1. ODX Knowledgebase
  2. Your Clinical Questions

Does adrenal stress follow adrenal insufficiency or the other way around?

Chronic and/or severe stress causes an individual to undergo the “general adaptation syndrome” first proposed by Dr. Hans Selye. If the stress is not relieved they may well end up suffering from adrenal hypofunction or adrenal insufficiency. The stress response progresses through a number of different adaptive stages before fatigue sets in. The stress response can be divided into three stages:
1. The alarm reaction
2. The Compensation/decompensation stage (Adrenal hyperfunction)
3. The Fatigue Stage (adrenal hypofunction)

So, from this work, it would seem that Adrenal hypofunction follows adrenal hyperfunction.