Adrenal disorders often cause general symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, and muscle weakness. If you have ongoing symptoms, a thorough exam by Alireza Falahati, MD, FACE, at Utah Endocrinology Associates can identify the cause of your symptoms and put you on the road to treatment that restores your health and wellness. To learn more about adrenal disorder, call one of the offices in Salt Lake City, American Fork, or Ogden, Utah, or book an appointment online.
You have two adrenal glands — one on top of each kidney — that produce many hormones, including:
Cortisol regulates your metabolism, fights inflammation, and energizes your body in times of stress.
Aldosterone helps control your blood pressure by telling your kidneys to conserve sodium and retain water.
Adrenaline and norepinephrine prepare your body to react to stress by increasing your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and blood sugar levels.
Your adrenal glands produce testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), which is converted into testosterone and estradiol.
Adrenal gland disorders can develop when there’s something wrong with the adrenal gland. For example, disease, inflammation, a tumor, or genetic mutations may directly affect the gland.
You can also develop adrenal disorders when problems arise in the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland releases hormones that regulate activity in the adrenal glands, so a pituitary disorder may have a significant impact on adrenal hormones.
The most common adrenal disorders include:
Cushing syndrome occurs when your cortisol levels stay high for a prolonged time. Cortisol is released by your adrenal glands during times of stress, so this condition can appear due to chronic stress. A cortisol-producing tumor also leads to the problem.
Symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome include stretch marks, slow-healing cuts, bruising, weight gain, muscle weakness, and fatty deposits in your midsection, face, and upper back.
When the adrenal glands release too much aldosterone, you develop high blood pressure, fatigue, headaches, and muscle weakness.
Adrenal tumors are usually benign (noncancerous), but some tumors produce hormones, leading to unusually high hormone levels.
Addison’s disease, also called adrenal insufficiency, develops when your adrenal glands don’t produce enough cortisol and aldosterone. The symptoms of Addison’s disease develop gradually, slowly causing fatigue, weight loss, nausea, abdominal pain, muscle or joint pain, and skin discoloration.
CAH refers to a group of genetic disorders that cause shorter than average height, early puberty, acne, irregular menstrual periods, and excess facial hair in women.
Dr. Falahati customizes each patient’s treatment based on the underlying condition and the specific hormones affected. Your treatment plan may include medications to increase or decrease hormone levels, or surgery to remove a tumor.
If you have symptoms of an adrenal disorder, call Utah Endocrinology Associates or schedule an appointment online.