The endocrine system creates hormones---chemicals created in one section of the body to regulate another section of the body. Nearly all cellular functions are regulated by hormones. The adrenal glands, a pair of glands located above each kidney, work within the endocrine system to influence progression, growth and physical features. Adrenal insufficiency describes the illness occurring when the adrenal glands don't produce enough hormones.
Successfully treating adrenal insufficiency is determined by the cause and therefore the sort of the ailment. Primary adrenal insufficiency occurs when damage is sustained by the adrenal gland and neglects to produce enough hormones. This affliction, known as Addison's disease, affects four of every 100,000 people in the United States, according to the National Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Information Service.
Secondary Adrenal Insufficiency
When the pituitary fails to create enough adrenocorticotropic hormone, due to some pituitary malfunction, the adrenal glands cannot create enough hormones. Doctors classify this sort of adrenal insufficiency.
Because the hormones produced by the adrenal glands help to regulate the break down and use of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, in addition to modulating blood pressure and volume, many bodily functions change. Common symptoms include persistent fatigue, weak muscles, lack of fat loss and appetite. Adrenal insufficiency additionally influences blood vessels and the heart causing low blood pressure that leads to fainting and dizziness. Other symptoms include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, irritability, depression, headache and perspiration.
Although some patients may attempt to treat individual symptoms, once they receive the diagnosis of adrenal insufficiency, the most effective treatment demands hormone replacement therapy, according to MayoClinic.com. Hormone replacement therapy works on the mixture of oral corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone to replace cortisol levels and mineralocorticoid such as fludrocortisones. Regular aldosterone levels are often maintained by patients struggling with secondary adrenal insufficiency; hence they just need to take the corticosteroid. Women experiencing symptoms of lowered amounts can take advantage of androgen replacement therapy, including dehydroepiandrosterone.