Are You Concerned Your Symptoms May Point to an Adrenal Tumor? What Your Adrenal Tumor Symptoms May Mean Instead

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH

The adrenal glands may exhibit some adrenal tumor symptomsThe adrenal glands are a pair of walnut-sized organs that sit on top of your kidneys. These two glands produce the hormones cortisol, aldosterone, DHEA, norepinephrine and epinephrine (also known as adrenaline.) These hormones conduct various essential tasks throughout the body by helping regulate stress, energy, and sex drive among other important functions. Tumors of the adrenal gland can affect the production of these hormones and cause them to be much higher or lower than they should be, disrupting the balance of the body and displaying unhealthy symptoms. Some of these adrenal tumor symptoms may include:

  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Change in libido
  • Heart palpitations
  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Nervousness
  • Unexplained pains
  • Weight gain

All, some, or none of these adrenal tumor symptoms may be present, but they are all caused by imbalances in the levels of hormones produced by the adrenal gland, and if you suspect that may be the case, you may also be wondering if you have an adrenal tumor.

Hormone Imbalances Associated with Adrenal Tumor Symptoms

Imbalances in these hormones can be caused by many other factors, and one very common yet often overlooked factor, is Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS). AFS is a neuroendocrine disorder where the adrenal glands are in a state of dysfunction due to chronic and repeated stress. The adrenal glands are the main stress control center for the body, and if they are worked too hard for too long without rest, they begin to break down and no longer work as well. This also leads to imbalances in the levels of adrenal hormones. Some of the associated symptoms include:
Adrenal tumor symptoms can be reduced by using techniques to relieve stress

  • Fatigue unrelieved by rest
  • Low libido
  • Heart palpitations
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Reduced cognitive function
  • Pain of unknown origin
  • Unexplained weight gain

Many of these may sound familiar because Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome affects the same hormones that give rise to adrenal tumor symptoms. The difference is that Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome is easily remedied, but endemic in today’s modern society. Stress blankets us all, and far too many of us have adrenal glands that are suffering under that weight. It is so common for many of these symptoms to be considered a normal part of the aging process, that we ignore them or cover them up with caffeine and energy drinks.

These symptoms, while subtle and easily disregarded in the early stages of the condition, become much more difficult to manage when the adrenal glands begin to peter out and the condition very quickly crashes into the more advanced stages. The exact experience you may have with the advanced stages of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome can vary tremendously, due to how the body responds to stress via its neuroendometabolic (NEM) stress response system.

The body’s NEM stress response system is composed of smaller constituent functional systems. These systems are themselves distributed across multiple organs throughout the body. The particular way these functional constituents of the NEM stress response system are activated combine to create the unique constellation of symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome. Now it is important to keep in mind that these multiple functional systems react differently to stress across different individuals, giving rise to distinct Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome experiences in different people.

The benefits of relaxing should not be ignore when considering options for reducing adrenal tumor symptomsAnother important point to keep in mind is that the disparate symptoms occurring systemically throughout the entire body when suffering from Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome are each connected to some component of the NEM stress response system; and all these component parts of the NEM stress response are themselves tied back to the adrenal glands as the main stress control center of the body. Understanding how the body’s stress response is laid out helps paint a picture of how to address these symptoms.

In most cases, reversing Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome is a simple thing when caught early. In the early stages, the adrenal glands are overworked, but not yet broken down. They can be rejuvenated by relieving stress, getting proper nutrition, and living a balanced life. For some more serious cases, expert guidance may be needed to help direct sufferers on the optimal path to recovery. In either case, the best practices promote a healthier life in general.

So if you have these adrenal tumor symptoms and others, and suspect you may have an adrenal tumor, know that there are other explanations. It pays to educate oneself on this very common, very reversible, and yet often overlooked condition, Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome.

© Copyright 2015 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

The adrenal glands may exhibit some adrenal tumor symptoms
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Hello Dr. Lam -
Thank you kindly for this speedy and clear response. I can’t thank you enough and wish there were more doctors like you. It is people like you who prove that we still remain the noblest of professions.
Thank you again for your comprehensive explanation and a game plan - deeply appreciated.