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Thank you for answering my question. I just found out that my boyfriend has Addison's disease. He says that he must keep his stress level down or it can make him sick. Is this something that can be transmitted to me? If he cannot be stressed, does that mean that he should not have sex?


A quick check on wiki reveals that at least one (of three recognised causes) is genetic, but unhelpfully, the remaining two causes are not identified for transmission vs genetics. It does note that despite the name, that does not imply it is a 'disease' (ie: transmissable by organism, bacteria, virus).

None of that means I'm a medical professional, simply an experienced adult reading wiki for you, and from the sounds of it, it's complex enough that even science doesn't have a full handle on it. If you're really concerned, and it is a perfectly reasonable concern, then it is something you should discuss with your own doctor.

I would point out that JFK was the most famous sufferer, and Jackie looked swell, even when she married a Greek tycoon, so I wouldn't be overly concerned, but that's not a get out clause: if in doubt, check it out.

Bummer if he 'can't' have sex (I'm assuming (perhaps naively) you're adults here). Ultimately, however, again, JFK did fine on that front, and there are plenty of people that keep their addictions despite the harm they know it can do - smoking, sex, alcohol - though of the three, sex is the only 'addiction' that cannot (except by foreign bodies, STD) cause harm [S&M is intentional quasi-sex, I'm talking about consensual, affectionate sex].

So basically, that's one that going to be down to the two of you to work out.

It should be pointed out also, the quid pro quo - the tradeoff - being genetic makes you safe (unless the other two forms can be transmitted, which I doubt, but check), but puts your children - possibly - at risk.

It's very heroic to stand by your man (or vice versa) but it is a life choice, and one that is far more demanding on you when you're young. Don't be a martyr for him, and hopefully he won't be a victim for you: he has a condition, how he deals with it is up to him, primarily, and you, secondarily: it's his condition.

I spent yesterday evening listening to Dr Stephen Hawking, one of the planet's most brilliant minds, and never saw a muscle twitch (not that I was watching per se, but just to make a point). Would you wish to be married to a man who couldn't move a muscle?

Yet he does have a child - I don't know when or how - because he told us.

... and - dare I say it - any guy that thinks he can get through life without being stressed, good luck. If he's speaking in good faith, he's going to have to come to some fundamental choices for himself: live life wrapped in cotton wool, but a non-life, or live life to the full: Dr Hawking is not even supposed to be alive (no, I don't believe its' the same condition, I'm simply making a point), but he is.

Only your boyfriend can decide what kind of life he's going to lead, and right now he's probably somewhat in shock, and somewhat adjusting. You can be sympathetic during the transition, but do bear in mind that you have a right to a life of your own choosing, just as he is going to be choosing his own life - not a magic wand to eliminate the condition, but a perspective as to how to live effectively with the condition.

It's a bummer - but life isn't, well, cosy, as I'm sure you're already old enough to have figured out.

Do your research, ask a doctor, keep an open mind - both on how it could be together, and how it may have to be, if your life choices are not his life choices.


Thanks jeremiaz. You've made some good points and I have a lot to consider. My boyfriend and I just started going out last week. His condition is due to a brain surgery he had as a kid that destroyed his hypothalamus and pituitary glands. He told me about his Addison's disease and said that he cannot have sex. So, I went home and looked up the condition. I have found nothing that says that. He also mentioned transmitting it and I have not found anything on that. I'm just confused. I'd like to believe that he is wrong about that and that is why I have been trying to find any information that addresses that.


I admire your courage and willingness to pursue this, on both your behalfs.

I think you really need to speak to a specialist, if you want to get to the bottom of the matter. It may cost for an hour of their time, but the're the only people who can really answer your fundamental questions with any accuracy.

Good luck.

ps: you may have a difficult decision to make. If he truly believes he is unable to have sex, or unwilling to do so, respecting yourself may mean respecting his right to feel that way. It's difficult not to feel sympathy, but - if I may be blunt, out of consideration for your future - you have to decide whether to be a nurse to his condition, a friend, a celibate partner, or truly a lover, if he is willing to be that.

There are no wrong choices, and no real penalty (if you're 21-25, say) for exploring the relationship. If you're older than that, I'd expect you to be able to make your own choices, so really have no advice or judgement, beyond trusting yourself. You can be a loyal friend, or a partner, that's really up to you.

Take care.


HAHAHAHAHAHA U HAVE BEEN HAD!! I have addison's disease and i lead a perfectly normal life!!