Adrenal glands are small glands located just on top of a person’s kidneys. These glands are just one of the many glands found in the endocrine system. Sometimes, these glands generate excessive amounts of hormones such as androgenic steroids, corticosteroids and aldosterone. They are then referred to as overactive adrenal glands, a condition also called Cushing's syndrome.
Here are some of the most common signs and symptoms of overactive adrenal glands:
1. Weight gain
One of the primary signs of Cushing’s syndrome is weight gain. A common sign of this condition is your face becoming rounder or more moon-shaped. In some cases, there will also be obesity in the upper body, particularly the upper back and the midsection. You may also begin to gain fat around the neck area.
While you may be generally gaining weight, you will also experience a general thinning in both your arms and legs. Your fragile skin means that you may bruise easily and be more prone to sores and infection. Healing of bites and wounds take longer than usual. Acne breakouts might occur more frequently.
Red or purple stretch marks tend to develop on your buttocks, stomach, breasts, arms and thighs. In response to overactive adrenal glands, you will also probably experience severe fatigue, feeling very weak and tired most of the time. You may also feel muscle and bone weakness.
3. Reproductive system irregularities
Secreting hormones is just one function of the adrenal glands. Cushing’s syndrome can affect the sexual life and reproductive systems of both men and women. There may be a lower sex drive between both genders. Men may feel a drop in libido, as well as a decrease in fertility. Women, on the other hand, may experience either irregular menstruation periods or may even stop menstruating. Other women may grow excessive amounts of hair on both the legs and face.
4. Psychological signs
Some individuals with overactive adrenal glands display psychological signs and symptoms. Increased irritability, depression and anxiety are common emotions in people with this condition. These emotions may be displayed for no particular reason. This tends to be an effect of a hormonal imbalance that you are probably experiencing.
Treatment for overactive adrenal glands depends on several factors, including the person’s overall health and medical history.
At times, Cushing’s syndrome can be the result of various medical conditions, such as tumors that have grown on the adrenal or pituitary glands. Remember that the symptoms and signs of overactive adrenal glands vary per person, as well as by the extent to which the glands malfunction. Of course, these signs and symptoms may resemble other medical problems and conditions. It would be best to consult with a medical professional immediately.