Adrenal Disorders

Woman Anxiety.

The adrenal glands, which are located at the top of each kidney, produce hormones that are released into the bloodstream.  When the adrenal glands produce and release abnormal amounts of hormone it is referred to as an adrenal disorder.

The hormones that the adrenal gland produces that include cortisol, aldosterone and adrenaline regulate your metabolism, immune system, blood pressure and affect your body’s response to stress.

Types of Adrenal Disorders

Adrenal disorders fall into two categories, adrenal glands that produce either too much or too little of the necessary hormones. 

The most common adrenal disorders include the following:

Hormone Overproduction

  • Cushing Syndrome
  • Functioning Tumors
  • Hyperaldosteronism

Hormone Underproduction

  • Addison’s disease 
  • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH)
  • Nonfunctioning Tumors

Symptoms of Adrenal Disorders

Symptoms of adrenal disorders will vary based on the type and cause of the disorder.  While symptoms may vary, the most common ones include:

Hormone Overproduction

  • Anxiety/ Panic Attack
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugars
  • Muscle & bone weakness
  • Moodiness
  • Round face & neck
  • Shaking hands (tremors)
  • Sweating

Hormone Underproduction

  • Headache
  • Irregular menstrual periods/ trouble conceiving 
  • Low blood pressure
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Shorter than average height
  • Vision irregularities & dizziness
  • Weakness & fatigue
  • Weight loss (If you are gaining weight, it is very unlikely that you have adrenal insufficiency)

While the symptoms of adrenal disorders are a result of either the lack or excess amounts of hormones in the body, the causes of the abnormal levels vary.   

Causes of Adrenal Disorders

There are several known causes of adrenal disorders including autoimmunity disease, which is a condition where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks itself.  Other causes include excess bleeding, infections, medications, tumors or the spread of cancer to the adrenal glands. 

smiling couple.Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis

To establish a diagnosis of all adrenal disorders, blood and urine samples that will collected and tested for abnormal hormone levels.  If abnormal growths are suspected, CT scans or MRIs are typically ordered to identify them.  

Treatment

Medication and/or surgery can treat many adrenal disorders.  In cases where medication is the cause of the disorder, modifying prescriptions may correct the problem.    

Endocrinology Specialists

The doctors at Rocky Mountain Diabetes Center are endocrinology experts and highly trained to identify and effectively treat adrenal disorders. 

If you or someone you love is experiencing any of the symptoms or conditions above, call Rocky Mountain Diabetes for an appointment or fill out the form below.  

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