The 21-Hydroxylase Antibody test is used to investigate adrenal gland insufficiency and to assess a person’s risk of developing possible auto-immune adrenal gland insufficiency.
The adrenal glands (one gland on each kidney) are responsible for secreting cortisol, aldosterone, and other steroid hormones. Cortisol and aldosterone are vital hormones, and a malfunction of the adrenal glands (Addison’s disease) should be detected and treated quickly. 21-Hydroxylase is a protein involved in hormone synthesis by the adrenal glands.
Our immune system is responsible for defending our body against threats from cells and foreign organisms.
Often, it is deregulated and mistakes some of its own tissues for foreign tissues. The production of antibodies against the body’s own tissues is the cause of a large number of auto-immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile diabetes, and several thyroid disorders.
Auto-antibodies are also the most frequent cause of Addison’s disease, on its own or often combined with other auto-immune conditions (hypothyroidism, pernicious anemia, type 1 diabetes, etc.). The presence of 21-Hydroxylase antibodies is compatible with established or developing Addison’s disease.