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By Carien Grobler

Deputy Digital Editor

Steve Hofmeyr’s wife diagnosed with rare autoimmune disease (VIDEO)

"After many tests, I have been diagnosed with Addison's disease," Janine Hofmeyr shared on social media.

After Steve Hofmeyr said last week on his Facebook page that his wife, Janine, was admitted to hospital for observation, she was discharged from Cintocare Hospital in Pretoria on Friday.

On Monday, she shared her diagnosis on social media.

“After many tests, I have been diagnosed with Addison’s disease. It’s a very rare autoimmune disease where your immune system attacks your adrenal glands to the point where they don’t function anymore. It’s a long recovery process, and I’m taking it one hour at a time.

“I’m sharing my diagnosis here because I realise how few people know about it. Have you or anyone you know been diagnosed with it, because support networks are scarce.”

She went on to say that she is blessed with so many people who care and are there for her when she needs it. “It makes everything a little better.”

Adisson’s disease

Addison’s disease, also known as adrenal insufficiency, is a rare illness where the body doesn’t produce enough of some important hormones.

With this condition, the adrenal glands don’t produce enough cortisol and sometimes not enough aldosterone either.

Watch an explainer on Addison’s disease:

Anyone can get Addison’s disease, and it can be very serious. Treatment includes taking hormones to replace the ones that are lacking. Symptoms of Addison’s disease usually develop slowly, often over several months.

The disease can progress so gradually that people may not notice the symptoms at first. However, symptoms can worsen during times of stress, such as illness or injury.

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Common symptoms may include:

  • Severe tiredness
  • Weight loss and reduced appetite
  • Darkened patches of skin
  • Low blood pressure, sometimes leading to fainting
  • Craving for salty foods
  • Low blood sugar levels, known as hypoglycemia
  • Nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of sadness or depression
  • Hair loss on the body or sexual issues in some individuals

Additional resource: Mayo Clinic

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