How watching football was nearly the death of a fan

LONDON Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:33am EST

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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 patient.

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.

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.

"Luckily, the patient was on holiday for United's 6-1 defeat by local rivals Manchester City in October," Choudhry said in a report on BMJ.com.

"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," he added.

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.

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Comments (1)
bollocks69 wrote:
The patient hasn’t managed to attend all the games at Old Trafford, as you state in the last paragraph. As it says in the third last, she was on holiday when United played Man City at Old Trafford (I won’t repeat the fluke result).

Dec 19, 2011 4:56pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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