Adrenal disease occurs when there is an over-production or under-production of any of the adrenal hormones or when a tumor (either cancerous or benign) grows within the adrenal gland. Over-production of adrenaline can cause severe headaches, anxiety, palpitations, sweating, and a rapid heart rate. Elevated levels of cortisol can lead to the development of Cushing's syndrome, a condition characterized by obesity, high blood pressure, high glucose levels, menstrual problems, fragile skin and stretch marks. Excess production of aldosterone can cause high blood pressure and low potassium levels.
Although adrenal cancer is rare, early detection can profoundly improve a patient's quality of life and also decrease or eliminate its negative effects on the rest of the body.
Conditions treated at Carolinas HealthCare System include:
- Cushing's Syndrome (cortisol-producing adrenal tumor)
- Hyperaldosteronism (Conn's Syndrome / aldosterone-producing adrenal tumor)
- Pheochromocytoma (adrenaline-producing adrenal tumor)
- Adrenal Cortical Cancer (cancer originating from the adrenal glands)
- Metastatic Cancer (spread of other cancers to the adrenal glands)