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What are some adrenal gland disorders?

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Quick Answer

Cancerous or benign pheochromoctyoma tumors are a type of adrenal gland disorder, as the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reports. Adrenal gland suppression, Addison's disease and hyperaldosteronism are other adrenal gland disorders.

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Full Answer

Pheochromocytoma is a type of paraganglioma tumor that develops in the adrenal medulla, and it produces adrenaline hormone. This type of tumor results in abnormally high levels of adrenaline in the body, as the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development explains. Typically, 90 percent of pheochromocytoma tumors are noncancerous and do not advance within the body.

Normal adrenal gland function is typically subdued as a result of taking steroid medications, but adrenal gland suppression occurs when patients abruptly discontinue the use of a steroid medication rather than gradually stopping it, according to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The adrenal gland may produce insufficient levels of steroid hormones, such as cortisol, for up to several months if the use of steroid medications occurred for many weeks prior.

Addison’s disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the adrenal glands. This disease involves the insufficient production of cortisol by the adrenal glands, as detailed by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Addison’s disease may also involve insufficient production of the hormone aldosterone. However, the condition hyperaldosteronism, or adrenal hyperplasia, involves the overproduction of the hormone aldosterone as a result of a tumor or other abnormal growth.

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