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!
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.