Endocrinologists are specialists in hormonal diseases, including adrenal and pituitary conditions that cause secondary adrenal insufficiency. An endocrinologist will have more training and experience in properly diagnosing and treating secondary adrenal insufficiency than most physicians. Most cases of permanent secondary adrenal insufficiency should be managed by an endocrinologist. In cases of steroid withdrawal for the treatment of medical conditions, endocrinologists often work with the primary physician or specialist in that disease to assess the recovery of pituitary-adrenal reserve and provide guidance about whether long term glucocorticoid therapy is needed.
If not performed during crisis, then labs to be run should include: random cortisol, serum ACTH, aldosterone, renin, potassium and sodium. A CT of the adrenal glands can be used to check for structural abnormalities of the adrenal glands. An MRI of the pituitary can be used to check for structural abnormalities of the pituitary. However, in order to check the functionality of the Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal (HPA) Axis the entire axis must be tested by way of ACTH stimulation test, CRH stimulation test and perhaps an Insulin Tolerance Test (ITT). In order to check for Addison’s Disease, the auto-immune type of primary adrenal insufficiency, labs should be drawn to check 21-hydroxylase autoantibodies.