Manchester United helped spot fan's rare condition

Doctors in Manchester spotted a rare condition in a football fan after hearing about her unusual symptoms while watching her team Manchester United play.

They describe what happened in the issue published in the today.

The 58 year old woman would suffer from episodes of , palpitations, panic, light headedness, and a sense of impending doom towards the end of high-profile matches at Old Trafford, Manchester United's home ground.

were particularly severe during crucial games when the outcome of the match was in question until the very last minute. In contrast, symptoms were barely noticeable when the opposition was from the lower reaches of the league.

This led to diagnose addisonian crisis - a life threatening manifestation of Addison's disease – in which the adrenal glands do not produce sufficient quantities of the stress hormone cortisol. This can lead to very low blood pressure and even coma.

Addison's disease is a difficult condition to diagnose because the main symptoms include fatigue, lethargy and low mood – symptoms often described by the 'healthy' general population and frequently reported in many other chronic conditions.

The authors say: "We believe that our patient was having difficulty mounting an appropriate physiological cortisol response during the big games and therefore we present this as the first description of Manchester United induced addisonian crisis."

Treatment coincided with the start of the 2011/12 football season and the patient has managed to attend all games at Old Trafford without any adverse effects.

Luckily, the patient was on holiday for United's 6-1 defeat by local rivals Manchester City in October. But, by this time, doctors had fine-tuned her therapy and she has remained symptom-free during recent tense contests against Sunderland and FC Basel.

Two of her daily doses are taken at 3:30pm and 8:30pm; mid-way through afternoon and evening matches, respectively.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Super Bowl could be hazardous to some fans' health

Jan 31, 2007

It’s fourth and long with 10 seconds on the clock. The anxiety builds. Epinephrine floods the bloodstream. Blood vessels constrict as the ball is snapped, causing a spike in blood pressure.

Witnessing violence affects kids' health

Apr 21, 2009

School-aged children who witness violence in urban communities show symptoms of post-traumatic stress. They also suffer physiological effects with a disruption to their normal cortisol production pattern during the day, which ...

Recommended for you

Were clinical trial practices in East Germany questionable?

Oct 23, 2014

Clinical trials carried out in the former East Germany in the second half of the 20th century were not always with the full knowledge or understanding of participants with some questionable practices taking place, according ...

Schumacher's doctor sees progress after injury

Oct 23, 2014

A French physician who treated Michael Schumacher for nearly six months after the Formula One champion struck his head in a ski accident says he is no longer in a coma and predicted a possible recovery within three years.

User comments