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What are the Different Types of Adrenal Gland Hormones?

By C. Stoliecki
Updated Feb 26, 2024
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The adrenal glands, which are two glands that sit above the kidneys, secrete three different categories of hormones. Adrenal gland hormones include adrenalin, noradrenalin and a variety of corticosteroids, which simply refer to steroids that are produced by the adrenal glands. The corticosteroids include cortisol, cortisone, corticosterone, aldosterone, testosterone, progesterone and estrogen.

The inner part of the adrenal gland, which is known as the adrenal medulla, is responsible for adrenalin production. Adrenalin is a hormone that the body secretes in response to stress. It readies the body to fight, or to flee from an external stressor. To do so, it increases the heart rate, delays the onset of muscular fatigue, improves the ability of the muscles to contract and increases the body’s metabolic rate. These effects of adrenalin allow the body to act quickly and efficiently in the face of a potential threat.

Noradrenalin, also commonly referred to as norepinephrine, is also produced in the adrenal medulla. This hormone works in tandem with adrenalin and produces similar effects in the body during times of stress. For instance, both of these adrenal gland hormones work to increase heart rate. Noradrenalin is also responsible for causing blood vessels to contract, which results in increased blood pressure.

There are three distinct categories of the adrenal gland hormones known as corticosteroids. Each of these is produced in the outer portion of the adrenal glands, which is called the adrenal cortex. One category, glucocorticoids, includes the hormones cortisol, cortisone and corticosterone. These hormones are responsible for regulating the body’s use of carbohydrates, fats and proteins by converting them into glucose. They are also known for their anti-inflammatory capabilities.

A second category of corticosteroids is referred to as mineralocorticoids. The most important of these adrenal gland hormones is aldersterone. Aldersterone regulates the body’s metabolism of minerals and regulates the amount of sodium and water in the body. It helps the body eliminate potassium and retain a healthy amount of salt. Further, several symptoms can result when there is too much or too little of this hormone including muscle weakness and increased blood pressure.

Sexcorticoids is the name given to the third category of corticosteroids. This category of adrenal gland hormones includes estrogen, testosterone and progesterone. Testosterone is responsible for regulating the development of sexual characteristics and organs in males. It plays in integral role in the formation of the testis and prostate. Estrogen and progesterone are integral in the production of female sexual characteristics and regulation of the female menstrual cycle.

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Discussion Comments
By John57 — On Nov 01, 2011

When I was in my forties, I noticed a definite difference in my body and how I was feeling. I found it hard to sleep and was tired all the time. My hormones were also all over the place as my body started going through a lot of changes.

There are many women who suffer from adrenal fatigue when they are this age. I started doing some research on my own and discovered that even though adrenal gland problems are common, it doesn't have to stay that way.

I began looking at natural alternatives I could do to support my adrenal glands and have more energy. One of the biggest things that helped me was to begin taking specific supplements that would strengthen my adrenal glands.

Our adrenal glands regulate so many things that happen in our bodies, and when they start affecting the hormones is when a lot of women start noticing the changes.

Lowering my stress level is another thing I tried to focus on. This is something that is not easy to do, and I really had to make a conscious effort to not let it take over.

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