Your adrenal, or suprarenal, glands are located near the top of each kidney. These glands produce hormones that you can't live without, including sex hormones and cortisol, which helps you respond to stress and has many other functions.
Adrenal disorders can cause your adrenal glands to make too much or not enough hormones. With Cushing's syndrome, there's too much cortisol, while with Addison's disease, there is too little. Some people are born unable to make enough cortisol. Tumors can also cause disorders in your adrenal glands. Bleeding and infection can cause an adrenal gland problem that can be fatal without quick treatment.
Treatment depends on which problem you have. Surgery or medicines can treat many adrenal gland disorders.
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|Date last updated: 21 August 2008
Topic last reviewed: 21 August 2008