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Addison’s Disease refers to a condition where the adrenal glands, a pair of triangular-shaped organs that rest on top of the kidneys, stop producing adrenalin. This is also known as adrenal insufficiency. Adrenalin is needed to regulate your metabolism, immune system, blood pressure, response to stress and other essential functions. Although adrenal insufficiency is usually a condition that develops over time it can also be an acute condition that makes people feel very tired for no reason at all.

Addison’s Disease and adrenal fatigue is is common during challenging times as simply going about your day-to-day routine can be quite stressful. We are always constantly on watch for an invisible threat, so your brain, specifically the hypothalamus sends a high-alert signal. Your adrenal glands rush into action, secreting hormones including adrenaline and cortisol causing you to expend too much energy, too fast.

Symptoms of Addison’s Disease

Major symptoms of Addison’s disease include any or all of the following –

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Hair loss
  • Abdominal pain
  • Darkening of the skin

People who have Addison’s disease also often develop an inability to cope with any mental, emotional or physical stress. They simply have no energy due to the fatigue that this condition causes, although the spirit may be willing, the body is not.

People who have Addison’s also may complain of feeling cold and parts of the body such as skin folds, the back of the knees and the crook of the elbow. This condition cans also mouth and vagina to discolour to a darker skin-tone. The sufferer’s hair might also become darker and thin dark streaks may develop along the length of the nails.

What Causes Addison’s disease

There is no known cause for Addison’s although scientists suspect that it might have something to do with stress overloading the adrenal glands to the extent that it can no longer produce adrenalin. Yet another suspected cause of the disorder is the overuse of anti-inflammatory drugs or cortisone medications that are used to treat such disorders as asthma and arthritis.

Coping With Addison’s

There are foods that may trigger the symptoms of Addison’s disease. It would be important to avoid substances such as alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, fried foods, red meats, sugar and white flour as all of these items put stress on the adrenal glands.

Acupuncture, meditation Yoga and Tai Chi may help remedy the symptoms of Addison’s disease as these can be therapeutic activities that help clear your mind and may gently massage and reinvigorate your internal organs.

Some sufferers of Addison’s disease are able to manage their symptoms strictly by adopting lifestyle and diet changes and taking their medications as prescribed. Others may find themselves disabled by the disorder. Although it does not have to be fatal, contracting Addison’s disease can lower the quality of one’s life as the fatigue it causes dictates one’s schedule every day.

For more information about how to cope with the fatigue and swelling associated with Addison’s Disease or to book a consultation, visit the Pinewood Natural Healthcare Centre website that will direct you to our many naturopathic services. There is a list of our full services and products at You can also call our Toronto Office at (416)-656- 8100. or our office in Pickering, Ontario at (905)-427-0057. Send an email to and we would be happy to answer any question that you have about our therapies which, include, naturopathic testing, dietary advice acupuncture, weight loss programs and many other common health conditions.

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