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Physiology Assignment: Pathogenesis & Treatment Of Addison Disease


Task: Prepare a detailed physiology assignmenton the topic “Pathogenesis and treatment of Addison Disease”.


The chosen topic for thisphysiology assignment report is pathogenesis and treatment of Addison’s disease and the topic is important because thisdisease is rare and serious disorder that occurs in the adrenal gland of an individual and its treatment is necessary. Along with that, the understanding and awareness of this disease are also essential which makes this topic more important to be covered. The chosen system for this report is the endocrine system and the normal physiological role of this system to control different processes occurring in the human body. Since the chosen disease affects the glands of an individual, it also affects the chosen system because human glands are a part of the endocrine system. This makes it evident that there is a close connection between Addison's disease and the endocrine system. The disease affects the system by decreasing the amount of hormone cortisol and aldosterone in the body of the patient. The report will also discuss the treatment and the treatment option for treating Addison’s disease is corticosteroid replacement therapy. This therapy has been chosen because it replaces the hormones of the patients so thatthey will restore homeostasis.Synthesizing the overall understating, it has been understood the awareness about Addison’s disease is essential. Along with that, it is also essential for the patients and individuals to know about the treatment option for the diseases. Patients suffering from Addison's disease need to be aware of the consequences of the disease and the treatment they can avail of so that they can cure their serious illness.

The chosen system is the endocrine system and this system is composed of different glands such as the pituitary, adrenal, and thyroid. Along with that, male testicles, female ovaries, and pancreas are also included in this system(Zimmermann, 2018). The primary function of this system is to regulate all the biological processes in the human body throughout the lifetime of an individual.Furthermore, the system also influences the endocrine hormones that are responsible for regulating growth, moods, and development in the human body. The releasing of hormones is controlled and regulated by this system in the human body and also maintains the level of hormonesalreadypresent in the body.However, the homeostasis of this system is disrupted during the onset of Addison’s disease. This is because when the disease occurs, the immune system of the human body tends to damage the different tissues and organs of the body. The occurrence of these changes in the body causes harm and disturbances to the normal function of the system and the stability of the patient’s body is disturbed and it cannot function normally. The treatment option for restoring homeostasis in the patients is corticosteroids replacement therapy and it involved oral corticosteroids such as cortef, fludrocortisone and prednisone, and so on. This treatment option will allow the controlling of the fluctuating level of cortisol in the body so that the steroid hormone levels of the body can be maintained. Therefore, this is the treatment option for an individual who is a patient of Addison’s disease.

Treatment Procedure
The treatment option identified for the treatment of Addison’s disease is corticosteroid replacement therapy. This is a therapy that is provided to the patients daily so that their hormone level is under control. In this treatment method, medicines are given orally or through vaccines so that the medicines reach different parts of the body. The medicines that are given to the patients take the place of hormones in the adrenal glands so that different organs in the body can function normally. When these medicines enter the body of the patients, they decrease inflammation and reduces the activities of the immune system. This is because when a person is suffering from Addison’s disease then he experiences a deficiency in the hormone level and his physiological requirements are not met(Onyema, 2021). The medicines that are given to the patients' medicines that have hydrocortisone and along with that, prednisolone can also be given to the patients.Through these medications, the patients can treat their disease and they can return to their normal activities but most of the patients experience fatigue. Along with that, this therapy also increases the amount of salt that needs to be consumed by the patients in their daily diet so that their disease remains under control.The medications given to the patients in this therapy do not have any side effects. However, if the dose of the medication exceeds the prescribed limit then it can have life-threateningside effects.

