The Adrenaline Hormone
Your adrenal glands are best known for the hormone adrenaline, which rapidly prepares your body to spring into action in a stressful situation. But the adrenal glands also contribute to your health at times when your body is not under extreme stress.
Types of Adrenal Conditions
- Adrenal insufficiency (Addison’s disease): Adrenal insufficiency refers to inadequate production of one or more of these hormones.
- Hypercortisolemia (Cushing syndrome): Cushing syndrome occurs when your body is exposed to high levels of the hormone cortisol for a long time. It can be caused by taking corticosteroid medication or when your body makes too much cortisol on its own. Common signs and symptoms include:
- Incidentalomas: An adrenal incidentaloma is an asymptomatic adrenal tumor discovered by ‘accident’ on an imaging test (CAT scan, MRI). Once detected, appropriate management depends on the patient's wishes and the clinical situation.
- Malignant hypertension: Malignant hypertension is extremely high blood pressure that develops rapidly. A person with malignant hypertension has a blood pressure that's typically above 180/120. There are certain medical conditions that can cause this condition including a tumor of the adrenal gland.