Advocates of CBD oil claim that it can help with a myriad of medical conditions, including Addison’s disease. But is there any truth behind these claims, or are they exaggerated?
While there is little research on CBD oil for Addison’s disease, there is a chance that it could help. However, it also has the potential to aggravate some symptoms, so it is necessary to exercise caution.
Here’s how CBD could influence Addison’s disease, along with the potential benefits and risks.
What Is Addison’s Disease?
Addison’s disease is a disorder that affects the adrenal glands. It is also sometimes known as primary adrenal insufficiency.
The adrenals are endocrine glands that sit on top of the kidneys. They are responsible for secreting various hormones, including cortisol and aldosterone.
Cortisol is probably best known as a stress hormone. However, it also has many vital functions within the body. They include:
- Regulating blood pressure and blood glucose
- Controlling metabolism
- Reducing inflammation
- Increasing alertness
Aldosterone’s primary role is maintaining the balance of water and electrolytes. It ensures that the body’s sodium and potassium levels remain healthy, and plays a role in blood pressure control.
In patients with Addison’s disease, the adrenal glands become damaged and stop releasing these two hormones. This is a potentially dangerous situation and causes a variety of symptoms.
Addison’s Disease Symptoms
The main symptoms of Addison’s disease include:
- Extreme tiredness
- Muscle weakness
- Mood changes (depression or irritability)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Reduced appetite
- Weight loss
- Frequent urination
- Cravings for salty food
In severe cases, Addison’s disease can also cause low blood pressure, which may lead to fainting. Furthermore, some patients may develop dark patches on their skin, lips, or gums.
People with Addison’s disease are also at risk of a condition called an adrenal crisis or Addisonian crisis. The symptoms of an adrenal crisis include:
- Severe dehydration
- Pale, cold, clammy skin
- Sudden pain in the lower back, abdomen, or legs
- Shortness of breath
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Severe drowsiness
An adrenal crisis is a medical emergency. It requires immediate treatment, so patients with Addison’s disease should familiarize themselves with these symptoms and act fast if they occur.
What Causes Addison’s Disease?
Addison’s disease usually occurs due to an underlying autoimmune disorder. This means that the immune system becomes dysfunctional and starts attacking healthy tissue. In the case of Addison’s disease, the immune system attacks the outer layer of the adrenal glands, the adrenal cortex.
Nobody knows precisely what causes autoimmune disorders. However, scientists agree that a combination of environmental and genetic factors probably play a role.
Addison’s disease is more likely to occur in people who have another autoimmune disorder. It often occurs alongside an underactive thyroid or type 1 diabetes. The condition is most prevalent in women and usually appears between the ages of 30 and 50.
In some cases, Addison’s disease may be the result of an infection like tuberculosis or HIV. However, this is uncommon in economically developed countries.
Conventional Addison’s Disease Treatments (Not CBD)
With the correct treatment, people with Addison’s disease can live a long and fulfilling life.
However, they will need to take medication to replace the hormones that their adrenal glands cannot produce. These include corticosteroids like hydrocortisone or prednisolone to replace cortisol. Meanwhile, a drug called fludrocortisone can help to replace aldosterone.
It is essential to take these medicines at the right time every day to keep the body functioning effectively. Patients may need to increase their dosage in times of physical stress. For example, during an illness or before an operation. Doing this reduces the risk of adrenal crisis.
Although natural remedies like CBD cannot reverse Addison’s disease, they may help to manage certain symptoms. However, there are also some precautions to be aware of when using CBD for any chronic illness. Here’s all you need to know.
Does CBD Oil Help Addison’s Disease?
With more people now turning to CBD, it is essential to understand how it might impact Addison’s disease.
Sadly, there is currently no research specifically on CBD and Addison’s disease. However, there have been some studies on how CBD affects autoimmune disorders in general.
One such study came out in 2008, in the journal Biochemical Pharmacology. It investigated the impact of CBD on immune function, with exciting results. It found that CBD suppressed immune function, potentially making it viable as a treatment for autoimmune conditions.
There is also research suggesting that the body’s endocannabinoid system has a significant influence over the endocrine system. This includes the pancreas, thyroid gland, pituitary gland, and adrenal glands. Since the endocannabinoid system is where CBD exerts many of its actions, it could have some beneficial effects.
However, it is crucial to note that most of the studies involved animals or cell lines in a laboratory. Until more research emerges, there is no proof that human studies would have the same positive results.
Using CBD Oil for Addison’s Disease: Benefits and Risks
The potential benefits of CBD oil for Addison’s disease include its positive effects on the immune and endocrine systems. However, patients must weigh these benefits carefully against the risks before deciding to proceed.
Although most experts consider CBD to be safe, it can cause side effects in some people. These side effects include:
- Weight loss
Since these are issues that already affect people with Addison’s disease, there is a chance CBD could make them worse. There is also a risk that CBD could interact with other medications due to the way the liver processes the compound.
However, CBD might help with certain other Addison’s disease symptoms, such as mood disorders, muscle cramps, and nausea. There are also anecdotal reports that people who take CBD oil feel an increased sense of general wellbeing.
Unfortunately, there is not enough evidence to say for sure whether the benefits of CBD oil for Addison’s disease outweigh its risks. Therefore, anyone wishing to try it should consult their physician first and make a decision based on their individual needs.
Does CBD Oil Help Addison’s Disease? Final Thoughts
The question of whether CBD oil can help Addison’s disease does not have a straightforward answer. On the one hand, it could help by suppressing the immune system to slow down damage to the adrenal glands. It may also help to regulate hormonal release through its interaction with the endocannabinoid system.
However, CBD can have side effects, and some are similar to the symptoms of Addison’s disease. Therefore, there is a chance that people could take CBD oil and end up feeling worse.
Until more research on CBD oil for Addison’s disease comes to light, we can only guess at its precise effects. We hope we can provide a more definitive answer soon. Until then, find a knowledgeable doctor to discuss the benefits and risks of CBD oil for Addison’s disease, and follow their advice.