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Jul 9, 2019

In this episode we discuss adrenal insufficiency with Sarah.

Sarah Reilley

There are three types; primary, secondary, or tertiary adrenal insufficiency.

Primary adrenal insufficiency is also called Addison’s disease. When you have this type, your adrenal glands are damaged and can’t make the cortisol you need. They also might not make enough aldosterone.

Secondary adrenal insufficiency is more common than Addison’s disease. The condition happens because of a problem with your pituitary gland, a pea-sized bulge at the base of your brain. It makes a hormone called adrenocorticotropin (ACTH). This is the chemical that signals your adrenal glands to make cortisol when your body needs it. If your adrenal glands don’t get that message, they may eventually shrink.  This is the type our guest on this week's episode is dealing with.

Tertiary is due to hypothalamic disease and a decrease in the release of corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH). Causes can include brain tumors and sudden withdrawal from long-term exogenous steroid use (which is the most common cause overall)