Adrenal Insufficiency occurs when the body is unable to produce enough cortisol. This hormone helps to maintain the body’s functions such as blood pressure, heart muscle tone, sugar, salt balance and more. Just as a Diabetic must take insulin to live, those with Adrenal Insufficiency (AI) must take cortisol replacements (Hydrocortisone, prednisone, etc.) to live. In addition 75% of those with AI also lack the abilty to produce aldosterone. Aldosterone regulates blood levels of electrolytes (sodium, potassium and hydrogen) and helps to maintain the blood pH.
During times of illness and injury, people who don't have adrenal insufficiency naturally produce up to 10X the normal amount of cortisol. This extra cortisol is needed because the body must work harder to maintain it’s normal functions until the illness has passed or the injury has been treated so that it is no longer causing extra stress on the body.
Since those with adrenal insufficiency can’t produce enough cortisol to begin with, an immediate additional dose of (hydrocortisone) Solu-Cortef® is necessary to prevent an adrenal crisis. An adrenal crisis can lead to shock, heart failure, disability and even death. Until the cortisol levels are increased so the body is able to maintain its functions, no other treatment will be effective.
In the United States only a few states and cities have protocols in place to treat an adrenal crisis. Although it's inexpensive, less than $10 an injection of Solu-Cortef® cannot be administered without protocols. An adrenal crisis is life threatening and can cause permanent disability or death. Please help us raise awareness so this life saving injection is available to all who need it.
John F. Kennedy had Adrenal Insufficiency in the form of Addison's Disease and was successfully diagnosed and treated for it. Yet here we are 50 years later, and people with adrenal insufficiency are suffering, becoming disabled and dying because of a lack of awareness of this disease.
We need national protocols for the diagnosis and emergency care of people with Adrenal Insufficiency.
A simple, inexpensive injection can save a life--sadly it’s not available to everyone who needs it, but you can help change that!
Although Adrenal Insufficiency is inexpensive to treat those with AI often go un-diagnosed for months or even years. This can lead to needless suffering.