The adrenal glands produce hormones that support several bodily functions. Inflammation of the adrenal glands may be a symptom of underlying conditions, which may include infections and cancer.
Hormones produced by the adrenal glands help manage a person’s metabolism and blood pressure. They also support the body’s stress response.
Certain conditions can have a negative effect on how the adrenal glands work. Some of these conditions can cause inflammation within the adrenal glands. For example, infections may affect the adrenal glands and cause swelling. Some forms of adrenal cancer can also lead to inflammation.
This article examines what causes inflammation of the adrenal glands. It also discusses signs and symptoms of adrenal gland inflammation as well as diagnosis and treatment.
We discuss other conditions that can cause adrenal gland inflammation in more detail below.
The term adrenalitis refers to an infection of the adrenal glands. There are many different infections that can affect these glands. In certain cases, these infections may cause adrenal gland inflammation.
Infections that affect areas near the adrenal glands are one potential cause of inflammation. In a 2019 study, researchers examined a person who developed a urinary tract infection (UTI). This infection led to sepsis.
After developing sepsis, the individual experienced adrenalitis and adrenal gland inflammation. Researchers believe that the UTI may have caused the inflammation of the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are located near the kidneys, and a UTI can affect a person’s kidneys.
Xanthogranulomatous adrenalitis (XGA) is a rare form of adrenalitis. This condition can also lead to inflammation of the adrenal glands.
Research suggests that adrenal gland inflammation may be a sign of adrenal cancer. This may happen after immune cells travel to the adrenal glands to attack tumors. The collection of these cells within the adrenal glands may lead to inflammation.
Other types of infection may also lead to adrenal gland inflammation. In rare cases, tuberculosis can affect the adrenal glands. Research suggests that adrenal tuberculosis can lead to inflammation of the adrenal glands.
Individuals with adrenal insufficiency
Some people develop adrenal insufficiency because of an underlying autoimmune condition. Others
The symptoms of adrenal gland inflammation depend on the underlying cause. One common cause is infection. Signs and symptoms of infection
In other cases, adrenal cancer can lead to adrenal gland inflammation. Symptoms of adrenal cancer
Individuals with adrenal insufficiency may also experience adrenal gland inflammation. Symptoms of adrenal insufficiency
Adrenal gland inflammation may have a number of different causes. Because of this, there is no single process for diagnosing this condition.
Anyone experiencing symptoms of adrenal gland conditions should speak with an endocrinologist. An endocrinologist specializes in conditions related to hormones. These include adrenal disorders as well as conditions like diabetes or thyroid issues.
During an evaluation, an endocrinologist may perform different tests. The results of endocrinology tests can help them make a diagnosis and recommend treatment.
The treatment for adrenal gland inflammation depends on the underlying condition. For example, treatment for infection typically involves antibiotics. Antibiotic medications can treat bacterial infections by destroying bacteria.
Adrenal cancer is another underlying cause of adrenal gland inflammation.
Adrenal insufficiency is another potential cause of adrenal gland inflammation. Treatments for adrenal insufficiency
Anyone experiencing new or worsening adrenal symptoms should speak with a healthcare professional as soon as possible.
An endocrinologist can also perform an evaluation to determine what is causing these symptoms. They can then recommend an individualized course of treatment.
Adrenal gland inflammation may be a sign of different underlying conditions. These may include certain infections, adrenal cancer, or adrenal insufficiency.
The symptoms of adrenal gland inflammation depend on the individual and their underlying condition. Visiting an endocrine specialist is an important step for determining what is causing the inflammation. An endocrinologist can diagnose and treat adrenal conditions.
Anyone experiencing symptoms of an adrenal condition should visit a healthcare professional as soon as possible.