(Acute Adrenocortical Insufficiency)
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Adrenal crisis is a severe lack of a hormone called cortisol made by the adrenal gland. This hormone helps the body with blood pressure, metabolism, and the immune system. Aldosterone hormone levels may also be low. This problem can be deadly.
Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:
Problems may be:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.
Blood and urine tests may be done to check hormone levels.
Pictures may be taken. This can be done with:
This problem can be deadly. Care is needed right away. A person will need:
Managing Addison disease can lower the risk of this problem. A person should be aware of signs of stress and:
American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians
Canadian Institute for Health Information
Adrenal insufficiency and Addison's disease. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at:
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Accessed October 27, 2020.
Adrenal insufficiency in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/adrenal-insufficiency-in-adults. Accessed October 27, 2020.
Charmandari E, Nicolaides NC, et al. Adrenal insufficiency. Lancet. 2014 Jun 21;383(9935):2152-2167.
Last reviewed September 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board James P. Cornell, MD
Last Updated: 4/30/2021