If the body undergoes pressure such as injury, surgery or severe infection, an adrenal crisis may occur. This can even lead to death.
Secondary adrenal insufficiency is usually due to a lack of usual stimulation of the adrenal cortex and ACTH deficiency. This problem usually causes cortisol deficiency.
For the treatment of certain inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and asthma, glucocorticoid hormones are often used. CRH and ACTH hormones are released by these hormones.
CRH also releases ACTH. If the CRH level is reduced, ACTH is not released. Therefore, cortisol levels are not adequately secreted by the adrenals.
The symptoms of secondary adrenal insufficiency are usually associated with cortisol deficiency. Some of the most common symptoms of this discomfort include severe fatigue, nausea and diarrhea, depression and loss of appetite, muscle weakness and loss of appetite.
If a secondary adrenal insufficiency is predicted, it can be prevented with appropriate treatment.
However, if the symptoms do not advance, a sudden event may worsen it. This is an adrenal crisis and needs to be addressed to the emergency department. Therefore, one of the best tools for diagnosing adrenal insufficiency is to refer to the medical history of the patient.
Besides, it can be diagnosed by a blood test. In this test, the level of potassium, blood glucose, and the number of blood cells is checked.
Another definitive test is ACTH stimulation. In this test, the levels of ACTH and cortisol of blood are taken before taking Cortrosyn. This test is also repeated one hour after consumption.
A Weak reaction or lack of reaction shows that Adrenal dysfunction is not normal. The problem with this test is that it may be affected by recently used drugs. This test may indicate the current state of the adrenal gland, but it may be difficult to recover in the future.
Also, hormonal diseases, including adrenal and pituitary, lead to secondary adrenal insufficiency. Therefore, patients with secondary adrenal insufficiency should refer to an endocrine specialist.
An endocrinologist has more expertise and experience in identifying and treating secondary adrenal insufficiency than other doctors. High adrenal insufficiency is usually managed by such specialists.