Adrenal Gland Tumor
The adrenal gland is located on the superior portion of the kidney. It produces some of the most important hormones associated with body metabolism. Many metabolic pathways depend upon the adrenal gland functionality through its hormone production. Some of the significant hormones produced by the adrenal gland include aldosterone, cortisol, sex hormones and adrenaline. The adrenal gland comprises two distinctive regions cortex and medulla respectively. Each region of the adrenal gland produces different kinds of hormones.
Adrenal insufficiency is a disorder predominantly associated with the dysfunction of the adrenal cortex region. The intensity of this disorder can be represented as primary or secondary depending upon the impaired adrenal cortex and its functionality. Studies imply that autoimmune diseases such as Addison's disease are the predominant cause for the adrenal sufficiency. In the secondary condition of this disorder, the production of adrenocortico tropic hormone is reduced to a greater extent. Although autoimmune disorders play a major role in the adrenal insufficiencies, other causes such as infectious diseases, vascular impairments, congenital disorders and also iatrogenic causes lead to adrenal insufficiencies. These factors predominantly influence the production of glucocorticoids.
The adrenal insufficiencies associated with mineralocorticoids are caused because of underlying conditions such as corticosterone methyl oxidase deficiency, impairments in the Zona glomerulosa and treatments such as heparin therapy. The recommended treatment for adrenal insufficiency is usually through hormonal therapy. Care must be taken while administering hormones as it may induce side effects such as obesity. Hydrocortisone is administered to treat adrenal insufficiencies.
Adrenal Pheochromocytoma is a condition in which tumors are formed on the adrenal gland. These tumors occur predominantly on one adrenal gland as an unilateral condition. The bilateral condition is found only in rare cases. These tumors occur together with other disorders such as endocrine neoplasia type 2. Majority of these pheochromocytomas are benign in origin and only a few cases develop malignancy.
The symptoms of adrenal Pheochromocytoma include headaches, palpitation, profuse sweating, glucose intolerance, heat sensitivity and decreased blood pressure. Since pheochromocytomas are associated with variations in blood pressure, the diagnosis of the respective underlying condition is done by the determination of products obtained from the breakdown of adrenaline and noradrenaline. Other tests include the glucagon stimulation test for monitoring the blood pressure and the clonidine suppression test to detect the presence of tumors which lower the catecholamines. Confirmatory tests are done using radiological determination through CT scan and MRI scans.
Pheochromocytoma is treated with blood pressure lowering drugs such as alpha adrenergic blockers and the tumors associated are surgically removed. Post-operative care such as transfusion of fluids is given to patients who experience weakness because of low blood pressure.
Adrenal tumors are generally categorized into functional and nonfunctional depending upon their type. Tumors associated with the adrenal cortex fall into the functional category whereas the remaining part of the adrenal gland secreting mixed hormones such as sex hormones and aldosterone fall under the nonfunctional category. Metastases associated with adrenal gland are more prominent in the determination of preexisting neoplasms and underlying adrenal insufficiency. Adrenal tumors of the benign non-functional origin are also caused by other conditions such as amyloidosis and granuloma. The malignant nonfunctional tumors are caused by conditions such as neuroblastoma and lymphoma.
Adrenal tumors are identified by a careful examination of the patient history followed by biochemical and radiological investigations. Fine needle aspiration biopsy is advised for pathological determination of the existing tumor. Surgical procedures such as laparoscopic adrenalectomy have produced good results in the removal of adrenal tumors.
Known popularly as the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D is the only vitamin that the body is capable of producing on its own on being exposed to sunshine. Vitamin D, also called cholecalciferol is produced when the body is exposed to sunlight before it can produce this vitamin. Vitamin D is fat soluble and is stored in the body's fatty tissue. Vitamin D helps build strong bones as it helps the body use calcium from the diet. Vitamin D works in tandem with other nutrients and hormones in the body and supports healthy bone renewal. Recent studies have concluded that Vitamin D protects against a host of health ailments.
These include diabetes type 2, hypertension or high blood pressure, glucose intolerance and multiple sclerosis. Adequate levels of Vitamin D are needed for reducing the risk of hypertension. Those who do not have adequate exposure to sunlight might suffer Vitamin D deficiency which leads to osteoporosis in adults or rickets in children. Excessive levels of Vitamin D can lead to higher calcium levels that can lead to vomiting and kidney stones. Egg yolks, fish oils and fortified foods like milk contain Vitamin D. The role of Vitamin D in overall good health is often ignored. It is crucial in the immune system regulation as well as maintaining brain function well into later years. Vitamin D might have a bearing on your risk to cancer. In a study carried out by Cancer Treatment Center of America, it was noticed that cancer patients showed Vitamin D deficiency. This could result because the active form of Vitamin D is instrumental in inhibiting proliferation and plays a role in cellular differentiation.
Test for Vitamin D deficiency
The 25-hydroxy Vitamin D test accurately measures the quantity of Vitamin D in your body. This test changes Vitamin D into an active form of the vitamin which is measured through the blood. It is the active form of Vitamin D that helps control calcium and phosphate levels in your body. The normal range is between 30.0 and 74.0 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL).
Vitamin D helps absorbs calcium. Since calcium and Vitamin D have other health benefits, they both are essential. For healthy bones, Vitamin D and calcium go hand in hand, as Vitamin D must be present for calcium to be absorbed from the digestive tract.
Studies reveal that Vitamin D can regulate stress hormone production and regulate glucocorticoid, and either too high or too less stress hormone is associated with poorer mental health. Vitamin D has significant immune enhancing benefits and therefore it may play a role in improving mental health through its anti inflammatory effects.
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Bibliography / Reference
Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: June 18, 2021