The most common cause of Addison disease is damage to the adrenal glands caused by an autoimmune disease. Other cases of Addison disease are caused by the damage to the glands by any of these:
In rare cases, Addison disease is passed down in a family.
Other causes of low corticosteroids can include:
A child is at risk for Addison disease if he or she has any of these:
Mild symptoms may only occur when a child is under physical stress. Symptoms may include:
The symptoms of Addison disease can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
If left untreated, Addison disease may lead to:
Severe complications are most likely to occur when the child is under physical stress.
Lack of adrenal hormones may also cause:
Addison disease is a life-long condition. It needs lifetime treatment. Stressful events such as surgery, infection, or injury can cause severe symptoms of Addison. This is because corticosteroids help the body fight infection and keep healthy during physical stress. Talk with your child’s healthcare provider if your child needs surgery. Get medical care for your child right away if he or she:
Your child should wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace. Managing your child’s chronic illness can be stressful for all members of the family. Let your healthcare provider know if you, your child with Addison disease, or other family members need help dealing with the physical, emotional, and financial issues that the illness can cause.
Call your child's healthcare provider if your child has any symptoms of Addison disease.
If your child has Addison disease, talk with your child’s healthcare provider if your child needs surgery. Get medical care for your child right away if he or she:
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider: