Adrenal Glands

The body also has two triangular adrenal (pronounced: uh-DREE-nul) glands, one on top of each kidney.


The adrenal glands have two parts, each of which produces a set of hormones and has a different function:
1.The outer part, the adrenal cortex, produces hormones called corticosteroids (pronounced: kor-tih-ko-STER-oydz) that influence or regulate salt and water balance in the body, the body’s response to stress, metabolism, the immune system, and sexual development and function.

2.The inner part, the adrenal medulla (pronounced: muh-DUH-luh), produces catecholamines (pronounced: kah-tuh-KO-luh-meenz), such as epinephrine (pronounced: eh-puh-NEH-frun). Also called adrenaline, epinephrine increases blood pressure and heart rate when the body experiences stress.

What if it goes wrong?

Adrenal insufficiency. This condition occurs when the adrenal glands don’t produce enough corticosteroids. The symptoms of adrenal insufficiency may include weakness, fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea, dehydration, and skin changes. Doctors treat adrenal insufficiency with medications to replace corticosteroid hormones.

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