Ozias Humphrey painted this portrait of Austen when she was about 14
Novelist Jane Austen may have died from tuberculosis and not from Addison's disease as previously thought.
Katherine White, the chair of the Addison's Disease Self-Help Group, said Austen did not suffer from the pain and weight loss associated with Addison's.
In a letter Austen wrote shortly before her death, the writer made clear she was not suffering from mental confusion which is also a symptom, Ms White said.
She said Austen, who died aged 41, most likely succumbed to TB.
Addison's disease is a rare disorder of the adrenal glands - it can now be treated using replacement hormones, which did not become available until the 1950s.
"Extreme sleepiness, slurred speech, confusion or a semi-conscious state are characteristic of adrenal crisis," said Ms White.
She said vomiting did not feature in Austen's final 48 hours and her family did not report an emaciated appearance.
"Austen herself reported that she had a clear head and scarcely any pain. Therefore, we can conclude that it is most likely she did not die from Addison's," said Ms White.
She said it was likely that the writer of classics such as Pride and Prejudice died from TB.
Ms White co-wrote the Owner's Manual for those suffering with Addison's and has carried out an international survey on the disease.