Adrenal glands are located on top of both the kidneys. These glands secrete hormones that are essential to regulate blood pressure and heart rate. In addition, these glands release hormones that play a crucial role in the natural defense mechanism of the body. Adrenal cysts are a rare condition and adrenal cysts are classified into different types depending upon their location and nature.
Adrenal cyst refers to a cystic growth on the adrenal gland. The condition is relatively rare and affects about two per 10,000 people. Most cysts are asymptomatic and found incidentally during investigations. The adrenal cysts are more frequently observed in females compared to males and affects individuals between the age group of 30 to 60 years.
Types Of Adrenal Gland Cysts
There are four different categories of adrenal gland cysts which are observed.These are classified based on their structure and location. The common types include,
- Endothelial Adrenal Gland Cysts: These are the most common form of adrenal cysts which are usually benign in nature and not associated with any symptoms.
- Epithelial Adrenal Gland Cysts: These are relatively less common and are also not associated with any major signs or symptoms.
- Pseudo cysts: It is estimated that about one third of all adrenal cysts fall under this category. These cysts are associated with symptoms and are at the risk of becoming malignant tumors.
- Parasitic Cysts: These cysts are the rarest of all the categories of Adrenal Cysts. They are often caused due to the larvae of a parasite called E. Granulosus.
Symptoms Of Cyst On Adrenal Gland
Though in most cases, adrenal cysts are not associated with any signs and symptoms. However in some cases, the cysts may result in over production of some of the essential hormones including cortisol, epinephrine and nor-epinephrine. The common symptoms associated with the condition include,
- Excessive body hair which is often associated with facial swelling often referred to as moon face.
- Hypertension or elevated blood pressure.
- Sexual dysfunction with generalized weakness and debility.
- Obesity with a typical appearance of fat between the shoulders (buffalo Hump).
- Excessive perspiration with palpitations is another important sign of adrenal gland cyst.
- Tremors with recurrent headaches. Mental symptoms like restlessness, irritability and anxiety may also be observed.
- Constipation and an increased thirst are some of the other common symptoms linked to Adrenal Gland cysts.
Occasionally, symptoms like nausea and loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, change in skin pigmentation, etc may be observed, especially when the cyst reduces the production of the hormones by the adrenal gland.
Treatment Of Adrenal Gland Cyst
Treatment is required only when the cyst produces symptoms. A detailed CT scan imaging is done to identify the number of cysts and also be detecting their exact location. Surgical removal is recommended in cysts that are at the risk of transforming into malignant tumors.
There are certain homeopathic drugs that might help in management of some of the symptoms associated with adrenal cysts.
- Argentium Nitricum and Gelsemium are considered beneficial in the management of tremors and muscular weakness. They are also effective in the management of generalized weakness and debility.
- Calcarea Carb is considered beneficial in the management of symptoms like constipation and obesity.
- Hypertension can be effectively controlled by Nux Vomica and Arsenic Alb. These drugs also help control important mental symptoms like restlessness and anxiety.