Failure of the adrenal cortex and reduction of cortical hormone secretion. Lack of aldosterone disrupts the regulation of potassium and sodium ions, and lack of cortisol disrupts the regulation of water and carbohydrate stores. Adrenal shock develops as a result of impairment of blood flow to the adrenal glands. For example, during prolonged physical activity (e.g. a marathon or ultra-marathon), when an athlete becomes overheated and dehydrated the blood pressure falls, reducing blood flow to the adrenal cortex. Adrenal shock can be exacerbated by psychological stress and is often associated with a decrease in the effectiveness of the immune system, increasing vulnerability to infections.
Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.