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Doctor insights on: Secondary Adrenal Insufficiency

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Can you have both primary and secondary adrenal insufficiency?

Can you have both primary and secondary adrenal insufficiency?

Unlikely: Primary adrenal insufficiency means that the adrenal glands are unable to make cortisol. In secondary adrenal insufficiency, the adrenals are able to make cortisol, but do not receive enough stimulation from the pituitary to make normal levels. While it is theoretically possible for one person to have both conditions, neither condition is common, so it would be rare to have both. ...Read more

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Dr. David Geffner
254 doctors shared insights

Addison's Disease (Definition)

Chronic adrenal insufficiency. You may consult this site for more information on this topic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/addisons-disease/home/ovc-20155636 For good health - Have a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, milk and milk products, nuts, beans, legumes, lentils and small amounts of lean meats. Avoid saturated fats. Drink enough water daily, so that your urine is mostly colorless. Exercise at least 150 minutes/week and increase the intensity of exercise gradually. Do not use tobacco, alcohol, weed or street drugs in any ...Read more


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Is it possible that if you have secondary adrenal insufficiency that it is caused from another disease or disorder?

Is it possible that if you have secondary adrenal insufficiency that it is caused from another disease or disorder?

Yes: Adrenal insufficiency can also occur when the hypothalamus or the pituitary gland does not make adequate amounts of the hormones that assist in regulating adrenal function.This is called secondary or tertiary adrenal insufficiency and is caused by lack of production of acth in the pituitary or lack of crh in the hypothalamus. ...Read more

Dr. Ira Katz Dr. Katz
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On a ACTH stimulation 3 time point base number 8, 30 min =23.5, 60 min = 39.6 does this suggest secondary adrenal insufficiency?

Dr. Ira Katz Dr. Katz
2 doctors agreed:

Not Enough Info: The baseline of 8 mcg is a borderline morning value and normal in the evening. The time of the day, ACTH value, reason for the test, how long the condition has been present for are all important. If it is secondary adrenal insufficiency it is likely new in onset. This test does completely rule out primary adrenal insufficiency though. ...Read more

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Acth stim test for secondary adrenal insufficiency. What to expect? Feel better if positive? Feel worse if negative? And why?

Maybe 2: For secondary adrenal insufficiency we will sometimes do a lo/hi dose acth test using two doses to elicit a response from adrenals. The Insulin tolerance test is another good way to determine cortisol insufficiency as well as gh deficiency which can be seen with acth deficiency. If you're deficient in acth you'll get steroid replacement which will make you feel better. ...Read more

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Low cortisol. Low acth but normal stimulation test. Could I still have secondary adrenal insufficiency?

Yes: Without more information, I can not say for sure you have it, but this is essentially the def of secondary adrenal insufficiency. Secondary AI is a condition where the adrenal gland still has function, but is not being told to produce cortisol by the pituitary gland. There are other tests, but initial dx usually made by low baseline cortisol with ACTH injection causing nl cortisol by adrenal gland ...Read more

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Normal ACTH stimulation test could I still have secondary adrenal insufficiency? I have low blood pressure and low blood sugar

Normal ACTH stimulation test could I still have secondary adrenal insufficiency?  I have low blood pressure and low blood sugar

Yes: The ACTH stimulation test is primarily a test for primary adrenal insufficiency or long standing secondary adrenal insufficiency. If secondary adrenal insufficiency has not been there too long the ACTH stimulation test may very well be normal. Other tests, based on cause that can answer this including: Low dose ACTH Stim, Insulin Tolerance, Metyrapone (now available again) & CRH stimulation test. ...Read more

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Which is the better steroid replacement, prednidone or cortef (hydrocortisone)? For secondary adrenal insufficiency.

I like Cortef (hydrocortisone) best: For adults it's a personal preference, but Hydrocortisone (cortef (hydrocortisone)) gives more physiologic steroid hormone replacement. Doses much easier to adjust, though trade-off is taking 3 times/day because 1/2 life is shorter than prednisone. Prednisone is much stronger than Hydrocortisone so it's easier to get cushingoid taking it, especially because dose can't be manipulated as finely as with cortef (hydrocortisone). ...Read more

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Dx adrenal insufficiency secondary to long term corticosteroid use. How long for body to kick in and start to normalize potassium?

Dx adrenal insufficiency secondary to long term corticosteroid use. How long for body to kick in and start to normalize potassium?

Variable: It can take a long time. Did you taper the steroids slowly or just stop cold-turkey. Sometimes totally normal response never returns. Check w/your doctor who can test your system and advise you. ...Read more

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What is adrenal insufficiency?

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. ...Read more

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Dr. Jeffrey Wint
129 doctors shared insights

Addisonian Crisis (Definition)

Addisonian or acute adrenal crisis is a life-threatening condition that occurs when there is not enough cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal glands. It can manifest with fatigue, nausea, poor appetite, fever, joint pain, fatigue, coma, or seizure. Addison's disease is usually treated ...Read more


Dr. Cayce Jehaimi
372 doctors shared insights

Adrenal Insufficiency (Definition)

Adrenal insufficiency is either an absent or abnormally low production and/or secretion of hormones produced by the adrenal gland. Hormones produced by the adrenal glands include those involved with salt regulation, sugar metabolism, and sex hormones ...Read more