Adrenal insufficiency is a life-threatening condition. It affects about 1 in 100,000 people. It occurs in all age groups and agonize men and women equally. The disease is characterized by weight loss, muscle weakness, fatigue, low blood pressure, and sometimes darkening of the skin in both exposed and non-exposed parts of the body. Causes of the permanent form of the condition include Addison's disease, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, complete surgical removal of the pituitary gland or the adrenal. Primary adrenal insufficiency, which can be acute or chronic, may be caused by the anatomic destruction of the gland. This destruction can have various causes, including tuberculosis (TB) or fungal infection , other diseases infiltrating the adrenal glands, and hemorrhage.
Primary insufficiency - rare 0.8 per 100,000; affects both sexes equally and can occur at any age. Secondary conditions are related to both long and short-term use of corticosteroids or megesterol acetate. Secondary adrenal insufficiency may be caused by hypopituitarism due to hypothalamic-pituitary disease, or it may result from suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis by exogenous steroids or endogenous steroids. Secondary adrenocortical insufficiency is relatively common. Extensive therapeutic use of steroids has greatly contributed to increased incidence. Causes of adrenal insufficiency may include genetics , congenital weakness, nutritional imbalances, emotional or psychological stress, toxic substances , mental attitude, stimulants and mental attitude.
Symptoms of adrenal insufficiency is fatigue, decreased tolerance to cold, low stamina, apathy or depression, allergies, low blood pressure, low blood sugar level and poor circulation. Treatment of Addisons disease involves replacing, or substituting, the hormones that the adrenal glands are not making. Cortisol is replaced orally with hydrocortisone tablets. Aldosterone is replaced with oral doses of a mineralocorticoid, called fludrocortisone acetate, that are taken once a day. Fludrocortisone helps to maintain the right levels of salt and fluids in the body. Nutritional supplements to reduce stress and enhance adrenal activity. Detoxification procedures such as sauna therapy to help eliminate toxic metals. Lifestyle modification to reduce harmful stressors.
Adrenal insufficiency Treatment and Prevention Tips
1. Cortisol is replaced orally with hydrocortisone tablets.
2. Lifestyle modification to reduce harmful stressors.
3. Nutritional supplements to reduce stress and enhance adrenal activity.
4. Detoxify or de-infect something that needs to be removed from the body in order to heal.
5. Fludrocortisone may be withheld on the day of surgery
6. Androgen replacement is sometimes recommended for women with primary adrenal insufficiency.