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Adrenal Disorders

The adrenal glands, found at the top of each kidney, are responsible for producing hormones that help the body react to injury or illness, regulate blood pressure and control blood sugar, and react to “fight or flight” situations . Some important hormones the glands produce are adrenaline (or epinephrine), norepinephrine, cortisol and aldosterone.

Adrenal gland disorders occur when the glands produce too little or too much of one or more hormones. There are several kinds of adrenal disorders, including adrenal tumors, adrenal cancer and adrenal deficiency. Infections and certain medications could affect the functioning of the glands as well.

The experienced professionals at Diabetes and Endocrine Specialists, Inc. are here to confidently reach a diagnosis and treatment plan for the various conditions of the adrenal glands. We are dedicated to excellence in our approach to the science of healing.

Adrenal tumors

Several conditions are associated with tumors on the adrenal glands. Medical examination will help determine which condition patients are suffering from. Some disorders associated with adrenal tumors are:

  • Pheochromocytoma
  • Cushing’s syndrome
  • Hyperaldostronism
  • Adrenal Cancer

Pheochromocytoma is a rare tumor that is usually benign, but often causes the adrenal glands to produce too much epinephrine. High blood pressure can result, along with headaches, sweating, shakiness and pounding of the heart. Sometimes this condition is part of another called multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome (MEN).

Cushing’s syndrome occurs when the body is exposed to high levels of cortisol over a long time. It can be caused by a medication or when the body produces too much cortisol. An excess of cortisol can cause a fatty lump between the shoulders, stretch marks and a rounded face. High blood pressure, bone loss, and diabetes can also result.

Hyperaldostronism is when the adrenal gland makes too much aldostrone. This causes really high blood pressure that is difficult to control even with blood pressure medications, as well as low potassium.

A small number of tumors that grow on the adrenal gland are cancerous. Some possible signs of adrenal cancer are excessive sweating, light-headedness when standing, fast breathing, high blood pressure and a fast heart rate. A variety of lab tests and imaging (like a CT scan) will determine the nature of the growth and help doctors reach an accurate diagnosis.

Adrenal disorder treatments

Treatments for disorders of the adrenal glands vary depending on the patient’s condition. Lifestyle changes, medications and surgery can treat many disorders. Often a combination of treatments is best for patients.  In some situations, simply monitoring without any intervention may be all that is needed.

The staff at Diabetic and Endocrine Specialists, Inc. will use the best medical technology to arrive at a confident diagnosis. With that, we’ll create a personalized treatment plan in order to reach the best outcome for you.