You and Your HormonesWhat are corticosteroid corticosteroids and how do they work? Systemic corticosteroids refer to corticosteroids that are given orally or exwmples injection and distribute throughout the body. It does not include corticosteroids used in the eyes, ears, or nose, on the skin or that are inhaled, although adrenal corticosteroids examples amounts of these corticosteroids can be absorbed into the body. Naturally occurring corticosteroids, hydrocortisone Cortef and adrenal corticosteroids examplesare produced by the outer portion of the adrenal gland known as the cortex hence the name, corticosteroid. Corticosteroids are classified as either:.
Corticosteroids: Drug Facts, Side Effects and Dosing
The human body has two adrenal glands and one sits on top of each kidney. Each adrenal gland weighs 4—5 g in an adult. Adrenals are first detected at 6 weeks' gestation. The adrenal glands secrete different hormones which act as 'chemical messengers'. These hormones travel in the bloodstream and act on various body tissues to enable them to function correctly.
All adrenocortical hormones are steroid compounds made from cholesterol. Catecholamines include adrenaline , noradrenaline and small amounts of dopamine — these hormones are responsible for all the physiological characteristics of the stress response, the so called 'fight or flight' response. High blood pressure may cause headaches and visual problems.
In rare cases, the adrenal glands can become either overactive or underactive. The two main glucocorticoid-related disorders resulting from these are Cushing's syndrome and Addison's disease , respectively. Cushing's syndrome is due to overactive adrenal glands from excessive production of cortisol. It can result in growth failure in children. Patients with cortisol excess also have impaired wound healing and an increased susceptibility to infection.
Addison's disease or adrenal insufficiency is due to underactive adrenal glands associated with lack of hormones. Adrenal insufficiency may be acute or chronic.
Skin and mucous membranes may show increased pigmentation. The loss of secondary sex characteristics is seen only in women with the disease. Acute adrenal insufficiency is a medical emergency and must be identified and promptly treated.
The hallmarks of acute adrenal insufficiency are circulatory collapse with abdominal pain and low blood sugar. Most tumours are discovered incidentally when people undergo scans for various other reasons.
Adrenal cancer is very rare. Adrenal tumours may require surgery if they are large or overproduce hormones. The treatment of each disorder varies according to the specific cause. Hormone replacement therapy or HRT is the replacement of female sex hormones oestrogen and progesterone in women to control symptoms of the menopause. About Contact Events News. You and Your Hormones. Students Teachers Patients Browse.
Home Glands Adrenal glands. Adrenal glands The adrenal glands are small structures attached to the top of each kidney. The human body has two adrenal glands that release chemicals called hormones into the bloodstream. These hormones affect many parts of the human body. Glossary All Glands Resources for Glands. Alternative names Suprarenal glands Where are my adrenal glands?
What do my adrenal glands do? What hormones do my adrenal glands produce? The adrenal cortex produces three hormones: Without aldosterone, the kidney loses excessive amounts of salt sodium and, consequently, water, leading to severe dehydration and low blood pressure.
This hormone is involved in the response to illness and also helps to regulate body metabolism. Cortisol stimulates glucose production helping the body to free up the necessary ingredients from storage fat and muscle to make glucose. Cortisol also has significant anti-inflammatory effects. All have weak effects, but play a role in early development of the male sex organs in childhood, and female body hair during puberty. The adrenal medulla produces catecholamines: What could go wrong with my adrenal glands?
Topical issues What is HRT?