The endocrine system is one of the vital systems in the human body. It is comprised of the endocrine glands, which produce many vital hormones for the proper functioning of the body. The adrenal glands are a part of the endocrine system. They are very small glands that can be found on the top of the kidneys. They secrete over a hundred kinds of hormones and release them directly in the bloodstream since they do not have ducts.
Another name for the adrenal glands is suprarenal glands. Each adrenal gland is comprised of two parts called cortex and medulla. One of the major roles of the adrenal gland is to produce cortisol, which is important for managing stress.
However, sometimes adrenal glands do not function properly. Adrenal gland disorders can be congenital (or present at birth), or they can be acquired due to a weak immune system, unhealthy lifestyle and unhealthy diet.
Symptoms of adrenal gland disorders
Hypothalamus in the brain is responsible for the proper working of the adrenal glands. Hypothalamus manufactures antidiuretic and corticotropin-releasing hormones that have the role of stimulating the pituitary gland to create the hormone called corticotrophin.. The proper amounts of this hormone are necessary because this hormone stimulates the adrenal glands to secrete their hormones corticosteroids. When the glands do not produce enough hormones, or, if they produce excessive amounts; adrenal gland disorders occur.
- The most usual symptoms of adrenal fatigue syndrome, where the adrenal glands produce low levels of the hormones, include weakness, tiredness, low blood pressure and digestive problems. Furthermore, sleep disorders, hair loss and weight gain might also appear.
- The characteristic symptoms of adrenal insufficiency when the adrenal glands do not secrete an adequate amount of steroid hormones cortisol and aldosterone are longing for salty foods, loss of body weight, hypotension and muscle fatigue.
- Cushing’s syndrome is the condition marked by extreme production of corticosteroid hormone by the adrenal glands. Skin problems, hypertension, high blood glucose levels, decreased fertility and excessive hair growth are typical symptoms of this adrenal gland disorder.
- The tumor of the adrenal glands usually appears when the adrenal glands produce excessive amounts of their hormones for a long period of time. The symptoms that appear when adrenal gland tumor develops are water retention, pain in the chest, mood swings and high blood pressure, as well as hair growth and weight gain.