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A 38-year-old female asked:

what is the difference, both in symptoms and treatment , between addisons disease and adrenal insufficiency ?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alvin Lin
Dr. Alvin Lin answered
Geriatrics 30 years experience
Same thing: Addison's disease is the name given to adrenal insufficiency, a condition recognized by traditional medicine. Adrenal exhaustion & adrenal fatigue are terms coined by anti-aging to describe a lesser degree of insufficiency. Consider addison's disease or adrenal insufficiency as a failing grade or f. Adrenal exhaustion & adrenal fatigue would then be suboptimal c or d grade but still normal.

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A 39-year-old member asked:

Can you get home tests that tell you if you have adrenal insufficiency or problems with the gland?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Quang Nguyen
Specializes in Endocrinology
No: Adrenal insufficiency is diagnosed by lab draw and a test called Cortrosyn (acth) stimulatory test. These are blood draw and not a home test.
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 41-year-old member asked:

How is adrenal insufficiency diagnosed?

2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Susan Wingo
Endocrinology 33 years experience
Stimulation Test: Cortisol levels vary widely between individuals, and by time of day and are affected by illness. So random levels may not be helpful. A stimulation test with an injection of Cortrosyn to make the adrenals release cortisol is used. Blood is drawn just before, and 30 and 60 minutes after the Cortrosyn injection. Stimulated levels above 18-20 usually indicate normal adrenal function.
A 47-year-old member asked:

Is adrenal insufficiency hereditary?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Susan Wingo
Endocrinology 33 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 37-year-old member asked:

Is it possible to get home tests which tell you if you have adrenal insufficiency or problems with the gland?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology 49 years experience
Not a simple issue: Adrenal pathology is not an issue for self diagnosis. The tests for adrenal function often require collection of 24 hour urine and complicated tests. If you have a concern, please discuss the issue with your doctor.

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Last updated Dec 9, 2014

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