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What are the symptoms of overactive adrenal glands?

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Quick Answer

Symptoms of overactive adrenal glands include obesity that is centralized in the upper body, a round face, a hump of fat between the shoulders, weakness in the bones and muscles, thin or fragile skin, stretch marks and thin legs and arms. The condition can also cause high blood sugar, hypertension, excess growth of body hair and facial hair, stoppage of menstrual periods, reduced fertility and libido in men and severe fatigue. Those with the condition are said to have Cushing's syndrome.

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Full Answer

There are several ways to diagnose Cushing's syndrome and overactive adrenal glands, including a 24-hour urine test, CT or CAT scan, MRI or a suppression test that looks for the overproduction of corticotropins. A corticotropin-stimulating test may also be useful in diagnosing the condition, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Treatment for overactive adrenal glands is dependent on two factors: the cause of the disease and what is making the body overproduce cortisol, which is what causes the disorder in the first place, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. In many cases, growths on the glands themselves are removed surgically, or chemotherapy radiation and drugs to eradicate tumors on the glands may be necessary. If the condition is caused by consumption of steroids, then discontinuing use may be recommended.

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