21-hydroxylase deficiency is also called as congenital adrenal hyperplasia and is a disorder that is often inherited. This disorder affects the adrenal glands which are located above the kidneys and these glands produce hormones that are responsible for regulating many important human body functions. The two hormones, cortisol and aldosterone, are produced by an enzyme called the 21-hydroxylase. Patients that have 21-hydroxylase deficiency lack the 21-hydroxylase enzyme which then affects the cholesterol conversion to aldosterone and cortisol. When the precursors of these two hormones are stored excessively in the adrenal glands, they are changed into androgens (which are male sex hormones). Whether the patient is male or female, growth development could be hampered because of this deficiency.
Cortisol treatment can come in the form of tablets or suspension. Oral cortisol is often destroyed by gastric acids that is why it is necessary to have the treatment dose doubled as compared to the normal cortisol production. Cortisol disappears rapidly on the bloodstream so it is imperative to administer the a third of the daily dose thrice each day. Prednisolone is approximately 5 times more dynamic than cortisol that is why the daily dose should be 3-6 milligrams for every square meter of body surface area. This should be taken orally every 24 hours. Glucocorticoids are best given when surgery is being planned or when the patient is down with a high-grade fever. This treatment is also advisable when the patient incurred any injuries such as broken bones There are more available options to a patient with 21-hydroxylase deficiency. All he has to do is to consult his physician and they will be able to discuss the pros and cons of the different treatments.