Introduction

The adrenal glands are important in the synthesis and regulation of key human hormones. They play a crucial role in water and electrolyte homeostasis, as well as regulation of blood pressure, carbohydrate and fat metabolism, physiologic response to stress, and sexual development and differentiation. This chapter focuses on pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic management of the two most common conditions associated with adrenal gland dysfunction: glucocorticoid insufficiency (e.g., Addison's disease) and glucocorticoid excess (Cushing's syndrome). Other adrenal disorders such as congenital adrenal hyperplasia, pheochromocytoma, hypoaldosteron-ism, and hyperaldosteronism are beyond the scope of this chapter.

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