An individual who has an enlarged adrenal gland has to deal with a lot of hormonal imbalances in the body, and this can affect him in many different ways. If left untreated for a long period of time, this condition can cause a lot of complications. This article provides information regarding the same.
Adrenal glands, also known as suprarenal glands, are situated above the kidneys. These glands are a part of the endocrine system, which secrete a variety of hormones that are necessary for carrying out normal bodily functions. They are triangular-shaped, and are divided into two regions: the adrenal cortex (the outer region) and the adrenal medulla (the inner region). The glands secrete hormones that are required by the body to deal with stress levels, and they also work in tandem with the pituitary glands and the hypothalamus to control metabolism, blood pressure, and other characteristics in the body.
Adrenal Gland Disorders
There are a number of disorders causing an enlarged adrenal gland, and these mostly stem from adrenal insufficiency in the human body. Any imbalances that are created as a result of a lack of hormones cause different reactions in the body, and this particular symptom is seen as a sign of many different ailments.
Following are some common adrenal gland disorders that lead to this condition:
- Addison’s Disease: This is also known as primary adrenal insufficiency, and it occurs when the adrenal gland cannot produce enough cortisol or aldosterone. The resultant imbalances in the body causes the suprarenal glands to enlarge.
- Amyloidosis: This is a very common cause observed in many people. It occurs when the bone marrow cells in the body are unable to break down the antibodies cells, which they produce. By depositing proteins in various parts of the body, this disorder eventually leads to enlargement of the adrenal glands.
- Chronic Infections: There are some diseases like pneumonia and bronchitis that cause the adrenal glands to be overworked, and this results in their enlargement and swelling.
- Cushing’s Syndrome: When there is a high amount of cortisole in the body, it can lead to a condition known as Cushing’s disease. This is one of many hormonal disorders that is related to type 2 diabetes. It can also lead to a non-cancerous tumor in the adrenal glands, thereby causing them to swell.
- Pheochromocytoma: This is a cancerous tumor that occurs in the adrenal gland due to some cells that overproduce some hormones and chemicals. This tumor leads to the enlargement of the suprarenal glands.
These were some common disorders that can affect people at any time, and it is really not possible to prevent them from occurring. Early recognition of the symptoms of the aforementioned disorders will help though, as this can lead to a quick diagnosis, followed by prompt treatment. The sooner you act to treat such a condition, the better it will be for you.
The condition can be diagnosed with an MRI scan, CT scan, ultrasound, or an MIBG scan. There are some other symptoms that accompany these disorders, and following are some common symptoms that one can be on the lookout for:
- Adrenal Adenoma
- Adrenal Carcinoma
- Adrenogenital Syndrome
- Increased Adrenaline Level
- Increased Noradrenaline Level
- High Adrenal Autoantibodies
All these symptoms will have to be diagnosed and treated by a trained medical specialist because they will require a lot of tests to get to the root cause of the condition.
The treatment for this particular condition will be heavily dependent on the nature of the disorder and the symptoms that the patient is displaying. It would not be possible to enforce a fixed and common method of treatment for all these disorders and symptoms, simply because of their distinct and varied nature. Each case needs to be looked at separately, and the individual’s personal and family medical history needs to be evaluated before deciding on a method of treatment.
Only your doctor can recommend a suitable mode of adrenal insufficiency treatment or adrenal fatigue treatment for your condition, and this will be decided upon, after conducting a wide range of tests. You must reveal all the information that your doctor will ask you, as this will certainly help him determine the nature of your problem.
Since enlarged suprarenal glands can lead to a number of imbalances and complications, one must act quickly to treat this condition before it gets too late to do so.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.