What is an adrenal crisis?
An adrenal crisis is the result of an extreme physical or emotional stress that
does not get the necessary steroid coverage to meet that stress. It is a potentially
life-threatening medical emergency that requires management in a hospital or
emergency department. Typical symptoms are:
• Severe drop in blood pressure, causing dizziness, lightheadedness and possibly
loss of consciousness
• Nausea and vomiting
• Confusion and lethargy
• Muscle weakness, cramps, headaches
Hospital or emergency department treatment will include IV saline, IV hydrocortisone
and close monitoring of blood pressure and electrolytes. The length of hospitalization
may be hours to days, and will depend on the severity of the crisis and any underlying
precipitating factors, such as infection, as well as the basic health of the individual.
Supplied as a service by:
The National Adrenal Diseases Foundation is a
non-profit organization providing information, education and
support to all persons affected by adrenal disease.
For more information on joining NADF,
or to find a support group in your area, contact:
The National Adrenal Diseases Foundation
505 Northern Boulevard, Suite 200
Great Neck, New York 11021