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Adrenal Gland Disorders




Adrenal glands are two small glands about 1/5thof a gram, situated on top of kidneys. Adrenal gland makes following important hormones.

1-Aldosterone: this hormone maintains blood pressure. Excess of aldosterone can cause high blood pressure. All patients who develop high blood pressure before age of 25 years or after 50 years or have refractory hypertension not controlled by 3 or more medicines should be evaluated for this condition. Deficiency of aldosterone can cause very low blood pressure which can be life threatening.

2-Cortisol: this hormone is required for normal functioning of all body systems especially during stress. Excess of cortisol can lead to a condition called “Cushing syndrome” which present as excessive fat deposition in upper part of body, abnormal menses in women, easy bruising, weakening of bones, fractures, diabetes and high blood pressure. Deficiency of cortisol leads to fatigue, low energy and low blood pressure.

3-Catecholamines: these hormones are called “fight and flight response hormones”. Excessive amounts of catecholamines are produced by specific adrenal tumors called “Pheochromocytoma”. Pheochromocytoma presents as spells of palpitations, headache and sweating accompanied with very high blood pressure and rapid heart beating.