Adrenal Essay

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DARA ISANG APRIL 24, 2015 ADRENAL INSUFFICIENCY Adrenal insufficiency is a condition in which the adrenal glands do not produce adequate amounts of steroid hormones, primarily cortisol; but may also include impaired production of aldosterone. ------------------------------------------------- Types There are three major types of adrenal insufficiency. * Primary adrenal insufficiency is due to impairment of the adrenal glands. * 80% are due to an autoimmune disease called Addison's disease or autoimmune adrenalitis. * idiopathic, or of unknown cause. * congenital adrenal hyperplasia or an adenoma of the adrenal gland. * Secondary adrenal insufficiency is caused by impairment of the pituitary gland or hypothalamus. * The most common cause in the United States is exogenous steroid use. * Other causes are a pituitary adenoma or microadenoma (which can suppress production of ACTH and lead to adrenal deficiency unless the endogenous hormones are replaced); craniopharyngioma; and Sheehan's syndrome. * Tertiary adrenal insufficiency is due to hypothalamic disease and a decrease in the release of CRH. * Other causes: tuberculosis, AIDS, and metastatic disease. * Minor causes of adrenal insufficiency are systemic amyloidosis, fungal infections, hemochromatosis, and sarcoidosis ------------------------------------------------- Signs and Symptoms These include hypoglycemia, dehydration, weight loss, and disorientation, weakness, tiredness, dizziness, low blood pressure that falls further when standing (orthostatic hypotension), cardiovascular collapse, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Addison's disease can present with tanning of the skin that may be patchy or even all over the body. Hyper pigmentation is characterized by diffuse tanning of exposed and, to a lesser extent, unexposed portions of the body, especially on

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