Adrenal Disorders

The adrenal gland is located on the top of each kidney and are responsible for releasing hormones.

Sometimes the adrenal gland may produce too much or too little, caused by different disorders including:

Cushing’s syndrome

Cushing’s is caused by the overproduction of hormones within the adrenal glands. Too much cortisol is sent into the bloodstream, causing obesity, high blood pressure, excessive facial hair, irregular menstrual cycles, and bruising.

Pituitary Tumors

The pituitary gland is situated at the base of the brain and is responsible for releasing hormones into our bodies. A lack of communication between the pituitary gland and the adrenal glands because of benign or cancerous tumours can trigger the adrenal glands to pump cortisol into the bloodstream.

Addison’s disease

Addison’s disease is caused by underproducing adrenal glands and usually triggered by an existing autoimmune disorder like HIV, Lupus, and type I diabetes. The failure to produce adequate amounts of hormones, can result in fatigue, nausea, muscle weakness.


Pheochromocytoma is caused by tumors that grow in the medulla, leading to the overproduction of epinephrine and norepinephrine. An excess of these hormones causes high blood pressure, which could eventually cause heart attacks or stroke.


Hyperaldosteronism causes the adrenal gland to produce too much of a hormone called aldosterone. This causes your body to excrete too much potassium and retain too much sodium, which causes water retention, and blood pressure.

Adrenal gland suppression

Steroid usage often leads to the suppression of adrenal glands. Steroids mimic cortisol, therefore the adrenal glands inadvertently release less cortisol.

What are the symptoms of an adrenal gland disorder?

The symptoms of Adrenal gland disorders present in many ways, but will often include:

  • Weight loss
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Craving salty foods
  • Abdominal pain