Adrenal System

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Adrenal Gland Disorders

Adrenal Gland Disorders

There is little said about the adrenal gland and the adrenal system. The adrenals sit on the top of our kidneys and regulate a whole host of functions. The most recognisable are those associated with the “flight or fight” system.

When we are startled, our bodies produce a stimulating hormone – adrenaline – that courses rapidly through our system to prepare us to either fend off an invasion – or run from it. The adrenal system is responsible for producing and releasing this important hormone.

Causes of adrenal gland disorders include

  • Genetic mutations
  • Problem in another gland, such as the pituitary, which helps to regulate the adrenal gland
  • Certain medicines
  • Tumors including pheochromocytomas
The Adrenal Glands

The Adrenal Glands

Our adrenals produce other hormones, but adrenaline is still one of the most important. We may never need to defend ourselves in battle, however, every day presents its own set of potential attacks. Someone cuts us off in traffic and we’re instantly ready to “do battle” – that’s adrenaline.

We may be nervous about a presentation we need to make. We know that we won’t run from the podium but we’re ready to do it, just because the adrenaline released by our adrenals makes us ready.

The adrenals also produce cortisol – an natural anti-inflammatory agent that helps relieve our routine aches and pains. Cortisol is another hormone that is produced in the adrenals from hormone precursors – all the way back to the most important hormone – cholesterol.


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