As the body's key hormones fall below the minimum required reserve for normal function and output fails, the body may down-regulate the amount needed to preserve what is on hand for only the most essential body functions . This near-failure state (Phase D) is quite serious and requires professional attention. This is a state of extreme low energy as the body tries to conserve to survive. Normally helpful nutrients may backfire with paradoxical responses being the hallmark. Those in Phase D are usually bedridden most of the time. Normal daily chores need ambulatory help. Traditional macro-nutritional approaches may be helpful. But, the body may continue to decompensate. In these cases, a carefully titrated micro-nutritional program may be necessary to help the restore the body.
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Untreated, adrenal insufficiency is fatal, and indeed this was invariably the case until the advent of synthetic cortisone in 1949. Treatment of Addison's disease is lifelong. The prognosis for any patient with adrenal insufficiency will depend on the underlying cause. In those patients in whom the prognosis is not affected by the underlying pathology, replacement therapy should result in a return to health. However, a Norwegian study found an excess of mortality in patients diagnosed with Addison's disease at a young age, associated with acute adrenal failure, infection and sudden death. [ 16 ]