Glands make and release hormones.
Hormones are chemicals that stimulate other cells or tissues into action. Because hormones are in your blood, they travel throughout your body. They can affect many organs at the same time.
You have two adrenal glands, one above each kidney. The adrenal glands Overview of the Adrenal Glands Glands make and release hormones. Hormones are chemicals that stimulate other cells or tissues into action. Because hormones are in your blood, they travel throughout your body. They can affect... read more release several different hormones that help control your blood pressure, heart rate, balance of water and salt, response to stress, and some male-type sex features.
What are nonfunctional adrenal masses?
An adrenal mass is a lump or growth on your adrenal gland. "Nonfunctional" means the mass doesn't release adrenal hormones.
What causes nonfunctional adrenal masses?
Causes of nonfunctional adrenal masses include:
Cysts (fluid-filled sacs)
Bleeding inside the adrenal gland
Infections that spread to the adrenal gland
What are the symptoms of a nonfunctional adrenal mass?
Usually, you won't have any symptoms. But if the mass was caused by bleeding you may:
Have belly pain
Feel weak or dizzy
How can doctors tell if I have a nonfunctional adrenal mass?
Doctors often find an adrenal mass when looking at CT scans or MRIs you had for a different problem. To see if the adrenal mass is making adrenal hormones they’ll do:
How do doctors treat a nonfunctional adrenal mass?
Treatment depends on the size of the mass.
For a large mass, doctors will:
Do surgery to take it out
For a small mass, doctors will:
Leave the mass alone and do blood tests from time to time to check hormone levels
For a mass of in-between size, doctors will check to see if the mass is growing by doing:
Follow-up CT scan Computed Tomography A CT scan uses a large machine shaped like a large donut to take x-rays from many angles. A computer then takes the x-rays and creates many detailed pictures of the inside of your body. Each... read more or MRI Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) MRI is a test that uses a machine with a powerful magnet to make pictures of the inside of your body. A computer records changes in the magnetic field around your body. The computer then uses... read more
Doctors will remove small or in-between size masses if they keep growing or start to release adrenal hormones.