Diseases of the endocrine system are common, [ 3 ] including conditions such as diabetes mellitus , thyroid disease, and obesity . Endocrine disease is characterized by dysregulated hormone release (a productive pituitary adenoma ), inappropriate response to signaling ( hypothyroidism ), lack or destruction of a gland ( diabetes mellitus type 1 , diminished erythropoiesis in chronic renal failure ), or structural enlargement in a critical site such as the neck ( toxic multinodular goitre ). Hypofunction of endocrine glands can occur as a result of loss of reserve, hyposecretion, agenesis , atrophy, or active destruction. Hyperfunction can occur as a result of hypersecretion, loss of suppression, hyperplastic or neoplastic change, or hyperstimulation.
Aldosterone and cortisol (a glucosteroid ) have similar affinity for the mineralocorticoid receptor; however, glucocorticoids circulate at roughly 100 times the level of mineralocorticoids. An enzyme exists in mineralocorticoid target tissues to prevent overstimulation by glucocorticoids. This enzyme, 11-beta hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type II ( Protein:HSD11B2 ), catalyzes the deactivation of glucocorticoids to 11-dehydro metabolites. Licorice is known to be an inhibitor of this enzyme and chronic consumption can result in a condition known as pseudohyperaldosteronism . 
The most significant risk associated with administration of glucocorticoids is suppression of natural corticosteroid secretion. When the hormones are administered, they suppress the secretion of ACTH, which in turn reduces the secretion of the natural hormones. The extent of suppression varies with dose, drug potency, duration of treatment, and individual patient response. While suppression is seen primarily with drugs administered systemically, it can also occur with topical drugs such as creams and ointments, or drugs administered by inhalation. Abrupt cessation of corticosteroids may result in acute adrenal crisis (Addisonian crisis) which is marked by dehydration with severe vomiting and diarrhea, hypotension, and loss of consciousness. Acute adrenal crisis is potentially fatal.