Do you happen to know if she has primary (adrenal) or secondary (pituitary) Addison's? The treatment is the same basically - she must take a replacement for the cortisol (corticosteroid) that her adrenals do not produce naturally. Usually this is hydrocortisone (cortef) but it can be prednisone or dexamethasone as well. She may also take a second medication to retain salt as most but not all people with Addison's cannot retain sodium well - that medication is fludrocortisone or florinef.
When your grandmother is ill or stressed, she must take extra medication to make up for to cortisol that the body should produce but cannot so she can stay healthy. Hopefully she has a medic alert or similar bracelet and her family is well aware of her illness to take care of her in time of need. I know I have to carry extra medications at all times.
As for heredity, I don't think that is an issue. There are links in the health pages (lower right) that may help you more. If you have any other questions let me know.
I have Addison's disease and have had it since I was about a year old. However, I wasn't diagnosed with the disease until I was 10 years old. My great grandmother had the disease and I did inherit Addison's. According to my doctor it skips a couple of generations in my family. So, don't discount that it may be inherited. Hope this helps.
Do you know the nature - aka the reason for your Addison's? There can be different sources and some are more inheritable than others. So is the source auto-immune, MEN-1, MEN-2 or other? You are right, some sources are inherited - but they are not common and often come with other disorders - do you have other issues?
I always advise people to get copies of your tests and reports - it is a good idea!
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