LONDON (Reuters) - Watching your favorite football team trying to hang on to a
precarious lead in the dying minutes of a match is enough to frazzle anyone's
nerves, but for one Manchester United fan the stress was nearly too much.
The 58-year-old woman gets so anxious she has to take
treatment for a life-threatening condition brought on by watching knife-edge
games at the Old Trafford stadium.
The condition, known as an Addisonian crisis, comes about
when the adrenal glands do not produce enough of the stress-reducing hormone
cortisol, a lack of which can lead to low blood pressure and even a coma.
"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," said Dr Akbar Choudhry who treated the
Doctors suspected the condition when the woman started
getting bouts of anxiety, palpitations, panic, light headedness, and a sense of
impending doom towards the end of matches.
The symptoms were less serious when the home side was
playing a lower-rated team.
A Rare Disease
An Addisonian crisis, which is a manifestation of Addison's
disease, is difficult to diagnose because the main symptoms include fatigue,
lethargy and low mood -- often experienced by otherwise healthy people and
frequently reported in many other chronic conditions.