--- Stress is often mentioned by CSS patients around the time of their diagnosis, and in a way this seems related to the adrenal glands as well. A patient in another support group reported reading in "The Stress of Life" by Dr. H. Seyle:.... "the adrenal glands are the processors of stress in our bodies. A person's stress resistance will vary with the competence of his adrenals. Continually stressing them, finally depletes them. When we become exhausted by life, on a mental or physical level, our adrenal glands often fail to keep up, and illness ensues".
During an illness, a person taking corticosteroids orally may take an adjusted dose to mimic the normal response of the adrenal glands to this stress on the body. Significant fever or injury may require a triple dose. Once the person recovers from the illness, dosing is then returned to regular, pre-illness levels. People with adrenal insufficiency should know how to increase medication during such periods of stress, as advised by their health care provider. Immediate medical attention is needed if severe infections, vomiting, or diarrhea occur. These conditions can lead to an adrenal crisis.
Fluid hydration in the form of IV fluid boluses should be given, with up to 2-3 L often required in the initial resuscitation stages to treat any concurrent dehydration. Afterwards, IV hydration with D5 NS can be beneficial, as it will help correct the hypoglycemia and hyponatremia often seen in these patients. Vasopressors can be started as needed, although these patients’ hypotension can be refractory to both fluids and vasopressors. Steroids are ultimately needed for vascular tone. The precipitating cause should be treated as indicated (1,2).