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Adrenal Gland Hormones


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.

Adrenal Gland Hormones

Adrenal Gland Hormones

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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16. Kronenberg: Williams Textbook of Endocrinology, 11th ed., © 2008 Saunders, An Imprint of Elsevier

17. George Gillson, MD, PhD and Tracy Marsden, BScPharm: “You’ve hit menopause, now what?” (3 simple steps to restoring hormone balance); Rocky Mountain Analytical Corp., 2nd edition, 2004, Canada

18. James L. Wilson, ND, DC, PhD: “Adrenal Fatigue, the 21sty Century Stress Syndrome – what is it and how you can recover”;

Second printing 2002, by Smart

Last modified: December 2, 2019

This outline is only a teaching aid to patients and should stimulate you to ask the right questions when seeing your doctor. However, the responsibility of treatment stays in the hands of your doctor and you.