Acute Adrenal Crisis

The causes of Acute Adrenal Crisis are considered to be deficiency of cortisol. People may experience dizziness or lightheadedness, sweating, weakness, abdominal pain, vomiting, or even loss of consciousness.

Cortisol is a glucocorticoid, a corticosteroid that balance glucose (blood sugar) regulation, curbs the immune response, and produced as a result of body's reaction to stress. Cortisol release is maintained by a small gland just underneath the brain, the pituitary gland. Cortisol is necessary for life.

Acute Adrenal Crisis Causes

Acute Adrenal crisis surfaces if the adrenal gland is weakening (Addison's disease, adrenal insufficiency), in case of pituitary gland injury (secondary adrenal insufficiency), or if adrenal insufficiency is not properly treated.

Adrenal Crisis occurs when the adrenal glands, 2 small glands located on the top of our kidneys, become stressed out and depleted. The adrenal glands are liable for managing the stresses of our routine life, whether it is professional stress, physical stress, emotional stress, or psychological stress.

When the adrenal glands depletes, they cannot take up the stresses of our everyday life. Our body then starts to display the signs of adrenal fatigue.

Remember that simply because you have some of the symptoms of adrenal insufficiency, it does not signify that you are suffering from adrenal fatigue. Nevertheless, if you notice that you have the most of these symptoms, then you may need to investigate further.

You must be looking forward to know some of the general reasons of adrenal fatigue to identify if you can recognize with any such reasons in your personal life. You'll also wish to consult your physician for a complete medical check up and diagnosis of adrenal fatigue.

Adrenal Glands

The adrenal glands, located on the top of the kidneys, consist of the outer layer, called the cortex, and the inside area, called the medulla. The cortex is responsible for creating three kinds of hormones, which are termed as corticosteroids.
Cortisol is a glucocorticoid - a corticosteroid which:

  • Enable regulate blood sugar (glucose)
  • Curbs the immune response
  • Is produced as a part of the body's response to stress

Cortisol release is maintained by a small gland below the brain called the pituitary gland.

Risk Factors for Adrenal Crisis Include:

Risk factors for adrenal crisis may embody physical stress like infection, surgery, dehydration, adrenal gland injury, trauma, pituitary gland injury, and treatment with steroids i.e. prednisone or hydrocortisone at an early state.


A diagnosis of Adrenal Fatigue is mostly based on both the symptoms (described above) of the patient and realizing the DHEA and Cortisol levels in the blood. High Cortisol blood levels will basically enhance insulin levels and potentially allow the body to store fat. High Cortisol levels also may reduce DHEA.

Low DHEA levels generally will manifest fatigue, a decreased metabolism and accumulation of excess weight. This misbalance is a major factor for a diagnosis of Adrenal Fatigue.

The diagnosis can be conducted by serum blood test which will identify Cortisol, DHEA and thyroid function. After evaluating the levels of these hormones, a comprehensive program via supplementation, nutritional and optimization of these hormone levels can be introduced. This will catapult your potential to handle stress and retain a healthy adrenaline gland function. In addition to this, the diagnosis will also narrate the importance of lifestyle changes and nutritional intakes that will aid in the treatment and prevention of Adrenal Fatigue.


An immediately injection of hydrocortisone dose via muscle (intramuscular) or vein (intravenous) is essential if a patient is suffering from Acute Adrenal crisis situation. You may also get intravenous fluids if you are suffering from low blood pressure.

You must get admitted in the hospital for treatment and supervision. If any type of infection has caused the emergency, you may have to undergo antibiotic therapy.

Expectations (prognosis)

The shock, in this case, must be avoided by providing right treatment on time or it may become life-threatening also.


  • Coma
  • Shock
  • Seizures

Time to Call Health Care Provider

You will be calling your physician if you have Addison's disease and you are not able to have your medications as a result of vomiting.

An emergency situation may arise and you much call the local emergency number if you witness signs of acute adrenal crisis.

Preventive Measures

If you have Acute Adrenal crisis, you must learn to identify symptoms of prominent stress that may result in acute adrenal crisis. Most people with Acute Adrenal disease are trained to inject themselves an injection of hydrocortisone or enhance their quantity of intake of prednisone at the time of emergency of stress.

It is necessary to always retain a medical identification card that manifest the kind of medication and the right dose you require in the case of an emergency.

Never Miss your Medications

Also, your doctor may suggest you to always put on a Medical Alert tag. This tag will allow health care professionals identify about your situation in the hours of emergency.