Your adrenal glands are small, triangular glands that sit right on top of your kidneys. They produce important hormones including cortisol and sex hormones. Often called “the stress hormone,” cortisol regulates many of the changes that occur in your body in response to stress, like fluctuations in blood pressure, metabolism, and blood sugar levels.
Adrenal gland problems often occur because of the underproduction or overproduction of cortisol or other hormones.
For example, Addison’s disease — or “hypocortisolism” — is a condition in which the adrenal gland is unable to produce enough cortisol, resulting in fatigue, weight loss, and skin darkening.
On the other hand, Cushing’s syndrome — or “hypercortisolism” — occurs when too much cortisol is produced in the adrenal glands, resulting in weight gain and other changes in the body, skin, and hair.
Methods for treating adrenal gland disorders differ depending on the specific disorder. In general, the conditions caused by overproduction or underproduction of adrenal hormones are treatable. Treatment usually includes one of the following:
If these treatment options don't address the issue, Dr. Isaacs may recommend surgery to remove tumors in the adrenal gland or to remove one or both of the adrenal glands.
Depending on what’s causing the problem, you may also need minimally invasive surgery to remove tumors in the pituitary gland.
If you’ve been told you have “adrenal fatigue,” you need to get a second opinion. Adrenal fatigue is a fake diagnosis: There’s no scientific research proving the existence of adrenal fatigue. Because the symptoms are real, it is important to get a correct diagnosis.
What’s more, supplements and herbs used to treat adrenal fatigue can harm your adrenal glands, according to The Hormone Health Network (the public education affiliate of the Endocrine Society).
To receive informed, comprehensive evaluation of your symptoms, schedule an appointment with Dr. Isaacs, a board-certified endocrinologist with years of experience diagnosing and treating adrenal gland disorders. Call the office to get started, or book an appointment online.
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