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The adrenal glands and their diseases

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the Adrenal glands — is a small, paired organs that are located, as their name implies, are directly over the upper poles of the kidneys. The main task of the adrenal glands is to produce hormones which regulate all the vital processes in the human body. For example, glucocorticoids are responsible for the energy exchange and metabolism, mineralocorticoids take part in salt and water metabolism, norepinephrine and epinephrine are stress hormones, and estrogens and androgens-the sex hormones.

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adrenal Disease can cause:

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  • insufficient production of hormones at the adrenal glands as a result of their absence or injury (chronic or acute primary adrenal insufficiency);
  • excessive secretion of the hormone directly by the adrenal glands (for example, when various tumors);
  • a deficiency of the hormone ACTH (secondary adrenal insufficiency);
  • excessive production of the hormone ACTH (the pituitary gland produces it), which regulates the adrenal glands (disease Cushing's).

the Symptoms of diseases of the adrenal glands depend on which hormones or hormone is produced in excess or insufficient quantities. For example, mineralocorticoid excess leads to a decrease in the level of potassium and high blood pressure, excess of sex hormones leads to excessive growth of facial hair, disruption of sexual development, etc. Condition that threatens the life is acute adrenal insufficiency, which occurs when the cessation or sharp reduction of hormone secretion directly from the adrenal cortex.

If there is a suspicion on disease of the adrenal glands, then it is necessary to refer to the endocrinologist. Next, the doctor analyses the results of special tests, hormone levels in urine and blood, as well as instrumental findings (CT, ultrasound, etc.), establishes an accurate diagnosis and identifies the probable cause of the disease. In the case of a deficiency of adrenal hormones is often prescribed lifelong substitution therapy certain hormonal drugs, and in the case of excess hormones may need adrenalectomy (surgical removal of the adrenal glands).

Translated by "Yandex.Translate": translate.yandex.ru.

Author: Artlife
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