Pediatric Addisons Disease

Addison's disease occurs when the adrenal glands don't produce enough of certain hormones.


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What is Pediatric Addisons Disease?

Addison's disease is a condition where the adrenal glands (located above the kidneys) don't produce proper hormone levels. With this condition, the adrenal glands usually produce too little cortisol (the “stress hormone” that helps balance hormones) and sometimes too little aldosterone (hormone that regulates salt and water).

What are the signs and symptoms of Pediatric Addisons Disease?

How is Pediatric Addisons Disease diagnosed?

  • Testing for Addison's disease may require a blood test that measures cortisol and adrenocorticotropic (ACTH) levels.
  • Depending on the results, the next step is often ACTH stimulation, in which your child will be given a man-made form of ACTH with blood levels taken both before and after administration.
  • A Computer Tomography (CT) scan may be used to look for any tumors or other abnormal growths on the glands.

What are the causes of Pediatric Addisons Disease?

Addison's disease is caused by damaged adrenal glands, which can occur due to the following:

  • Autoimmune disease (when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body)
  • Bleeding into the adrenal glands
  • Infections of the adrenal glands
  • Spread of cancer to the adrenal glands
  • Tuberculosis 

How is Pediatric Addisons Disease treated?

  • Replacement of cortisol and/or aldosterone is the preferred treatment for Addison's disease.
  • Your child may also need to add salt to his/her diet.
  • Hydrocortisone injections

Pediatric Addisons Disease Doctors and Providers