Adrenal Disorders Questions and Answers
You might be wondering whether you have an adrenal disorder, or maybe you do have one and you’d like to learn more about it. Regardless, we’re sure you’ll find this Q and A helpful. We’ll go over the signs of these disorders and potential treatments for them. If that’s what you need to know, then read on to learn more! For more information, call us or schedule an appointment online. We serve patients from Little Rock AR, Conway AR, North Little Rock AR, Pine Bluff AR, Hot Springs AR, Benton AR, Sherwood AR, Russellville AR, Jacksonville AR, Cabot AR, Searcy AR, Bryant AR, Jonesboro AR, Forrest City AR, Magnolia AR, Camden AR, Malvern AR, Batesville AR, Arkadelphia AR, Clarksville AR, Monticello AR, Heber Springs AR, Morrilton AR, Stuttgart AR, Greenbrier AR, Sheridan AR, and Vilonia AR.
Adrenal disorders include any abnormality, irregularity or medical condition that affects the adrenal glands. When these glands are in normal working order, no symptoms are present and the internal equilibrium remains in balance. However, when these glands are not functioning properly, such as when overproducing or underproducing hormones, it can have serious effects on other body systems and produce external symptoms, such as fatigue, weight loss, skin discolorations and irritability.
What are the adrenal glands?
Adrenal glands are small, triangular glands located on top of both kidneys and are about the size of an index finger, measuring approximately half an inch in height and about three inches long. They interact with the hypothalamus and pituitary gland in the brain and produce important hormones that affect metabolism, chemicals in the blood, certain body characteristics and even psychological disposition and stability. Normally, these glands function properly and do not produce any physical symptoms. However, when the adrenal glands produce too much or too little of these hormones, they can have a negative effect on an individual’s health, including their ability to cope with physical and emotional stress.
What are common adrenal disorders?
There are a number of disorders that can affect the adrenal glands, including:
- Cushing’s Disease, an excess of the hormone cortisol
- Addison’s Disease, also known as hypoadrenalism
- Pheochromocytoma, an adrenal tumor that secretes excess amounts of epinephrine and norepinephrine. These hormones are responsible for regulating important bodily functions such as heart rate and blood pressure. Pheochromocytomas are tumors affecting the adrenal medulla, the central portion of the adrenal gland. The vast majority of these tumors are benign (non-cancerous) and will not return once they are removed.
Hormone Overproduction, which can produce a number of different symptoms, including:
- Upper body obesity
- Round face
- Increased fat around the neck
- A fatty hump between the shoulders
- Thinning arms and legs
- Fragile and thin skin
- Stretch marks on the abdomen, arms, thighs, breasts and buttocks
- Bone and muscle weakness
- Severe fatigue
- High blood pressure and blood sugar
In women, these symptoms may also occur:
- Excess facial hair
- Irregular or stopped menstrual cycles
In men, these symptoms might also occur:
- Reduced sex drive
Hormone Underproduction, which can produce a wide range of symptoms, including:
- Dark skin
- Weight loss
- Lack of appetite
- Muscle aches
- Low blood pressure
- Low sugar levels
Women may also experience:
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Absent menstrual periods
What are the treatment options for an adrenal disorder?
Treatment for adrenal disorders depends on which hormone is affected and the symptoms that are present. Treatment options may include:
- Surgical removal of growths or the adrenal gland(s) itself
- Radiation therapy
- Medications that block excessive production of certain hormones
If you or someone you love is exhibiting symptoms of an adrenal disorder, come to Arkansas Diabetes and Endocrinology Center for a professional diagnosis. Our kind and caring professionals are dedicated to providing the highest level of care for every patient and specialize in treating adrenal disorders with expertise you can trust. Call us today to book an appointment. Our clinic is conveniently located at 11400 Huron Lane, Little Rock, Arkansas 72211. We serve patients from Little Rock, Conway, North Little Rock, Hot Springs, Pine Bluff, Sherwood, Russellville, Benton, Cabot, Jacksonville, Bryant, Searcy, Jonesboro, Forrest City, Magnolia, Camden, Malvern, Batesville, Arkadelphia, Clarksville, Morrilton, Monticello, Stuttgart, Heber Springs, Sheridan, Greenbrier and Vilonia. No referral is needed! We look forward to serving you!