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Adrenal Gland Disorders: Overview

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Adrenal (pronounced uh-DREEN-l) glands, which are located on each kidney, produce hormones. Adrenal gland disorders develop when the adrenal glands produce hormone levels that are too high or too low. The function of the adrenal glands also can be affected if hormones are introduced from an outside source. At least nine different types of adrenal gland disorders exist. Each disorder has its own symptoms and possible treatments. The NICHD conducts and supports research on the causes of adrenal gland disorders and ways to diagnose and treat them.

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Common Names

  • Adrenal gland disorders
  • Pituitary tumors

Medical or Scientific Names

  • Cushing's syndrome or hypercortisolism (pronounced hahy-per-KOR-ti-sol-iz-uhm)
  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (pronounced hahy-per-PLEY-zhuh)
  • Paraganglioma (pronounced par-ah-gang-glee-OH-mah)
  • Pheochromocytoma (pronounced fee-oh-kroh-moh-sahy-TOH-muh)
  • Adrenocortical carcinoma (pronounced uh-dree-noh-KAWR-ti-kuhl kahr-suh-NOH-muh)
  • Addison's disease, primary adrenal insufficiency, or hypocortisolism (pronounced hahy-poh-KOR-ti-sol-iz-em)
  • Hyperaldosteronism (pronounced hahy-per-al-doh-STER-uh-niz-uhm)
Last Reviewed: 09/30/2013
Vision National Institutes of Health Home BOND National Institues of Health Home Home Storz Lab: Section on Environmental Gene Regulation Home Machner Lab: Unit on Microbial Pathogenesis Home Division of Intramural Population Health Research Home Bonifacino Lab: Section on Intracellular Protein Trafficking Home Lilly Lab: Section on Gamete Development Home Lippincott-Schwartz Lab: Section on Organelle Biology