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Adrenal Diseases

What are adrenal disease?

The adrenal glands, along with the pituitary glands and the hypothalamus, produce numerous hormones and are responsible for controlling many of the body’s processes.  One of the most important molecules the adrenal glands produce is cortisol.  An over or under production of cortisol is a marker for adrenal disease.

What is Cushing’s disease?

Cushing’s disease is characterized by an over production of cortisol. Symptoms include increased thirst and hunger, increased urination, skin legions, and behavior changes.

What is Addison’s disease?

Addison’s disease is marked by a reduced amount of cortisol and can rapidly change electrolyte levels leading to decreased heart rate.

How can adrenal disease be monitored?

There are no home tests for cortisol levels.  Samples must be sent out to a diagnostic laboratory by your veterinarian.  Cortisol levels can be tested using blood, urine or saliva.  Oxford Laboratories produces a cortisol assay for diagnostic labs:  VT80.