DISORDERS OF THE ADRENAL CORTEX -
(i) ADDISON'S DISEASE: This disease is caused by the deficiency of mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids. Its symptoms include low blood sugar, low plasma Na+, high K+ plasma, increased urinary Na+, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and a bronze-like pigmentation of skin.
(ii) CUSHING'S SYNDROME. It is caused by excess of cortisol which may be due to a tumour of the adrenal cortex.
It is characterised by high blood sugar, appearance of sugar in the urine, rise in plasma Na+, fall in plasma K+, rise in blood volume, high blood pressure, obesity and wasting of muscles of thighs and pectoral and pelvic girdles.
(iii) ALDOSTERONISM. Excessive production of aldosterone from an adrenal cortical tumour causes this disease. Its symptoms include a high plasma Na+, low plasma K+, rise in blood volume and high blood pressure.
(iv) ADRENAL VIRILISM. Appearance of male characters in female is called virilism. Excessive production of male sexcorticoids (androgens) produces male secondary sexual characters like beard, moustache, hoarse voice in woman.
(v) GYNAECOMASTIA. It is the development of enlarged mammary glands (breasts) in the males. It is due to excessive secretion of female sex hormones (oestrogens) in males. Decreased testosterone may also lead to gynaecomastia.