What Causes High Blood Pressure? Part 3: Renal Gland Tumors
Continuing the five-part series, we will now discuss renal gland tumors.
Renal Gland Tumors
Renal gland tumors are rare kinds of tumors that cause secondary high blood pressure.
What Are Some Renal Gland Tumors That Cause High Blood Pressure?
There are several disorders associated with renal gland tumors that are linked to high blood pressure. They include:
Hyperaldosteronism - Also known as Conn syndrome, these tumors are dangerous because they produce too much of the salt-retaining hormone, aldosterone. This situation is compounded because potassium levels in the urine and blood lower. A person is diagnosed with hyperaldosteronism when he has high blood pressure and low potassium.
Hypercortisolism - This condition occurs when the adrenal glands produce too much cortisol.
Hyperparathyroidism - When the hormone, parathormone, is over-produced and calcium levels rise, hyperparathyroidism results. Although not completely understood, hyperparathyroidism is present with people with high blood pressure levels.
Pheochromocytoma - These tumors produce too much cataecholamine, the producers of the adrenaline-related hormones, epinephrine and norepinephrine. Pheochromocytoma is diagnosed when a person has unexpected and repeated episodes of high blood pressure that's accompanied by flushing, sweating, and a rapid heartbeat.
What Are the Renal Glands Responsible For?
The renal glands, also known as suprarenal or adrenal glands, are responsible for controlling hormone-related and chemical-related activities in every system in the body. Specifically, renal glands control the three hormones that control the balance of water and salt in the body, maintain pregnancy needs, manage the sexual maturation through puberty, manage the entire metabolic process like inflammation and blood sugar levels, and guide the response to stress. Renal glands are a needed source of estrogen and testosterone.
Where Are the Renal Glands Located in the Body?
There are two renal glands, and they are located on top of both of the kidneys, but are controlled, in part, by the brain. They are triangular in shape and roughly three inches in length and half an inch in height. The renal glands are part of the body's endocrine system.
The inner parts of the glands are called the adrenal medulla and they secrete adrenaline, which affect blood pressure, heart rate, and sweat. The adrenal medulla can be removed without producing any life-threatening effects. The outer parts of the glands are called the adrenal cortex and they secrete hormones that regulate carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in the body. The adrenal cortex is necessary and essential to life.
Can Renal Gland Tumors Be Cured?
Renal gland tumors can't be cured, but most of these renal disorders can be treated or managed through surgery, microsurgery, radiation, or drugs. However, lifestyle changes are proven to help. These can be as simple as eating a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Prescription drugs are an option, as are dietary supplements. Go ahead, make some changes, and live a healthier life.