Symptoms Of Adrenal Gland Problems In Women
Adrenal glands are ductless glands that belong to the endocrine system of the body (related to kidneys). They are triangular in shape and are found on top of the kidneys. They are 1-2 inches in length and weigh less than one ounce. They control more than 35 hormones in our body–these glands are very powerful. They are the anti-stress glands that help the body fight stress and regulate salt balance, water and blood pressure. Proper functioning is very important for the energy, resilience and endurance of the body. Keep reading to learn more about adrenal gland problems in women.
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Adrenal Gland Problems in Women
There are many problems women experience caused by a malfunctioning adrenal gland. Some of these problems include:
- Adrenal Fatigue:
Adrenal glands have to maintain high levels of cortisol to fight stress. High cortisol levels affect the release of other hormones, including estrogen which is used for the body’s metabolism. Such problems lead to adrenal fatigue which can cause low blood sugar, high blood pressure and a general feeling of being tired among other problems.
When these glands malfunction, it leads to poor memory and rapid mood swings. In many cases, doctors prescribe pills to overcome depression.
Lots of women who face problems with adrenal glands are victims of insomnia. They suffer from tiredness and sleeplessness. They never feel fresh when waking up.
- Hormonal Imbalance:
There are lots of problems when adrenal glands do not release hormones properly. It can cause many disorders like loss of hair, dry skin, kidney damage, high blood pressure or osteoporosis.
- Cushing’s Syndrome:
This syndrome is found when adrenal glands are over-active. This problem is often seen in athletes and pregnant women. It causes symptoms like muscular pain or weakness. It can sometimes cause paralysis.
- Addison’s Disease:
This disease is found when there is a shortage of the cortisol produced by the adrenal glands. The symptoms of this disease are not recognized quickly.
- Adrenal Gland Tumor:
In some cases an adrenal gland tumor is formed. This is due to excessive production of hormones. The problem also leads to Cushing’s Syndrome. Surgery may be required.
- Adrenal Gland Cancer:
Adrenal gland tumors are malignant in a very few cases, which may lead to cancer. Radiation and chemotherapy are the only ways of controlling the growth of this cancer.
To have a clear picture about adrenal gland and how it functions, check out this video:
Symptoms of Adrenal Gland Problems in Women
The following symptoms are noted during adrenal disorders:
- Muscle weakness
- Renal disease
- Weight loss
- Salt craving
- Abdominal pain
- Congestive heart failure
- High fever
- Vascular collapse
- Change in skin color
- Patchy skin
Any of the above mentioned symptoms should be reported to a doctor.
What are the Causes?
Too much or too little production of hormones gives rise to adrenal gland problems in women. This usually happens when:
- A woman takes synthetic hormone medicine to treat some other disease
- The immune system attacks its own tissues, damaging the adrenal glands
- The gland is injured by a tumor
- There is excessive bleeding or other infection
- Suffering from tuberculosis
- A woman has undergone surgery, experienced a trauma or has physiological stress
- Discontinuing the usage of strong steroids
Treatment should be started immediately if suffering from an adrenal gland problem. In some cases, the disorder might prove life-threatening or fatal. With proper treatment, adrenal problems in women are very curable.
What are Common Adrenal Gland Disorders?
- Cushing’s Syndrome:
When the body is exposed to high levels of cortisol hormone (which regulates the effect of stress on our body), it leads to Cushing’s Syndrome. The body produces more than the required amount of cortisol. A few children are born with this adrenal gland disorder and in some cases, it is because of certain medications.
- Pituitary Tumor:
Pituitary glands regulate the functions of the other glands including the adrenal gland. Sometimes, non-cancerous tumors might grow in the gland and restrict the release of hormones.
- Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia:
A genetic disorder of the adrenal gland can cause congenital adrenal hyperplasia. The body is unable to produce the cortisol hormone. It also leads to other hormonal imbalance.
- Addison’s Disease:
Addison’s disease occurs when the adrenal gland is not able to produce enough hormones. There is an insufficient levels of cortisol and aldosterone hormones (which regulate blood pressure, volume and electrolyte balance in the body).
- Conn’s Syndrome:
When the adrenal gland produces too much of the aldosterone hormone, it leads to Conn’s syndrome, also known as Primary hyperaldosteronism.
This usually happens when the adrenal glands produces excessive androgen hormones (which develops and maintains male characteristics) in women. As a result, the patient develops masculine characteristics like facial hair, baldness, a deep voice etc.
I hope now you have a clear understanding about adrenal gland problems in women. If you are experiencing any of the above-mentioned signs or symptoms, you must immediately consult your doctor or health care provider.
Remember, good health leads to a long, comfortable life!