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The Adrenal Glands: Hormone Control Center For The Body

The adrenal glands perform important functions in the growth and development of a person, from conception through adulthood. Working with the hypothalamus and pituitary gland of the brain, the adrenal glands are part of the intricate endocrine system of the body.

Sitting atop each of the kidneys are the triangularly shaped adrenal glands. Each adrenal gland, also called suprarenal glands, is made up of two parts, each part responsible for its own and separate functions. The outer portion of the adrenal gland is called the adrenal cortex; the inner portion of the gland is called the adrenal medulla.

The adrenal cortex provides the life-sustaining function of providing hormones such as corticosteroids, androgens and aldosterone. The adrenal medulla provides hormones--adrenaline and noradrenaline--whose functions are important to a person's ability to deal with mental and physical stress.

Hormone Management:
Is The Key To Health And Stress Management.


There are two corticosteroid hormones produced by the adrenal cortex: cortisol and corticosterone.

Cortisol controls the body's use of the major nutrients--fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Corticosterone works with cortisol to suppress the body's responses to inflammation and has effects on the body's immune system.


Androgens are hormones that minimally affect male characteristics development and produced by the adrenal cortex.


Another hormone of the adrenal cortex, aldosterone, regulates blood pressure levels through influencing how much sodium is retained or excreted from the body.

Adrenaline and Noradrenaline

Often referred to as the "fight or flight" hormone, adrenaline prepares the body to respond to perceived stresses/threats by increasing heart rate, increasing blood flow to the brain and muscles and assisting in the conversion of glycogen to glucose for ready use by the body. Noradrenaline affects vasoconstriction, which elevates blood pressure during perceived stresses/threats.

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The Adrenal glands are responsible for many processes in the body, including the production of various hormones that trigger chemical activity in every system, such blood pressure, heart rate, sweating, and the use of fats, proteins and carbohydrates in the body. Adrenal fatigue can result in exhaustion, headaches, insomnia, joint and muscle pain, allergies, and excess weight. Adrenal stress can be responsible for weight gain or loss, lack of energy, dehydration, intolerance to cold, as well as additional symptoms.