Conditions + Treatments

Addison's Disease in Children

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What is Addison's disease?

Addison’s disease is a rare disease in which the adrenal glands aren’t functioning properly, causing a hormonal disorder. Addison’s disease affects the body’s ability to respond to physical stress. It can occur at any age and develops when the body produces too little cortisol, a hormone that helps control blood sugar levels and metabolism. In addition, it can occur when the body produces insufficient levels of aldosterone, a hormone that controls sodium and potassium in the blood. 

Addison’s disease can be caused by a number of things, including autoimmune disease, infections, an X-linked trait blood loss and cancer. If left untreated, Addison's disease can cause severe abdominal pain, weakness, low blood pressure, kidney failure and shock.

Care for Addison’s disease

Addison’s disease is treated by the Boston Children's General Endocrinology Program, which provides comprehensive diagnosis, treatment and management for patients with disorders of the adrenal gland and other parts of the body associated with the endocrine system.

Our approach to treating Addison’s disease is both patient-focused and family-centered. The family is included in every stage of the treatment process. 

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
For Patients: 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944

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