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What is the difference between primary and secondary hypoadrenalism?

2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Vered Lewy-Weiss
Pediatrics - Endocrinology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Adrenal vs Pituitary

Primary adrenal insufficiency (ai) is when the part of the adrenal glands which make cortisol is damaged so that cortisol is not produced in sufficient amount.
Acth from the pituitary gland is high. Skin bronzing may be seen. Secondary ai occurs when the pituitary gland isn't able to produce enough acth to signal the adrenals to make cortisol. Therefore, both acth and cortisol levels are low.

In brief: Adrenal vs Pituitary

Primary adrenal insufficiency (ai) is when the part of the adrenal glands which make cortisol is damaged so that cortisol is not produced in sufficient amount.
Acth from the pituitary gland is high. Skin bronzing may be seen. Secondary ai occurs when the pituitary gland isn't able to produce enough acth to signal the adrenals to make cortisol. Therefore, both acth and cortisol levels are low.
Dr. Vered Lewy-Weiss
Dr. Vered Lewy-Weiss
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