Adrenal insufficiency caused by corticosteroids

A discussion on stress should include recognition of Dr. Hans Selye. His classic work on stress ( The Stress of Life , McGraw- Hill Book Co., .) and his many other publications report “that our various internal organs, especially the endocrine glands and the nervous system, help to adjust us to the constant changes which occur in and around us. He calls this adjustment the General Adaptation Syndrome. Selye concluded that the adrenals were the body’s prime reactors to stress. He stated that the adrenals “…are the only organs that do not shrink under stress; they thrive and enlarge. If you remove them, and subject an animal to stress it can’t live. But if you remove them, and then inject extract of cattle adrenals (cortex), stress resistance will vary in direct proportion to the amount of the injection, and even be put back to normal.” Likewise a person’s stress resistance will vary with the competence of his adrenals, but continually stressing the adrenals finally depletes them.

Causes of primary adrenal insufficiency (Addison's disease)
Causes of secondary and tertiary adrenal insufficiency in adults
Clinical manifestations of adrenal insufficiency in adults
Diagnosis of adrenal insufficiency in adults
Evaluation of the response to ACTH in adrenal insufficiency
Hyponatremia and hyperkalemia in adrenal insufficiency
Pathogenesis of autoimmune adrenal insufficiency
Treatment of adrenal insufficiency in adults
Treatment of adrenal insufficiency in children

While secondary or tertiary adrenal insufficiency (isolated glucocorticoid deficiency) does not lead to volume depletion, it decreases vascular tone, which leads to hypotension. Thus, adrenal crisis occurs less frequently in patients with secondary or tertiary adrenal insufficiency. When they do have adrenal crisis, it tends to be during acute stress, or with acute cortisol deficiency due to pituitary infarction or after surgical cure of Cushing's syndrome. (See "Clinical manifestations of adrenal insufficiency in adults", section on 'Secondary/tertiary adrenal insufficiency' .)

Adrenal insufficiency caused by corticosteroids

adrenal insufficiency caused by corticosteroids

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