Adrenal Gland – 5 Common Disorders!

Adrenal Gland – 5 Common Disorders!

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By Dr. Hanish Gupta, Endocrinology

Small endocrine glands, which are located on top of each kidney are known as Adrenal glands. These Adrenal glands produce hormones that regulate blood sugar, stress and sexual functions. Any problem in the pituitary gland can affect the adrenal gland as the pituitary gland regulates all endocrine glands.

Different types of Adrenal gland disorders are:

  1. Cushing’s disease: This disorder occurs when the Adrenal glands produce too much cortisol in the body. Cortisol is a hormone that adrenal glands produce when a body is exposed to stress. The cause of this disease is the intake of steroids and tumors present in the pituitary gland. Its symptoms are increase in blood pressure, weakness in the muscles and weak bones.
  2. Adrenal cancer: Presence of cancerous cells in the Adrenal cortex leads to adrenal cancer. Symptoms of this disorder are stomach cramps, blood pressure problems and irregular menstrual cycle.
  3. Addison’s disease: This disease occurs when the Adrenal glands produce less cortisol. This disorder is linked with the immune system as the adrenal glands are attacked by it during this disorder. Symptoms of this disorder are nausea, loss of appetite, constipation and muscle pain.
  4. Pheochromocytoma: It is a tumor that develops in the adrenal gland and causes excessive production of a hormone called catecholamine. These hormones help in regulating blood pressure. The primary causes of this disorder are genetic factors. Common symptoms of this disorder are headaches, shortness of breath and sweating.
  5. Conn’s syndrome: This disorder occurs when the hormone Aldosterone is produced in excess by the Adrenal glands. Symptoms of this disorder are feeling excessively thirsty, muscle weakness and high blood pressure.