An acute medical emergency due to a lack of corticosteroid production by the body, caused by disease of the adrenal glands or long-term suppression of production by steroid medication. It manifests as low blood pressure and collapse, biochemical abnormalities, hypoglycaemia, and (if untreated) coma and death. Treatment is with steroids, administered initially intravenously in high doses and later orally. In patients with poor adrenal function an Addisonian crisis is usually brought on by an acute illness, such as an infection. T. Addison (1793–1860), British physician
Subjects: Medicine and Health.