Dublin, 12, United States
Adrenal insufficiency- the hormonal issue
When the human body produces less amount of hormones that are produced by the adrenal glands one suffers from adrenal insufficiency or Addison’s disease. The situation can cause a life threatening instance.
The body produces less amounts of cortisol and aldosterone.
This disorder is experienced by both men as well as women.
How can the disorder be identified?
The following are the signs or symptoms of this disorder.
• Sexual inability in women.
• Cravings for salt
• Low blood pressure
• Skin becoming dark, a condition called as hyperpigmentation
• Pains in the muscles or joints
• Sudden loss of hair
• Sudden weight loss
• One going unconscious
• Pain in back or abdomen
What are the causes of this disorder?
The main cause of this issue is damage of the adrenal glands that produce less amount of hormones.
The disorder could be primary or secondary which means the disorder could be outcome of damage to the glands
Primary- insufficient hormones that are produced by cortex portion of adrenal gland due to its damage. The damage is auto immune and could result into complications like cancer of adrenal glands, internal bleeding in adrenal glands, Tuberculosis.
Secondary- insufficient hormones are produced by the adrenal gland because of no stimulus by pituitarygland. The adrenal glands in such a situation are not damaged, however the adrenal cortex thepituitary gland produces adrenocorticotropic hormone which stimulates the adrenal cortex to produce the necessary hormones. This disorder could be an outcome of a pituitary gland which could have gone diseased.
Individuals who take corticosteroids for treatment of asthma or arthritis may experience this disorder when they stop taking this treatment.
How it the issue examined or diagnosed?
Your doctor will review your symptoms and accordingly decide if you need to get your blood sample checked or not.
The tests that may be required to be conducted are:
• Blood test
• Imaging test
• Hormonal tests(ACTH stimulation test, insulin –induced test)
How can the issue be treated?
One must not make a delay in taking the necessary treatment as this disorder could be life threatening.
Treatment may involve:
Injections of corticosteroid, oral corticosteroids, therapy to replace androgen in women to treat deficiency of androgen.
When an individual is suffering from extremely life threatening situation called addisonaina crisis, on may require constant medical support as one may be suffering from low blood pressure, low levels of sugar. Treatment would require IV injections of sugar, hydrocortisone and saline.