KNOW YOUR BODY; Adrenal glands.
Where are they? The body has two grape-sized adrenal glands, one
sitting above each kidney. They have an inner core, the medulla, and an
outer skin, the cortex. What do they do? Hormones produced here are
vital in controlling chemistry. If adrenal hormone levels are too high
or low, the effects can be serious. The medulla produces adrenaline and
noradrenaline, which help to control heart rate and blood pressure. The
cortex produces steroid hormones aldosterone, which balances sodium and
potassium, hydrocortisone, the energy hormone, and the sex hormones
testosterone, oestrogen and progesterone. What can go wrong? Disorders
may involve the overproduction or underproduction of hormones, leading
to Cushing's syndrome and Addison's disease respectively,
which need urgent treatment.