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Adrenal insufficiency

Adrenal insufficiency is a rare endocrine disorder that only affects 1 in every 100,000 people. Lack of energy and drive associated with a lack of adrenaline (epinephrine) is the most marked symptom. Other symptoms include low blood pressure, weight loss and a reduction in muscle mass.

Also known as Addison’s disease, Adrenal Insufficiency has 2 possible causes. ‘Primary’ insufficiency is when the lack of adrenaline is due to a fault with the adrenal gland itself. ‘Secondary’ insufficiency is due to a lack of Adrenocorticotropic Hormone (ACTH) being produced by the pituitary gland. In the event of an ‘Addison crisis’ the patient has a dramatic drop in blood pressure and blood sugar, as well as a rapid rise in potassium. These events can be life-threatening.