Adrenal gland hormones are produced by the adrenal glands. They produce four major hormones. In the outer regions (the cortex) they produce the hormones cortisol and aldosterone as shown on this link.In the central part of the adrenal glands the catecholamines are produced. Catecholamines are a mix of epinephrine (also known under the name “adrenaline”) and norepinephrine. The most important of these catecholamines in the adrenal glands is epinephrine. The glucocorticoids are produced in the zona fasciculata of the adrenal gland (about 10 to 20 mg per day, mainly cortisol) under the control of ACTH. Aldosterone is produced by the zona glomerulosa at a much lower rate of 100 to 150 micro-grams/day. Angiotensin II is the principal control for aldosterone. DHEA is the fourth hormone of the adrenal glands and is the main adrenal androgen produced in the zona reticularis. It is secreted at a rate of more than 20 mg per day (Ref. 16). DHEA is sulfated in the zona reticularis by the enzyme DHEA sulfotransferase and stored as DHEAS.
Below is a summary of the various common disorders associated with over- and underproduction of the adrenal gland hormones. This will be explained in more detail under the links. The most common condition that affects people under chronic stress is adrenal fatigue (Ref. 18).
There are circadian rhythms of hormone production throughout the day. Hormones are metabolized out of precursor hormonal compounds and can be converted into other hormones. For instance, DHEA can be converted into estrogens (estradiol, estrone and estriol) and into testosterone (Ref. 17).
Adrenal Gland Disorders
Overproduction of …cortisol : Cushing’s syndrome , …aldosterone : Conn’s syndrome , …epinephrine : Pheochromocytoma
Underproduction: Adrenal Fatigue (partial underproduction), Addison’s disease (adrenal gland insufficiency, rarely with large tumor mass in adrenal glands)
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Second printing 2002, by Smart Publications.com