Adrenal disorders The adrenal glands are small organs that sit on top of the kidneys and are responsible for the secretion of several key hormones including cortisol, aldosterone, adrenaline and noradrenaline. Adrenal disorders include (i) reduced adrenal function – the body cannot secrete sufficient quantities of hormones in stressful situations (ii) Addison’s disease – underactive adrenal cortex (iii) Cushing’s syndrome – excessive production of cortisol. The use of cortisone therapy for non-endocrine diseases such as arthritis and asthma can impair the function of adrenal glands.
Symptoms of reduced adrenal function: weakness, lethargy, fatigue, recurrent infections, dizziness, low blood pressure, headaches, memory issues, food cravings and blood glucose disorders.
Symptoms of Addison’s disease: fatigue, loss of appetite, fainting, low blood pressure, nausea, craving salty foods, discolouration or darkening of the skin and an inability to cope with stress.
Symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome: muscle wasting, deposition of fat in the abdominal area and face (moon face), increased growth of body hair, thickening of the skin, fatigue, increased thirst and urination and weakening of the bones (osteoporosis).
Who to consult: Dietician, GP, herbalist, homoeopath, naturopath or TCM practitioner.