Some organs can be examined without the need for special devices. For instance diagnosis of adrenal glands is regularly carried out in patients who have hormonal abnormalities. For this reason there are a lot of ways to identify diseases of these organs.
The role of the adrenal glands in the body
The adrenal glands are located in the endocrine system and they purpose is to produce some of the most important hormones such as adrenaline, norradineline, corticosteroids and androgens. Through them, the adrenal glands have effect on the following:
- Physical and emotional activity
- Circulatory system
- Primary and secondary sexual characteristics.
When should I be screened?
The adrenal glands perform various functions in the body and the signs of abnormalities in their working can be diverse. Some of the sighs and symptoms portrayed include:
- Unnatural skin colour, thinning and dryness
- The appearance of dark stretch marks in the hips
- Weight loss of limbs with fat deposits on the face and abdomen
- Increased blood pressure
- Water exchange disorders at normal blood sugar levels
- Problems with puberty in adolescents
- Menstrual cycle disorders and infertility in women, impotence in men;
- Depressive and suicidal moods
All these symptoms show that there are changes in hormone production. If let untreated, the problems will become worse. Adrenal hormones have an effect on the whole body therefore the diseases will affect various organs.
Adrenal Diagnosis: What Research Will Help?
The condition of this organ can be investigated using test and special equipment. The combination of these methods in the diagnosis will give more accurate results that will help the doctor prescribe the right treatment.
A qualified doctor is the one who will recommend adrenal abdominal ultrasound. This depends on their location, it may be under the muscles, fat layer and all the other organs. Ultrasound test the glands for tumours and changes in the structure which will be clearly visible in an ultrasound.
MRI of abdominal organs allows you to take clear pictures at any level. It should not be performed on patients who have metal objects on their body, such as pacemakers. Moreover, when it is done on closed structures, it can worsen the health of people suffering from claustrophobia. If there are no limitations, then this method of diagnosis will be of much help.
Computer tomography is one of the most accurate methods. During the procedure, a 3D model is created an this will provide a more detailed examination. The examination takes a short time unlike the MRI of the abdominal cavity that takes around 40 minutes.
As for the tests, it can be:
- General blood test to determine the state of the body.
- Blood test for hormones: cortisol, aldosterone, androstenedion, progesterone, testosterone, ACTG.
- Urine analysis for hormones: cortisol, metinephrine, nornetaneprin;
- analysis of saliva on cortisol.
Depending on the content of hormones in the blood, it is possible to determine the abnormalities in the functioning of the adrenal glands. Each hormone is produced by a certain part of the organ.
Preparing for the tests
Before undergoing ultrasound, you will need to exclude the consumption of some products a few days prior so as to not provoke flatulence. Such foods include raw vegetables and fruits, brad, legumes and fizzy drinks. The intestine must be empty during these studies.
Hormonal test require not only careful preparation but they should also be done at a specific time:
- Tests are done from morning to 9 o’clock.
- In two or three days you will have to give up food that causes the concentration of adrenaline such as bananas, citrus fruits, coffee and chocolate.
- In the last 24 hours, avoid sports and exercise, so as not to affect the level of cortisol.
- For the same reason, before the analysis, you need to get a good night’s sleep and come to the hospital in peace. If you have experienced severe stress or shock a couple of days before the appointed time, the study will have to be postponed.
- All hygiene procedures should be carefully carried out before the urine is handed over.
- Hormone levels may be affected by medication. Ensure you consult an endocrinologist about taking tests if you take something every day.
Your doctor may have additional comments depending on your illness. The key requirements for a successful examination include:
- No stress
- Good mood
- Proper nutrition the day before
If you prepare well, the diagnosis of the adrenal glands will be successful, the examinations will show the right results and will significantly help in the diagnosis of diseases.