The adrenal glands are paired endocrine glands that are located next to the upper pole of each kidney. These glands perform a number of vital functions. They take part in the regulation of metabolism, develop hormones necessary to ensure important processes that occur in the body, and stimulate the development of reactions to stressful conditions. The hormones that are produced by these glands are adrenaline and norepinephrine.
The right adrenal gland has a triangular shape, but the left one has a semi-lunar shape. The bases of these glands are concave and adjacent to the convex poles of the kidneys. The length of the glands of an adult varies from 30 to 70 mm. Their width is from 20 to 35 mm, but the thickness is from 3 to 10 mm. The total mass of both glands reaches 10-14 g. In newborns, it does not exceed 3.5 g. Outside the glands are covered with a special capsule, from which partitions that contain numerous nerves and blood vessels protrude. These septa divide the main gland tissue into groups of cells, as well as cellular structures. Blood supply of these glands is carried out with the help of three groups of adrenal arteries:
- the lower one
- the upper.
The outflow of blood is carried out through the central vein, as well as numerous superficial veins that flow into the venous network of surrounding tissues and organs. In parallel, there are also lymphatic capillaries designed to drain lymph (a viscous, colorless liquid, in which there are no erythrocytes and platelets, but many lymphocytes).
Pathologies of these glands are considered severe ailments of the endocrine system. In modern medical practice, the most common are the following pathological conditions:
- primary and secondary hyperaldosteronism
- acute and secondary cortex failure
- congenital hyperplasia of the adrenal cortex
- Addison’s disease.
The main goal of the course of therapy of such pathologies is the restoration of the normal level of certain hormones. In addition, efforts are also directed at eliminating all the negative factors that aggravate the course of the existing disease. In most cases, patients are prescribed antiviral and antibacterial agents, as well as special hormone preparations and vitamins. Such drugs as Prednisone and its counterparts from pharmacies often used to treat adrenal cortex. Much attention is paid to diet and nutrition, as well as a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes it cannot do without surgery. You can find out about additional methods of therapy by consulting a specialist.