Adrenal Adenoma Symptoms (Non-Cancerous Tumor) and Its Treatment

Adrenal adenoma is a non-cancerous tumor that grows in the adrenal gland’s outer layer which is located above the two kidneys. This condition has two types which are functioning and non-functioning. The tumor or the adrenal adenoma is said to be functioning when it generates steroid hormones that are distributed into the body.

When the tumor is not functioning, it does not have the ability in knowing how much hormones need to be distributed or it does not secrete any hormone. Actual cause of the adenomas is still unknown but is believed to be from a mutated gene. It is also prevalent in patients that have inherited diseases like carney complex and Beckwith-Wiederman syndrome.

Adrenal Adenoma Symptoms

Symptoms are not usually observed for those patients that have adrenal adenoma. However an abnormal increase in steroidal hormones is detected which can lead to several abnormalities that cause apparent symptoms.

  • Overproduction of Cortisol. When there is overproduction of cortisol in the body, it can lead to the development of Cushing’s syndrome.

    The condition is characterized by obesity in the upper part of the body.

  • Excessive Androgens. Those women patients with too much androgen caused by adrenal adenomas can experience hirsutism or having too much hair in the body. Menstrual cycle can also become irregular and unusual pimples may appear.

  • Too much Estrogen. Male patients may have breasts that are more pronounced.

  • Accumulation of Aldosterone. Patients may experience palpitations and irregular beating of the heart coupled with high blood pressure. Electrolyte potassium levels of the body may go down. Patients can also experience excessive thirst along with problems in the kidneys which may lead to back pains.

  • An Excess in Adrenaline Hormones. Patients here can experience pheochromocytoma which can bring about nasty symptoms like headaches, panic attacks, palpitations, and blood pressure that becomes very elevated. When not treated properly, this can lead to heart attacks and sudden death.

Adrenal Gland Adenoma Treatment

  • Adrenalectomy. This is the process of surgically removing the adrenal gland that has been affected by a functioning adenoma. It can be done through standard surgery or by laparascopic adrenalectomy. This method is generally done when the nature of the adenomas is uncertain or when it is more than 3cm in diameter, there is bleeding, and when there is degeneration to make sure patients will not get adrenal cancer.

  • Yearly monitoring through scanning is commonly done for benign adenomas that are non-functioning.

  • There are times when the spleen has to be removed during removal of the affected adrenal glands. When this happens doctors will regularly vaccinate patients to prevent dangerous bacteria like pneumococci and meningococci that cause lobar pneumonia and meningitis from harming the body.

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