A muggles non scientific guide to Adrenal insufficiency


Seeing as the pituitary gland cartoon was a major success in the field of muggles medicine. I have decided to explain adrenal insufficiency. 

The result from the pituitary not doing its job... well one of them.

So let’s start by saying imagine your insides contain a petrol station. 

(not literally that would be dangerous)

Your kidneys, which are used for wee and filtration purposes. FORM THE BASE OF THE STATION. Nothing to do with the petrol but they are the proud owners of the adrenal twins! who are your own personal petrol suppliers !

Both kidneys in the station each have an adrenal gland sat on the top of their heads. They wear them like hats!

They look a little like pirates hats but are yellow. Well we all like a nice pirate!  

.... These glands to put it simply produce your petrol! well cortisol if you want the boring word. Fuel for you to go. 

I once ran out of petrol 3 metres away from a petrol pump. It was embarrassing to say the least my husband had to drive 8 miles with a petrol can to fill up the tank ... It was OK though because i didn't die. 

If you run out of petrol (cortisol) from your own inbuilt petrol tanks you would die. Of an adrenal crisis (The pirate adrenal twins COULD NOT SAVE YOU. Petrol’s out you are  in serious trouble). Kaboom.

So ! we start with the bad news!  That is the worst that can happen. You will die. The end.

 On a happier note though. The good news is. If you find that your adrenal hat, petrol giving pirates do not work you can take replacement petrol!! 

In the form of hydrocortisone tablets. (PLEASE SEE SYMPTOMS OF Adrenal insufficiency THIS IN MEDICAL ILLUSTRATION)

These tablets are an inferior form of natural petrol. But the only thing medicine has close enough to MIMIC natural cortisol production. Perhaps we shall call it  unleaded. 

Unleaded =undeaded. 

Undeaded is a poor use of english you may think. But then who cares about the rules.

If you remember 'unleaded = undeaded' it may remind you HOW IMPORTANT IT IS.  (A lot of us are seriously fighting for better petrol replacements) 

So let’s reiterate!

Your brain (the pituitary gland) (the pea) sends Acth (  Adrenocorticotropin) (or more simply the code combination to open the petrol door) to the pirate twins in return they release cortisol (your petrol). 

So where the hell does the petrol go?

The answer is everywhere. 
They light up your immune system and slow down its inflammatory response. (Helps you fight off / resist and cope with bugs and viruses) as seen in fig 5.

It swims along like only petrol can and checks that your blood pressure is good and correct. Making sure it maintains itself and keeps in good order. This ensures your optimal health. 

Cortisol petrol from those little pirates also has a BIG part in keeping Horatio McHeart healthy. Cardiovascular function is a big part of our survival. If Horatio gets ill you are up the creak. 

Your cortisol petrol also helps balance the effects of insulin in breaking down your sugar for energy. 

Seriously this petrol is amazing! i bet you never realised!! i didn't until i read up on it.. The adrenal pirates are sooo tiny to do all this but then good things come in small packages. Well that's what my mum used to tell me when i failed at basket ball.

Cortisol petrol also 
helps regulate the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

Its great stuff!! Everyone with it should be very pleased and thankful that they have some.

People with adrenal insufficiency have none or very little, meaning that they have to take replacements every day to live. Please see this small medical illustration illustrating the non production of cortisol alternative 

There are many causes of adrenal insufficiency You cannot just have it there has to be a cause. Primary is caused generally by Addison’s disease. This is where the body attacks its adrenal glands. Destroying them and making them no good, this is an autoimmune deficiency. Pituitary problems also cause it because the pituitary does not tell the glands to work. ( see muggles medical pituitary illustration 

Other conditions included are CAH congenital Adrenal hyperplasia this is a genetic condition. The over use of steroids can also cause this as your body slowly stops producing its own. More and more people taking steroids for common conditions are developing Adrenal insufficiency.

So there it is that is what it is and it is not something which should not be diagnosed. 

If you have any symptoms or know anyone that does. Insist on a test to rule it out first. Why not start with the most dangerous? Adrenal insufficiency is very very rare but does exist. AND MUST HAVE GREATER AWARENESS.