Adrenal Disease

About the Adrenal Glands

Illustration of yellow adrenal gland on top of kidney
Kidney and adrenal gland

Each person is usually born with two adrenal glands. The adrenals are paired, goldenrod-yellow colored glands that are situated behind the organs of the gastrointestinal tract, next to the spine, and just above the kidneys, in a space called the retroperitoneum.

The two adrenal glands are responsible for making hormones, substances that make other cells in the body respond in various ways. These hormones enable the body to respond to stress, regulate blood pressure and the amount of fluid in the body, and are involved in the regulation of electrolytes such as sodium and potassium. The hormones produced by the adrenal glands include aldosterone, cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine. The adrenal glands also make small amounts of the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen. The ovaries and testicles make the majority of sex hormones. 

When certain cells in the adrenal glands produce too much of any one of the hormones, abnormalities can result which may affect many organ systems of the body. Disturbances in the amount of hormone produced can be the result of all cells in the gland producing too much hormone (hyperplasia) or be the result of a few cells (a nodule or mass) within an otherwise normal gland producing too much hormone.

To learn more about the adrenal conditions we treat, please select from the links below:

What's Special About University of Michigan's Treatment for Adrenal Disease?

Surgeons in the Division of Endocrine surgery at University of Michigan are experts in providing care for patients with adrenal disorders. Our surgeons offer treatment for both common conditions and the most advanced types of adrenal disease, including adrenal cancer. We are often referred patients with highly complex issues requiring state of the art surgical care not available elsewhere.

The care we provide, both in and out of the operating room, is based on years of research and personal experience. We are constantly evaluating new techniques and therapies to care for patients with adrenal disorders and to provide the best and most up-to-date care possible.

Make an Appointment

To see an endocrine surgeon about your adrenal disorder, call our clinic at 734-936-5830.