Adrenal Gland Disease
Adrenal gland problems frequently occur from underproduction or overproduction of adrenal gland hormones. Addison’s Disease is a condition where the adrenal gland is unable to produce adequate amounts of cortisol and results in symptoms of fatigue, weight loss and skin darkening. On the contrary, Cushing's Syndrome is caused by an excess of cortisol production.
When too much cortisol is produced in the adrenal glands or signals from the pituitary gland, significant changes occur in all of the tissues and organs of the body. All of these effects together are called Cushing's Syndrome.
Symptoms may include weight gain, changes in body habitus: abdominal obesity, face may become more round and have a swollen appearance (moon face), increased fat above the collar bone, protrusion (buffalo hump) at the back of the neck. Skin and hair changes: bruise easily, purplish stretch marks (striae), red face, hair loss on head, excessive hair on face, abdomen, chest, and thighs. Depression, mood swings or anxiety. Generalized weakness and fatigue, muscle weakness. Decreased fertility or libido and menstrual disorders in women. It is important to remember that not everyone who has Cushing's will experience the same symptoms. Also, not everyone who has the classic physical features of Cushing's will actually have the disease. Cushing's is a serious disorder and it is important to carefully exclude it from other disorders and obtain a proper diagnosis.
There are many other sources of adrenal gland dysfunction. Endocrinologists are uniquely qualified to diagnose and treat disorders of the adrenal gland.