One Month Ago, HealthWell Foundation Opened the Adrenal Insufficiency Fund


About one month ago, the HealthWell Foundation announced the beginning of the Adrenal Insufficiency Fund. Designed to assist patients with adrenal insufficiency, the fund will grant financial assistance to patients in need. This aligns with the HealthWell Foundation’s mission, which the organization describes as:

To reduce financial barriers to care for underinsured patients with chronic or life-altering diseases.

The fund will offer up to $6,600 over a 12-month period. Ultimately, the fund is designed to assist patients with incomes up to 500% of the federal poverty level. The HealthWell Foundation is working in conjunction with the National Adrenal Diseases Foundation (NADF), a nonprofit organization designed to benefit patients with adrenal diseases and their families. The NADF offers educational resources to those in need.

Both the HealthWell Foundation and the NADF view the Adrenal Insufficiency Fund as important, particularly during the time of COVID-19. At this time, many people are struggling with financial assistance, particularly those who require medication, doctor visits, or other expenses. Currently, the Fund will cover betamethasone, celestone soluspan, cortef, cortisone, decahedron, dexamethasone, diprolene, doubledex, dxevo, fludrocortisone, hydrocortisone, kenalog, luxiq, medrol, methylprednisolone, millipred and millipred dp, oralone dent, prednisolone, prednisone, Rayos, tapered, triamcinolone, trainee, triderm, triesence, and zilretta.

To learn more about the Fund and its eligibility requirements, head to the HealthWell Foundation website.

Adrenal Insufficiency

According to the Hormone Health Network, there are two main forms of adrenal insufficiency (AI): primary and secondary. However, in both cases, adrenal insufficiency is caused when the adrenal glands fail to make enough steroid hormones.

Primary adrenal insufficiency is also known as Addison’s disease. The adrenal glands do not produce enough cortisol or aldosterone. Since cortisol helps the body raise blood sugar, regulate inflammatory responses, and control water – and aldosterone affects blood volume and pressure – patients with Addison’s disease experience myriad side effects. Doctors believe autoimmune disease causes Addison’s disease. However, infections, genetic diseases, or adrenal gland damage are other causes. Symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Appetite loss
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Darkening skin
  • Nausea
  • Fainting
  • Changes in mood or behavior
  • Depression and apathy
  • Craving salty food

Secondary adrenal insufficiency is more common than Addison’s disease. In secondary adrenal insufficiency, the pituitary gland does not tell the adrenal glands to create cortisol. Causes include prescription medicine use, pituitary damage, or tumors. Symptoms include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle and joint pain and weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Salt cravings
  • Low blood pressure

In many cases, patients need to take daily glucocorticoids or other hormones. In severe cases, patients may develop adrenal crisis, which can be fatal if left untreated.

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn has an educational background in writing and marketing. She firmly believes in the power of writing in amplifying voices, and looks forward to doing so for the rare disease community.

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