Wednesday Wisdom: Cortisol is Produced by What Gland?

April 18, 2018
Cortisol Is Produced In This Gland

Cortisol Is Produced In This Gland

Cortisol is Produced by What Gland?

Cortisol is a hormone that is excreted by this gland. Cortisol is a hormone responsible for controlling blood sugar levels, metabolism, salt and water balance, and fetal development. Cortisol is released when the body has low blood sugar, and when there is a stressor causing the body a noticeable amount of stress.

Too much cortisol can result in osteoporosis, weak muscles, high blood pressure, changes in the skin, and increased urination and excess thirst. Too much cortisol can result in Cushing’s Disease, and too little cortisol can result in Addison’s Disease.


The Answer!

The answer is cortisol is produced by the adrenal gland. The adrenal gland, pituitary gland and hypothalamus of the brain all work together to control the flow of cortisol. Located right above the kidneys, the adrenal gland also produces aldosterone and adrenaline.

Cushing’s Disease

Cushing’s disease is when the adrenal gland produces too much cortisol for a long duration. The symptoms of Cushing’s are weight gain, fatty tissue deposits, stretch marks that are purplish or pinkish. Other symptoms include acne, infections and cuts that are slow to heal, and fragile skin. Non surface level symptoms include depression, headache. muscle weakness, bone loss, and loss of emotional stability. If you think you may have Cushing’s you should consult your primary care physician who may refer you to an endocrinologist; someone who specializes in the endocrine system. Treatments include surgery, radiation therapy, and certain medications.

Addison’s Disease

We mentioned above that Addison’s disease is when the body does not produce enough cortisol. The symptoms include fatigue, low blood pressure, abdominal pain, darkened skin, weight loss, decreased appetite, and nausea. Patients may go into Addisonian crisis when they have dangerously low blood pressure and low blood sugar. If you think you may have Addison’s you should consult your primary care physician who will likely refer you to an endocrinologist. Treatment includes oral corticosteroids and corticosteroid injections.

Final Thoughts

Do you have too much or too little cortisol? Did you know that cortisol is produced in the adrenal gland? Have you ever been diagnosed with Cushing’s or Addison’s disease? Do you see an endocrinologist for any other reason? Comment below if you have any other medical fun facts you would like to see as a Wednesday Wisdom.

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