Critical Analysis
According to Pazderska and Pearce(2017), the occurrence of adrenal inefficiency is a rare case and it happens to very few number people.This causes people to suffer from Addison's disease which is autoimmune that affects the organs of the patient. The major reasons for this disease occurring is tuberculosis, fungal infection, HIV, and so on. The occurrence of this disease has mostly been identified in developing countries due to the lack of proper healthcare facilities. Furthermore, the article states that identification and recognition of this disease are difficult and many times doctors fail to diagnose it. This makes Addison’s disease a serious disease that has serious consequences if it is not treated on time. If the disease is not recognized and treated on time then it can become life-threatening as and there are 8% of patients who sufferlife-threatening consequences.On the other hand, Michels and Michels (2014) states that there are several methods of diagnosing and treating the disease. The article has discussed tests such as metabolic tests and immunology tests for identifying whether the patients are suffering from Addison’s disease or not. Through metabolic tests, the doctor focuses on recognizing the level of cortisol and lack of adrenal in the body of the patients. On the other hand, the immunology tests help the doctor to find out what caused Addison’s disease in the patient by measuring hydroxylase. The treatments that are suggested in the articles are hormone therapy and glucocorticoids. This makes it evident that the treatment option considered in the report is accurate and can be effectively used to treat patients with Addison’s disease.

Furthermore, as per Dineen, Thompson, and Sherlock(2019), the features of Addison’s disease are fatigue, vomiting, anorexia, weight loss, and nausea. Along with that, cramps and discomfort in the abdomen are commonly experienced by the patients. This disease also leads to the adrenal crisis which causes haemorrhage and hypotension among the patients. 90% of patients who are suffering from hypotension are at the risk of suffering. This article also suggests that patients should be given doses of steroid so that they homeostasis can be restored and balanced.However, this states the overdosage of steroids can have devastating side effects and can increase the mortality of the patients. Similarly, Puar et al.(2016) also agree that Addison's disease cannot be treated without steroid replacement therapy. This is because patients suffering from this disease also suffer from adrenal inefficiency. Along with that, 50% of patients who are suffering from adrenal crisis also suffer from Addison’s disease. Furthermore, the article states thatit is essential to spread awareness about Addison’s disease because the patients can be at risk of hypovolemia and dehydration. The major causes of patients suffering from the adrenal crisis are infections, physical stress, lack of proper medication, mental stress, and so on. Therefore, the patients need to be aware of all the self-administration measures so that they can take care of themselves at times when there is no medical assistance available instantly.

In conclusion, it can be said that the report gives an in-depth understanding and knowledge about how the disease develops and how it can be treated effectively. The functions of the endocrine system have also been discussed in the report and the major function of this system is to control the process of different organs. This was discussed because the system was directly affected by the diseases as it affected the functioning of different organs. Furthermore, the report gives a detailed discussion about the treatment option that can be adapted to treat the disease. The major treatment option that has been identified in the report is the corticosteroid replacement therapy that allows the controlling of hormone level and the keep the body stable for a longer time. Therefore, the overall report makes it evident that awareness about Addison's disease is essential for the patients.


Reference List
Dineen, R., Thompson, C.J. and Sherlock, M. (2019). Adrenal crisis: prevention and management in adult patients. Therapeutic Advances in Endocrinology and Metabolism, [online] 10, p.204201881984821. Available at: [Accessed 7 Oct. 2021].

Michels, A. and Michels, N. (2014). Addison Disease: Early Detection and Treatment Principles. American Family Physician, [online] 89(7). Available at: [Accessed 7 Oct. 2021]. Onyema, M.C. (2021). Corticosteroid Replacement Therapy. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Oct. 2021].

Pazderska, A. and Pearce, S.H. (2017). Adrenal insufficiency – recognition and management. Clinical Medicine, [online] 17(3), pp.258–262. Available at: [Accessed 7 Oct. 2021].

Puar, T.H.K., Stikkelbroeck, N.M.M.L., Smans, L.C.C.J., Zelissen, P.M.J. and Hermus, Ad.R.M.M. (2016). Adrenal Crisis: Still a Deadly Event in the 21st Century. Physiology assignmentThe American Journal of Medicine, [online] 129(3), pp.339.e1–339.e9. Available at: [Accessed 7 Oct. 2021]. Zimmermann, K.A. (2018). Endocrine System: Facts, Functions and Diseases. [online] Live Science. Available at: [Accessed 7 Oct. 2021].


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