Babies, children or adults with classic congenital adrenal hyperplasia could experience a life-threatening "adrenal crisis," meaning their adrenal glands aren't producing enough cortisol. An adrenal crisis can result in a seriously low level of sodium in the blood, diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, low blood sugar levels and shock. People experiencing an adrenal crisis need immediate treatment.

Adrenal crisis does not occur in adults with the nonclassic form of congenital adrenal hyperplasia.

Long-term complications of congenital adrenal hyperplasia may include:

  • Ongoing risk of adrenal crisis
  • Infertility
  • Sexual problems, such as pain during intercourse
Jan. 20, 2017