How is adrenal insufficiency diagnosed?

  • ACTH (cortisol) stimulation test
  • Insulin tolerance test

More About Adrenal Insufficiency

About 80% of cases of Adrenal Insufficiency are caused by autoimmune disease. Other cases are caused by infection. Adrenal insufficiency occurs in slightly more women than men. In general about 1 in 100,000 individuals have adrenal insufficiency.


  • dehydration
  • low blood pressure
  • low blood sugar
  • depression
  • altered mental status
  • increased skin pigmentation or bronzing
  • salt cravings
  • dizziness
  • weight loss

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Adrenal insufficiency is the deficiency of one or more hormones made by the adrenal glands. Pituitary disorders can cause low levels of of the adrenal hormone, cortisol.

Treatment of Adrenal Insufficiency

Cortisol is replaced orally with tablets taken once or twice a day. The usual medications are prednisone, hydrocortisone, or dexamethasone.