Addison’s disease is a complicated health condition that can cause significant problems — but is it actually disabling? It can be. Addison’s disease can develop several different ways, but it remains a rare and poorly understood diagnosis.
What is Addison’s disease?
A type of adrenal insufficiency, Addison’s disease occurs when someone’s adrenal glands produce little-to-no cortisol or aldosterone. Aldosterone regulates the salt and fluids in a person’s body, which affects their blood pressure, kidneys and more. Cortisol, the so-called “flight or fight” hormone, regulates many different parts of the body, including someone’s ability to handle stress and heal.
What causes Addison’s disease?
Addison’s can be caused by an autoimmune disorder, tumors, certain kinds of viruses, tuberculosis, treatment with steroids over long periods of times and genetic disorders. It may be either “primary” or “secondary” in nature, but the consequences for the victims of this disease are the same.
What are the symptoms of Addison’s disease?
While everyone experienced Addison’s disease differently, the most common recurring symptoms are (among other things):
- Nausea and vomiting
- Diarrhea and abdominal pain
- Muscle spasms and joint aches
- Irritability and depression
- Confusion and memory problems
- Extreme, unrelenting fatigue
- Low blood pressure and fainting
- Low blood sugar
All of those things can make it difficult or impossible for someone with Addison’s to work certain jobs (especially high-stress or high-intensity ones), keep a regular schedule or function without assistance. It can be so disabling that — despite its rarity — adrenal insufficiency or failure is among the conditions that can more easily qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.
Even so, getting approval of a Social Security Disability claim for Addison’s disease may not be easy. You have to show that you meet a very specific criteria and that your condition is likely to remain disabling despite proper treatment. Find out how an attorney can help you get your claim approved.