I do not have Addison's Disease, but I just wanted to provide you with a little information about it and its association with Lupus.
In my manyr reasearches, I have run across many case studies involving lupus patients with Addisons Disease. These studies were attempting to find out if Adrenal Failure was due to Lupus (which they say is rare). Addison's disease occurs when the adrenal glands do not produce enough of the hormone cortisol and, in some cases, the hormone aldosterone. The disease is also called adrenal insufficiency, or hypocortisolism. The studies suggest that, adrenal failure has been related to the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies which are seen in Lupus patients. However, Systemic lupus erythematosus is occasionally accompanied by autoimmune disorders of endocrine glands, most commonly the thyroid, but rarely the adrenal glands.
Addison's Disease and Lupus are considered atuoimmune diseases, meaning that the immune system attacks istelf. The major cause of Addison's disease results from an auto-immune reaction in which the body's immune system erroneously makes antibodies against the cells of the adrenal cortex and slowly destroys them.
The symptoms of Addison's are: Slowly progressive loss of cortisol and aldosterone secretion that usually produces a chronic, steadily worsening fatigue, a loss of appetite, and some weight loss. Blood pressure is low and falls further when a person is standing, producing lightheadedness. Nausea, sometimes with vomiting, and diarrhea are common. The muscles are weak and often go into spasm. There are often emotional changes, particularly irritability and depression. Because of salt loss, a craving for salty foods is common. Finally, the increase in ACTH due to the loss of cortisol will usually produce a darkening of the skin that may look like an inappropriate tan on a person who feels very sick. Unfortunately, the slowly progressive chronic symptoms are usually missed or ignored until a sudden event like a flu virus, an accident, or the need for surgery suddenly precipitates a dramatic change for the worse because of the deficient response from the adrenals to one of these stresses. This is referred to as an Addisonian crisis and is a medical emergency.
Auto-immune Addison's disease, the most common type, can be associated with other auto-immune diseases that similarly affect other endocrine glands. The most common one is the thyroid. If an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) coexists with Addison's disease, this is called Schmidt's syndrome. Less commonly associated auto-immune diseases are insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, and insufficiencies of the parathyroid glands, gonads, and vitamin B12 absorption (pernicious anemia). Lupus is not commonly associated with Addison's Disease, but it has happened!
I wish you the very best!!
Peace and Blessings