis of Addison’s disease is clinical and by finding elevated plasma adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) with low plasma cortisol. Treatment depends on the cause but generally includes hydrocortisone and sometimes other hormones.