Inhaled corticosteroids are first-line treatment for asthma. Moderate doses of budesonide have been supposed not to affect hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function. We report the case of a boy with asthmatic symptoms and a late diagnosis of celiac disease, in whom inhaled budesonide in a dose used in conventional asthma therapy seems to have been systemically absorbed in amounts large enough to temporarily disguise the symptoms of a developing adrenal insufficiency. Inhaled corticosteroids in a dose used in standard asthma therapy seem to have the potential of disguising a developing Addison's disease. Furthermore, celiac disease, especially if diagnosed in late childhood, may be associated with Addison's disease causing a complex symptom pattern.

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