What Should You Know About Adrenal Adenoma? -

What Should You Know About Adrenal Adenoma?

The adrenal glands are two pea-sized organs located on top of your kidneys. They play a vital role in your body’s health by producing essential hormones like cortisol, aldosterone, and adrenaline. An adrenal adenoma is a benign (noncancerous) tumor that forms within the adrenal gland. It’s the most common type of adrenal gland tumor, and thankfully, most adenomas don’t cause any problems.

Types of Adrenal Adenoma

There are two main types of adrenal adenoma:

  • Non-functioning adenoma: This type doesn’t produce excess hormones and usually doesn’t cause any symptoms. These are often discovered incidentally during imaging tests like a CT scan done for another reason.
  • Functioning adenoma: This type produces an excessive amount of one or more hormones, leading to a variety of symptoms depending on the specific hormone being overproduced.

Symptoms of Adrenal Adenoma

Since non-functioning adenomas are typically asymptomatic, this section will focus on the symptoms associated with functioning adenomas:

  • Cushing’s syndrome: This occurs due to excess cortisol production and can cause symptoms like weight gain (especially in the upper body and face), easy bruising, stretch marks, fatigue, muscle weakness, high blood pressure, mood swings, and headaches.
  • Conn’s syndrome (primary aldosteronism): This is caused by excessive aldosterone production, leading to high blood pressure, low potassium levels, headaches, and muscle weakness.
  • Pheochromocytoma: This is a rare type of functioning adenoma that produces too much adrenaline and can cause symptoms like headaches, sweating, anxiety, palpitations, and high blood pressure.

Causes of Adrenal Adenoma

The exact cause of adrenal adenoma is unknown. However, certain factors may increase your risk, such as:

  • Age: They are more common in adults over 40.
  • Family history: Having a close relative with an adrenal adenoma or certain genetic conditions like multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) can increase your risk.
  • High blood pressure: Uncontrolled hypertension may be a risk factor.

Diagnosis of Adrenal Adenoma

If you experience symptoms suggestive of a functioning adrenal adenoma, your doctor at Supreme Hospital will likely recommend a series of tests  to confirm the diagnosis and identify the type of adenoma.  These may include:

  • Blood tests: To measure hormone levels.
  • Imaging tests: A CT scan or MRI scan can help visualize the adrenal glands and determine the size and location of the adenoma.
  • Urine tests: To assess hormone levels in some cases.

General Surgery Consultation

While most non-functioning adenomas don’t require treatment, a general surgeon at Supreme Hospital may recommend monitoring with regular scans if the adenoma is large.  For functioning adenomas, treatment options  depend on the specific hormone being overproduced and the severity of symptoms.  This might involve medication, minimally invasive procedures performed by a general surgeon, or even traditional surgery  to remove the affected adrenal gland.


Adrenal adenoma is a common condition, and thankfully, most are harmless. However, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms associated with functioning adenomas.  If you experience any concerning signs,  consult a General Surgery doctor at Supreme Hospital for proper diagnosis and discuss treatment options with a general surgeon  to ensure the best course of action for your individual case. Early detection and management can help prevent complications and ensure optimal health.

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