Have you ever heard of Addison’s Disease? If you haven’t and you have a confirmed case of celiac disease, it’s important you understand the close association between celiac disease and Addison’s Disease.
In a comprehensive study conducted by Orebro University Hospital in Sweden, more than 10% of all patients with celiac disease also developed Addison’s Disease, and just under 10% of all people with Addison’s Disease had celiac disease.
Addison’s Disease, an autoimmune disease sometimes referred to as chronic adrenal insufficiency, is a disorder of your endocrine system where your adrenal glands don’t produce a sufficient amount of certain hormones, such as the hormones responsible for regulating hydration.
Long-time newsletter subscribers know I stress how common it is to develop additional autoimmune diseases after you develop one autoimmune disease, and this is definitely the case with Addison’s Disease. If you have diabetes or celiac disease, you are at a much greater risk of developing Addison’s Disease.
While Addison’s Disease can afflict anyone of any age, gender or ethnicity, it is most commonly diagnosed in adults between the ages of 30 and 50.
Like celiac disease, symptoms of this relatively rare condition often develop quietly and can easily be mistaken for the consequences of an active, stressful life. Fatigue, anxiety and headaches are often the earliest symptoms, but because these symptoms are shared by so many other conditions, they’re rarely used to identify Addison’s disease.
More distinct symptoms associated with Addison’s disease include feeling lightheaded when standing or getting up from a reclined position, perspiring despite not feeling warm, craving salt or salty foods, and muscle weakness or soreness despite not having used those muscles in a strenuous manner.
High potassium can be a serious concern for Addison’s disease patients. High potassium is called hyperkalemia. Symptoms of hyperkalemia include abdominal pain, nausea and weakness. With a symptom like abdominal pain, in particular, you can see how patients of celiac disease may overlook the possible presence of Addison’s disease.
Addison’s Disease is a serious medical condition that should be diagnosed and treated by medical professionals. Please do not attempt to diagnose and treat yourself.