The adrenal glands are located in the abdomen near the kidneys and produce adrenal hormone. Adrenal disorders may include Adrenal insufficiency, Adrenal fatigue (controversial), Adrenal Diseases such as Addison’s Disease, and Adrenal Cancer. Read more about: Adrenal Disorders, Adrenal Insufficiency
• • •
What are the adrenal glands?
silhouette of a person, with kidneys illustrated in their location in the body, and a close-up with labels of the kidneys and adrenal glandsThe adrenal glands, located on the top of each kidney, are responsible for releasing different classes of hormones.
The outer part of the gland, called the adrenal cortex, produces the hormones cortisol (pronounced KAWR-tuh-sohl) and aldosterone (pronounced al-DOS-tuh-rohn). The inner part of the gland, called the adrenal medulla (pronounced muh-DUHL-uh), produces the hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline.
These hormones control many important functions in the body, including1:
- Maintaining metabolic processes, such as managing blood sugar levels and regulating inflammation
- Regulating the balance of salt and water
- Controlling the "fight or flight" response to stress
- Maintaining pregnancy
- Initiating and controlling sexual maturation during childhood and puberty
The adrenal glands are also an important source of sex steroids, such as estrogen and testosterone.
Source: NICHD (NIH)1
• • •
Adrenal Glands: A pair of glands located at the cranial pole of each of the two Kidneys. Each adrenal gland is composed of two distinct endocrine tissues with separate embryonic origins, the Adrenal Cortex producing Steroids and the Adrenal Medulla producing Neurotransmitters.2
Types may include:3
Types of Adrenal Gland:
- Left Adrenal Gland
- Right Adrenal Gland
Read about these related anatomy topics:
Read about these related symptoms:
- Adrenal symptoms: What do adrenal hormones do?
Adrenal hormones, such as cortisol and aldosterone, play key roles in the functioning of the human body, such as regulating blood pressure; metabolism, the way4
... More on Adrenal symptoms »
- Fight or Flight Reaction: The “fight or flight” reaction is a complex mental and physical reaction to a perceived threat. It is a normal response in situations of rational fear or perceived fear (e
... More on Fight or Flight Reaction »
Disease and Condition Articles
Read about these related conditions and diseases:
- Adrenal Disorders: Adrenal disorders is the category of disorders of the adrenal glands. Examples include adrenal hyperplasia (including congenital adrenal hyperplasia), adrenal insufficiency, Addison’s Disease, adrenal crisis, adrenal tumors, and adrenal cancer
... More on Adrenal Disorders »
- Adrenal Insufficiency: Adrenal Insufficiency refers to low levels of adrenal hormones in the blood. The most common form is Addison’s Disease, which has an autoimmune cause. Symptoms are often mild and
... More on Adrenal Insufficiency »
- Adrenal Fatigue: Adrenal Fatigue is a non-medical term for a disorder where the adrenal glands produce too little hormone. In popular usage it may refer to a mild form of adrenal insufficiency
... More on Adrenal Fatigue »
- Addison’s Disease: Addison’s Disease is an endocrine disease that results in low adrenal gland hormones. This results in adrenal insufficiency. Symptoms are often mild and barely noticeable and the disease may
... More on Addison’s Disease »
- Adrenal Cancer: Adrenal cancer is cancer of the adrenal glands, which are small glands located in the abdomen near the kidney. Adrenal tumors may be benign or malignant (cancerous). Types of adrenal tumors
... More on Adrenal Cancer »
Related Symptom Topics
Read more about these related symptoms:More »
Related Disease and Condition Topics
Read about these diseases and medical conditions related to Adrenal glands:More »
• • •
- Source: NICHD (NIH): nichd.nih.gov/ health/ topics/ adrenalgland/ conditioninfo/ Pages/ default.aspx
- Source: MeSH (U.S. National Library of Medicine)
- Source: NCI Thesaurus
- Source: NIDDK (NIH): niddk.nih.gov/ health-information/ endocrine-diseases/ adrenal-insufficiency-addisons-disease
• • •
Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.