Adrenal insufficiency causes problems with production of Cortisol and Aldosterone. These two hormones have important roles in the body and are released by the Cortex. Adrenal insufficiency is not often seen as life threatening however it is a very serious life threatening condition.
Now that we know what adrenal insufficiency is we can look at what causes it. The most common cause of adrenal insufficiency is an autoimmune disorder. This is where the adrenal cortex is shrinking or destroyed. This happens when the body mistakes the adrenal cortex as a foreign object in the body. It then sends cells to destroy it. This also happens in the exact same manner with cancer.
Adrenal insufficiency isn’t usually diagnosed until a doctor sees increased pigmentation of the skin. He then will do various blood tests to test the sodium and glucose in the body.
There is a treatment for adrenal insufficiency. In most cases synthetic steroids are used to replace the levels of cortisol that are missing. The synthetic steroid will have to be taking by the patient for the rest of his or her life. However the downside to the steroid is that it causes dehydration and salt loss as well. It can even cause low blood pressure in some circumstances.
This means that the patient must have a well balanced diet so that he or she has the proper levels of nutrients. In most situations doctors will ask patients to follow up with them often. This is because the doctors want to check and monitor blood sugar and urinary acetone levels to ensure that everything is working properly.
There are some situations that you will need to be prepared for as a person who has adrenal insufficiency or the milder form of adrenal exhaustion called adrenal fatigue (or chronic fatigue ). Find more information on adrenal support.