Adrenal Glands

Small endocrine glands present on top of each kidney are adrenal glands that produce various hormones such as adrenaline, aldosterone, cortisol, and steroids. Out of these, cortisol helps in responding to stress and has other crucial functions. In adrenal gland disorders, the hormones are either over produced or are produced in low amounts. For e.g., in Cushing's syndrome, cortisol is over-produced while in Addison's disease the cortisol is produced in less amounts. Insufficient production of cortisol is sometimes genetic and the condition is seen by birth. Primary hyperaldosteronism is overproduction of aldosterone causing high blood pressure. Patients with excess production of cortisol have impaired wound healing in addition to increased susceptibility to infections. Acute adrenal insufficiency must be diagnosed and treated quickly since it is a medical emergency with symptoms such as abdominal pains coupled with circulatory collapse and low blood sugar levels. Overproduction of androgens results in excessive hair growth, menstrual disorders among other disorders caused by steroids. Causes of adrenal gland disorders include genetic mutations, infections, pheochromocytomas and tumors.



  • Corticosteroids
  • Adrenaline and noradrenaline
  • Gene and protein expression
  • Androgens
  • Corticosteroid overproduction
  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • Adrenal tumors
  • Cortex
  • Medulla

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