What Does Adrenal Insufficiency Look Like?

A formal diagnosis of adrenal insufficiency can be difficult because the symptoms look like that of many other illnesses. The symptoms usually begin gradually and then get worse during an illness, injury, or other significant stress to the system. Common symptoms are fatigue, muscle weakness, loss of appetite and weight loss. It can also include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure, irritability, depression, salt cravings, low blood glucose, headache, and sweating. Sometimes there is a darkening of the skin around scars, skin fold and pressure points.

Primary Adrenal Insufficiency, also called Addison's Disease is due to a lack of Cortisol and sometimes Aldosterone. It affects people in all age groups and both sexes.

Secondary Adrenal Insufficiency happens when the pituitary gland in the brain doesn't produce enough ACTH which in turn stimulates the adrenal gland to produce Cortisol. This form of adrenal insufficiency is more common.