Adrenal insufficiency, including Addison’s disease, is a disorder that occurs when the adrenal glands don’t make enough of certain hormones. These include cortisol, sometimes called the “stress hormone,” which is essential for life.
The most common symptoms are fatigue, muscle weakness, loss of appetite, weight loss, and abdominal pain. Adrenal insufficiency can be caused by autoimmune disease or suddenly stopping steroid medicines used to treat other conditions, among other causes.
Doctors diagnose adrenal insufficiency with blood tests. Other tests, such as computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), help find the cause of this disorder.