July 27, 2021

Biology Reporter

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Adrenal insufficiency (insufficiency): symptoms, causes, treatment

Still craving something salty? Are you losing weight? Do you have diarrhea? Do you constantly feel weak and sleepy? These symptoms can indicate adrenal insufficiency, a condition in which a deficiency of hormones, especially cortisol, is due to disease of the adrenal glands or the pituitary gland. Learn how to recognize this condition.

  1. Adrenal insufficiency – causes
  2. Adrenal insufficiency – symptoms
  3. Adrenal Insufficiency – Research
  4. adrenal insufficiency treatment

Hypothyroidism (deficiency) of the adrenal cortex It is a condition characterized by insufficient production of hormones – especially cortisol and sometimes aldosterone

The adrenal glands are endocrine glands, which are organs that produce hormones. It is located on both sides, above the kidney, and consists of an outer shell and an inner core.

The adrenal cortex produces:

  • Cortisol – a hormone necessary for life involved in the response to mental and physical stress, in the control of blood pressure, in the regulation of blood glucose, and in the regulation of the quantity and distribution of adipose tissue.
  • Aldosterone is also responsible for controlling blood pressure as well as regulating sodium and potassium levels in the blood.
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), ie the main androgen (male hormone).

The adrenal cortex is controlled by the pituitary gland. The hormone secreted by the pituitary gland stimulates the production and secretion of cortisol by the adrenal glands.

Adrenal insufficiency – causes

Adrenal insufficiency can be caused by damage to the adrenal gland (Addison’s disease) or damage to the pituitary gland.

Adrenal insufficiency – symptoms

Adrenal insufficiency is a symptom of hormone deficiency.

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Symptoms that may indicate adrenal insufficiency:

  • weakness,
  • constant fatigue
  • Anorexia
  • Lose weight,
  • desire to eat salty foods,
  • stomach pain
  • nausea,
  • vomiting
  • low pressure,
  • low blood sugar levels,
  • Low sodium and/or high potassium levels in the blood.

In Addison’s disease, the skin may darken, and in secondary adrenal insufficiency, the skin may become pale; And in severe cases, a life-threatening adrenal crisis occurs.

Adrenal Insufficiency – Research

To confirm or rule out adrenal insufficiency, hormonal tests should be performed – measuring cortisol and ACTH levels in the blood in the morning.

adrenal insufficiency treatment

The treatment for adrenal insufficiency is to correct the hormone deficiency, which leads to symptom relief.

In the case of primary hypothyroidism, corticosteroids (mineral corticosteroids and androgens) are always used. However, in secondary adrenal insufficiency, corticosteroids, and sometimes androgens, are used.

The above advice cannot replace a visit to a specialist. Remember that in case of any health problems, consult a doctor.

Source: Medycyna Praktyczna (mp.pl), labtestonline.pl