Pheochromocytoma

PheochromocytomaThe hormones, secreted by the cord (medulla) of the adrenal gland – epinephrine and norepinephrine – together with the nervous system controls heart rate and blood pressure. In very rare cases, the cord one of the adrenal glands can develop a tumor (usually benign) and, because of this, gland secretes excessive amounts of these hormones; this tumor is known as  pheochromocytoma.

Therefore, light physical activity, exposure to cold or agitation may cause rapid heart rate (i.e. higher heart rate), sweating and pallor – which are the usual symptoms of intense fear or excessive arousal. In addition, you can feel the nausea and a strong headache. Symptoms usually last for several hours. During seizures, blood pressure increases considerably (see high blood pressure).

What to do?

If you get this kind of seizures, consult a doctor who will probably refer to blood and urine tests (you will need to be on a special diet before taking those tests), and X-ray of adrenal glands. Meanwhile, doctor will prescribe a course of hypertonic (tablets) to prevent any further attacks. If the diagnosis determines an adrenal tumor, it will be removed surgically which, in most cases, solves disorder.