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A 33-year-old member asked:

What is adrenal insufficiency?

2 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Susan Wingo
Endocrinology 34 years experience
Low adrenal function: The adrenal glands make a number of different hormones, most importantly cortisol. When a person's adrenals cannot make normal amounts of cortisol, they are diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency, or failure. This can be due to a problem in the adrenals (infection, tumor, bleeding, auto-immune destruction) or in the pituitary or parts of the brain that control the adrenals.
Dr. Gregg Nishi
Bariatrics 23 years experience
Adrenal insufficienc: Adrenal insufficiency occurs when there is not enough cortisol produced by the adrenal glands. This can occur either from damage to the adrenal glands or the pituitary gland in the brain. Symptoms include weakness, tiredness, dizziness, low blood pressure, cardiovascular collapse, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea among other things.

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A 31-year-old member asked:

What are the tests for adrenal insufficiency?

1 doctor answer6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology 50 years experience
Primary vs secondary: The fault may lie in the pituitary which may produce too little acth. The adrenal responds normally to acth stimulation. If the gland is defective, there is impaired response to acth. In both there are low levels of corticosteroids in blood and urine, and similar electrolyte disturbances, e.G, high potassium.
A 52-year-old member asked:

How do you treat adrenal insufficiency?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Quang Nguyen
Specializes in Endocrinology
Meds: It depends on where the problem is. If the adrenal insufficiency is caused by a pituitary dysfunction, then the treatment is steroid (hydrocortisone, prednisone...) if the problem is at the adrenals, then you will need both steroids and a mineralcorticoid (florinef).
A 47-year-old member asked:

Is adrenal insufficiency hereditary?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Susan Wingo
Endocrinology 34 years experience
It can be.: One cause of adrenal insufficiency, addison's disease, is an auto-immune disorder. The immune system mistakenly makes antibodies targeting one or more proteins in the adrenal cortex, and winds up destroying the adrenal cortex, so that the adrenals can no longer make cortisol, or other hormones. As is true for most auto-immune disorders, a tendency to develop addison's can run in families.
A 36-year-old member asked:

How is adrenal insufficiency treated?

1 doctor answer5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Vered Lewy-Weiss
A Verified Doctoranswered
29 years experience
HRT: Hormone replacement: Hydrocortisone (some use Prednisone or dexamethasone) possibly Fludrocortisone in addition. These are given orally to replace the cortisol and aldosterone no longer made in sufficient amounts.
A 42-year-old member asked:

What causes adrenal insufficiency?

1 doctor answer4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology 50 years experience
Multiple causes: Infections of the gland by bacteria, including meningococcus and tb, metastatic tumors and primary tumors of adrenals, metabolic disorders, e.g., congenital adrenal hyperplasia, lack of pituitary stimulation, amyloid infiltration and sudden stoppage of steroid treatment etc.
Dr. Philip Kern
Dr. Philip Kern commented
Endocrinology 44 years experience
The most common cause in the US is autoimmune Addison's disease, sometimes occurring in combination with Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Another cause is adrenal hemmorhage, which can occur in a severe acute illness, especially if the patient is anticoagulated.
Jul 29, 2017

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How can I tell whether I have adrenal insufficiency?
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What is the most common way to treat adrenal insufficiency?
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If you have adrenal insufficiency what foods should you avoid?
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Last updated Nov 2, 2019

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