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When Addison’s disease is caused by the inability of the adrenal cortex to produce hormones such as cortisol and aldosterone, it is referred to as primary adrenal insufficiency.

When the adrenal glands are undamaged, but cannot produce these hormones for other reasons such as due to abnormalities of the pituitary gland, the condition is referred to as secondary adrenal insufficiency (For more information on secondary adrenal insufficiency see the Related Disorders section below).

An additional symptom that may occur is low blood pressure (hypotension), which can cause lightheadedness or dizziness upon standing.

Temporary loss of consciousness (syncope) can occur in some cases.

The symptoms of Addison’s disease can vary from one individual to another.

Symptoms usually do not develop until 90 percent of the adrenal cortex has been damaged.Addison’s disease can also lead to changes in emotion and behavior.The disorder has been associated with irritability, depression, and poor concentration.Some individuals with Addison’s disease may also develop a condition called vitiligo in which white patches may appear on different areas of the body.This may vary from one or two small spots on the skin or multiple, larger affected areas.The symptoms of Addison's usually develop slowly, but sometimes can develop rapidly, a serious condition called acute adrenal failure.

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