What causes adrenal disorders?
The adrenal gland can be affected by different problems. Each type of adrenal disorder has somewhat different causes and symptoms. Some of the most common disorders include:
If the adrenal gland develops tumors, these conditions can occur:
What is adrenal gland insufficiency?
Primary adrenal insufficiency can happen when the adrenal glands don’t produce enough cortisol or aldosterone. The cause is destruction of the adrenal glands’ outer layer, which can be caused by an autoimmune disease that attacks the glands, from tumors, or tuberculosis or other infections.
Secondary adrenal insufficiency is more common, and is caused when the pituitary gland doesn’t produce enough ACTH. If there’s insufficient ACTH, the adrenal glands don’t make enough cortisol. It’s most commonly caused when the patient has taken glucocorticoids (prednisone) for a long time and then stops too quickly, without tapering the dosage. It can also be caused by surgery or radiation to the pituitary gland, or by tumors in the pituitary gland.