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

Cold cash just keeps washing in from ALS challenge

Aug 28, 2014

In the couple of hours it took an official from the ALS Association to return a reporter's call for comment, the group's ubiquitous "ice bucket challenge" had brought in a few million more dollars.

Medtronic spends $350M on another European deal

Aug 27, 2014

U.S. medical device maker Medtronic is building stronger ties to Europe, a couple months after announcing a $42.9 billion acquisition that involves moving its main executive offices across the Atlantic, where it can get a ...

Mind over matter for people with disabilities

Aug 26, 2014

People with serious physical disabilities are unable to do the everyday things that most of us take for granted despite having the will – and the brainpower – to do so. This is changing thanks to European ...

User comments