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Addison’s disease or adrenal insufficiency can have an impact on your health and well-being. However, with the right balance of medication, you can control your Addison’s or adrenal insufficiency instead of it controlling you. The London Clinic offers the very latest technology and care by world-leading endocrinologists to ensure you stay well and live an active and productive life.

The London Clinic is the only private hospital in the UK to introduce innovative subcutaneous hydrocortisone infusion pumps for patients affected by Addison's disease or adrenal insufficiency.

Insulin pumps have revolutionised diabetes care, and The London Clinic offers a similar system for people living with Addison's disease or adrenal insufficiency. Research indicates that using a high-tech pump to infuse hydrocortisone around the clock could more closely replicate your body’s natural cortisol release and improve your quality of life. 

The expert endocrinology team can provide the very latest pumps, a tailored training programme, and the support you need to get your Addison’s disease or adrenal insufficiency under control. 

What is Addison’s disease or adrenal insufficiency?

Addison's disease is a rare condition that affects around 1 in 10,000 people. The adrenal glands stop working so that the body doesn't have some of the essential steroid hormones it needs to function. For this reason, it is also known as primary adrenal insufficiency.

Adrenal insufficiency can also cause by the lack of descending hormone ACTH from the pituitary gland. ACTH stimulate adrenal gland to produce hydrocortisone. If there is a lack of ACTH this could leads to the lack of cortisol production from the adrenal glands. In patients with chronic use of steroids, ACTH production is reduced and patients can also present with adrenal insufficiency

Adrenal glands are located near the kidneys. They produce aldosterone, which plays an essential role in the regulation of the body's sodium levels, fluid balance and blood pressure, and DHEA, which has an impact on sex hormones.

They also release the crucial hormone cortisol, which has a vital physiological role. Cortisol provides the body with the energy it needs to respond to illness, infection, or attack and also acts as an inflammatory, easing irritation and pain.

The body can’t live and function without these essential hormones. However, regular steroid medication can replace the missing chemicals and maintain your health and wellbeing. 

Understanding your treatment

Hydrocortisone medication is usually given as a substitute for the missing cortisol. It is traditionally taken as a tablet two or three times a day. The drug replaces the missing hormone but doesn't mimic the body's inherent pattern of production. 

The body naturally releases cortisol into the bloodstream in a rhythm. It’s linked to our sleep cycle, peaking in the early morning to wake us up and boost our energy, then gradually falling to a trough in the early hours of the morning, when we should be sleeping soundly.

Innovative medications can more closely copy these natural cycles or ‘circadian’ rhythms. Modified-release tablets are available to achieve more sustained levels; however, continuous subcutaneous hydrocortisone infusion or CSHI treatment is safe and effective. It provides more physiological steroid hormone levels and also boosts your vitality.

Treatment facts

Continuous subcutaneous hydrocortisone infusion attempts to replicate your body’s natural rhythm of hormone release. It can help people who are struggling to control their Addison’s disease or adrenal insufficiency especially in those with repeated Addison’s crises, and people who feel that their symptoms are affecting their quality of life.

The London Clinic's expert endocrinologists will carefully assess your health and the way your Addison's disease or adrenal insufficiency affecting your wellbeing. The team will arrange all necessary investigations so that they can tailor a treatment plan to help you control your condition.

What is a hydrocortisone pump?

A hydrocortisone pump is a battery-powered device that delivers small amounts of medication into your subcutaneous tissue twenty-four hours a day. It's attached to the body by a cannula, a fine tube that's inserted under the skin. The pump is light and unobtrusive, it can be popped in a pocket, or on a belt or bum-bag.

The pump delivers a steady stream of hydrocortisone to match your individual needs. You can add more at times of stress or illness. 

The London Clinic has a comprehensive range of the latest pumps. The multidisciplinary team will provide an individual training plan so that you are confident using the pump and adjusting your dosage when needed.

Trials show that this way of treating Addison’s disease or adrenal insufficiency is effective and can improve the quality of life for people living with the condition.

Treatment cost

The London Clinic offers affordable, competitive self-pay packages for certain treatments.

Patients have the option to spread the cost of treatment with Chrysalis Finance.

Please call +44 (0)20 3613 7502 to speak to our helpful team to find out more and to book an appointment.

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