Adrenal insufficiency

This is an issue which occurs with the adrenal glands (found just on top of the kidneys) are not capable of producing enough steroid hormones. Usually the main issue is that the adrenal glands are not producing enough cortisol but there may also be issues with the management of sodium and potassium, as well as water retention issues.

There are different severeness of adrenal insufficiency and the worst by far is Addison’s disease as it can be fatal in some situations. Addison’s disease can cause excessive abdominal pans, vomiting, diarrhea, a weak muscle system, major fatigue from light exercise, kidney failure, mood swings, personality changes, stress, and much more. If the adrenal insufficiency is not treated quickly then it may be too late to prevent all these side effects from torturing you every single day.

While not all adrenal insufficiency conditions are that severe, treating them is still very important. The main problem most people have is that they do not know how to identify an adrenal insufficiency and it takes a while before it is discovered and treated properly. So, you should know what the signs and symptoms of an adrenal insufficiency are and you should make sure you visit your doctor immediately if you notice them.

Adrenal Insufficiency Symptoms
First off, it is important to note that you may be able to identify an adrenal insufficiency based on how it is caused. You should do a quick search to find out the various causes of an adrenal insufficiency as the list is rather lengthy.

Now, the symptoms of Addison’s disease have already been discussed but not all of them are common for a less severe adrenal insufficiency condition. The most common symptoms of an adrenal insufficiency would include frequent dehydration, unwarranted weight loss, feeling disoriented, dizzy, tired, or weak, muscle aches, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and an extremely low blood pressure. The symptoms common with hypoglycemia and orthostatic hypotension may also be noticed if you have an adrenal insufficiency as well.

Adrenal Insufficiency Diagnosis
It is not possible to determine you have an adrenal insufficiency just based on having a few of the listed symptoms. You will want to make sure you get the proper diagnosis so speaking with your doctor may be the best way to determine if this is the condition you have, and you can also find out the best way to go about treating it. However, there are some ways to find out if you have an adrenal insufficiency or not.

This is one of the harder conditions to diagnose but there are some tests available that can help with doing so. These tests will check the cortisol and aldosterone levels and determine the proper diagnosis based on that information. The ACTH Stimulation Test is the most common way of testing for an adrenal insufficiency as it measures the blood cortisol level effectively.

There are still other methods to test to determine if you have an adrenal insufficiency and of those is even the option to use a MRI scan. While there may be some home kits available for some of these tests you will probably want to get your doctor to run them instead to make sure they are done properly.

Adrenal Insufficiency Treatments
Once you determine that you are suffering from an adrenal insufficiency you will want to find the best way to treat it. Since the main issue with an adrenal insufficiency is usually a cortisol deficiency you will want to make up for the cortisol that is not being produced in your adrenal glands. In order to this you wouldwant to take cortisol supplements which come in tablet (pill) form and are taken orally.

There are other pills which you may be recommended to take as well to make up for other hormones that are not being produced effectively. In order to determine exactly how to treat the adrenal insufficiency you will have to speak with your doctor. He or she will be capable of determining the best treatment method possible for your situation so you are guaranteed the best results possible.

Last updated on Dec 13th, 2009 and filed under Endocrine System. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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