Let's talk about what the adrenal gland actually is, but let's back up for a second. What's a gland in general, glands are specialized parts of our body. That secrete hormones, the adrenal glands are special because essentially we can't live without them. We have two adrenal glands and each one happens to sit on top of each kidney. They're unrelated to the kidney, but they just happen to be next door neighbors. And they're tiny. Each one weighs only about five grams. You can think of the adrenal gland is really having two completely separate parts. It has an outer portion and an inner portion. It's pretty easy to remember what the inner portion does. It happens to be called the Medulla. If you think about our fight or flight response, you see a wild animal and you need to do something right away. The adrenal Medulla pours out adrenaline, the cortex or the outer part of the adrenal gland has completely different functions. And there's several. First it regulates salt balance in our body. It helps regulate our blood sugar. It helps to regulate overall metabolism. It can regulate pubertal changes and it can help control our blood pressure among other functions.
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