Low Cortisol Levels: What Do They Do To Your Body?

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When you are stressed, your adrenal glands, which sit on top of the kidneys, produce a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol helps your body to respond effectively to stress. It also plays an important role in bone health, the immune system response, and the metabolism of food. Your body normally balances the amount of cortisol that is produced. If you have low cortisol levels or high levels of it, you might develop serious health conditions.

Addisonian crisis is a serious medical condition that is caused by the body’s inability to produce a sufficient amount of cortisol or due to low cortisol levels. Addisonian crisis is also known as an acute adrenal crisis. People who have a condition called Addison’s disease or who have damaged adrenal glands might not be able to produce enough levels of cortisol.

Low cortisol levels can cause weakness, fatigue, and lower blood pressure. You might have more symptoms if you have untreated Addison’s disease or damaged adrenal glands caused due to severe stress, such as from a car accident or even an infection. These symptoms might include sudden dizziness, vomiting, and even loss of consciousness. This is called Addisonian crisis.

Addisonian crisis can be extremely dangerous if cortisol levels aren’t replenished. It is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical treatment.

Low Cortisol Levels: What Do They Do To Your Body?
Low Cortisol Levels: What Do They Do To Your Body?

Symptoms Of Addisonian Crisis, You Must Know

The symptoms of an Addisonian crisis are the following:

  • weakness in extreme
  • mental confusion
  • dizziness
  • abdominal pain or nausea
  • vomiting
  • fever
  • sudden pain in the legs or lower back
  • loss of appetite
  • extremely lower blood pressure
  • skin rashes
  • chills
  • sweating
  • increased heart rate
  • loss of consciousness
Low Cortisol Levels: What Do They Do To Your Body?
Low Cortisol Levels: What Do They Do To Your Body?

Causes Of Addisonian Crisis Must-Know Facts

An Addisonian crisis might happen when someone who doesn’t have properly functioning adrenal glands experiences any kind of highly stressful situation. The adrenal glands sit above the kidneys and are responsible for producing numerous vital hormones, which include cortisol.

Other causes of Addison’s disease include the following:

  • prolonged usage of glucocorticoids such as prednisone;
  • severe infections that include fungal and viral infections;
  • tumors;
  • bleeding in the adrenal glands because of the use of certain blood thinners which help prevent blood clots; and,
  • any surgery on the adrenal gland.

Your cortisol levels will gradually decrease over time if you have Addison’s disease that is no treated. When you do not have a normal amount of the adrenal hormones, stress can overwhelm your body which would eventually lead to an Addisonian crisis. An Addisonian crisis may be triggered by certain traumatic events, which include the following:

  • a car accident
  • an injury leading to a physical shock
  • severe dehydration
  • severe infection, such as the flu or a stomach virus

What Is The Long-Term Outlook?

People having an Addisonian Crisis can recover if they receive early treatment and can live a relatively healthy and active life.

You can lessen the risk of developing an Addisonian crisis by taking prescribed medications. You should also carry a hydrocortisone injection kit and have an identification card which states your condition in case of any kind of emergency.