Autoimmunity-induced condition resulting in a decrease in secretion of the adrenal cortex hormones, decreased physiologic response to stress, vascular insufficiency, and hypoglycemia can cause an alteration in adrenal androgen secretion necessary for secondary sex characteristics.
Occurs after bilateral adrenalectomy or abrupt withdrawal from long-term corticosteroid therapy. Adrenal crisis may be precipitated by client’s failure to take medications, AIDS, septicemia, tuberculosis, or increased emotional stress without appropriate hormone replacement.
Fatigue, weakness, weight loss, gastrointestinal disturbances, hypoglycemia, postural hypotension, hyponatremia, hyperkalemia, bronze pigmentation of the skin, and Addison crisis.
Focus on replacement of adrenal hormones and safely administering steroid replacement. Assess sodium and water retention, serum potassium levels, and keep client immobilized and quiet.