Diseases of the Adrenal Gland

The adrenal glands are located on the kidneys. They produce a number of vital hormones, including the ones that control sex drive and cortisol. The latter helps our bodies resist stress and perform many other functions.

When a person’s adrenal glands secret too much or, on the contrary, too little of certain hormone, he is diagnosed with diseases of the adrenal gland. The list of these conditions includes Cushing’s syndrome (elevated level of cortisol), congenital adrenal hyperplasia, hyperaldosteronism, pheochromocytoma, and Addison’s disease (low level of the hormone).

The specialists of Tianjin hospital help patients with all the abovementioned conditions. We have a solid experience in diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases of the adrenal gland. Using the achievements of modern science along with the Oriental therapeutic techniques, we achieve excellent results with patients of all ages.

Causes

In most cases, these disorders develop for the following reasons:

  • Genetic mutations;
  • Various tumors, such as pheochromocytomas;
  • Infectious diseases;
  • Other hormonal conditions;
  • Intake of certain medical agents.

Specialists note that in particular cases, diseases of the adrenal gland are congenital, and it is almost impossible to denote the causes of such pathologies.

Symptoms

Generally, the signs of these conditions are as follows:

  • Obesity of the upper body, against the background of thin arms and legs;
  • Skin problems (acne, reddish-blue streaks on the belly, etc.);
  • High\low blood pressure;
  • Physical weakness and fatigue;
  • Fragile bones;
  • Headaches;
  • Barythymia and depression;
  • High levels of blood sugars;
  • Nausea and/or vomiting;
  • Moderate growth (for kids), and others.

It is important to note that diseases of the adrenal gland may have different symptoms depending on the type of the pathology, its stage, and the physical data of the patient.

Diagnosis

In order to diagnose Addison's disease and other conditions of the kind, our patients undergo some of the following tests:

Blood test. The specialists of Tianjin hospital measure the levels of sodium, potassium, cortisol and ACTH in the patient’s blood. It is a convenient way to check the person’s adrenal insufficiency and reveal the antibodies associated with Addison's disease.

ACTH stimulation test. It lets our doctors measure the level of cortisol in the client’s blood before and after adrenocorticotrophic hormone injections. ACTH makes adrenal glands to secret cortisol. When these organs are defective, the output of cortisol in response to such an injection is imperceptible.

Insulin-induced hypoglycemia test. This method is used in cases of pituitary diseases developing as a result of adrenal insufficiency. The doctors check the level of blood glucose and cortisol levels at different intervals after insulin injections.

Imaging examinations. Our patients undergo abdominal tomography, so that we could check the size of their adrenal glands and reveal other abnormalities. Besides, our doctors apply to MRI scans of the person’s pituitary glands for the cases of secondary adrenal insufficiency.

Treatment

When curing the clients with Addison’s disease the doctors of the First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine replace the cortisol that the body needs. In order to restore the healthy level of this hormone, our patients take specially selected oral medical agents.

Trying to help patients with hyperaldosteronism, our endocrinologists apply to medications blocking the effect of aldosterone. In severe cases, we use surgical methods of treatment implying removal of the affected gland. Our specialists implement, first of all, laparoscopic surgery – a minimally invasive therapeutic method, that involves only the smallest incisions in the abdomen.

Along with the modern techniques – surgery and medication – our specialists treat the patients with diseases of the adrenal gland using the unique Oriental wisdom. We apply to massage, acupuncture, cauterization, exercise therapy, nutritional management, moxibustion, and so on. All this lets us treat even severe and neglected cases with people of all ages.