Diagnosing and treating adrenal gland issues

Are you suffering from blood pressure issues, excess sweating, dizziness, or fainting? In this video Samuel E. Long, III, MD, General Surgery at ARC South 1st Specialty and Pediatrics and ARC Southwest, addresses these symptoms and causes. One such possible cause may be a poorly functioning adrenal gland.

Watch Dr. Long’s video to hear what he as to say about diagnosing adrenal gland problems and surgical options for treating these problems.

If you prefer to read what Dr. Long has to say in this video, here is a complete transcript:

The adrenal gland is a small organ that is found above the kidneys, and we actually have two of them. The adrenal gland makes various hormones that contribute to things like blood pressure, things like your sugars, and also the sex hormones. Sometimes if you have:

  • blood pressure that is very difficult to control and you’re on multiple blood pressure agents or
  • you're feeling sweaty or
  • dizzy or 
  • frequently fainting

these all can be conditions or symptoms that are related to the adrenal gland, and they deserve further investigation by your primary care provider.

Diagnosis and treatment

What we do when you come in to see me in the office is that we'll test a variety of different hormones that the adrenal gland secretes. Any of these levels that might be slightly off can be a clue as to as to what might be going on with you. Oftentimes we will then get a cat scan to see whether or not either or both of the adrenal glands might have a nodule or growth that is secreting hormone. If you have a nodule on your adrenal gland that is producing hormones it typically has to be removed. This can be done through a minimally invasive or robotic approach utilizing smaller incisions and typically only requires a one-night hospital stay. More recently we've also been doing these procedures through the back as this is a retroperitoneal or structure or organ that is easily accessible.

Adrenal conditions are very under recognized and sometimes there is a delay in diagnosis to definitive surgical treatment. If you have very difficult-to-control high blood pressure in which you take two to four agents and are still not achieving adequate blood pressure control, I would talk to your doctor about doing a biochemical workup to rule out an adrenal disorder. This is a very common and under recognized form of secondary hypertension and it's something that you'll want to get checked out as it could have a surgical cure.

Make an appointment today

If you would like to make an appointment with Dr. Long, call ARC South 1st Specialty and Pediatrics at 512-443-1311 or ARC Southwest at 512-282-8967, or make an appointment online.

Tags: adrenal gland