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Adrenalin and Other Adrenal Hormones After Bilateral Adrenalectomy

Question: How can a person survive without the adrenalin from the adrenal gland and what other critical hormones are made by the adrenal?

Answer: There are plenty of other sources of adrenalin besides the adrenal glands. Patients can live quite well without their adrenal glands from the adrenalin standpoint. Other autonomic nervous system ganglia will supply any adrenalin needed to maintain blood pressure. The adrenal gland also makes salt retaining hormone, Aldosterone, and if both adrenals are removed, this should be replaced in the form of Florinef, usually 0.1 to 0.2 mg per day. Occasionally, Testosterone is replaced in females only, if Testosterone levels are low, especially if adrenals are removed and the patient has had pituitary insufficiency of gonadotrophin control of the ovaries, or if the ovaries have been removed in addition.

By Dr. David Cook MD (February, 1999)

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