The adrenal glands are located near the kidneys on both sides of the back, reports the University of Maryland Medical Center website. Also known as the suprarenal glands, they secrete hormones that affect metabolism and help the body adapt to stress. Problems with the adrenal glands can cause hair loss, according to the American Hair Loss Council. Stress and hair loss are connected, notes MayoClinic.com.
Parts of the Adrenal Glands
The adrenal glands are made up of two parts known as the adrenal cortex and the adrenal medulla. The adrenal cortex, the outer portion of the adrenal gland, secretes numerous hormones including hydrocortisone corticosterone, aldosterone, epinephrine, norepinephrine and androgenic steroids.
Adrenal Hormone Functions
The functions of the adrenal hormones are diverse and include controlling the use of fats and carbohydrates and inhibiting the level of sodium excreted into the urine, maintaining blood volume and blood pressure. The hormones that control hair loss are epinephrine and epinephrine, also known as adrenaline and noradrenaline, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Hair Loss Causes
An overproduction of androgen or a tumor in the adrenal gland can cause hair loss, according to the Harvard University website. Hair loss can also be caused by hormonal production or tumors in the ovaries or pituitary glands. The National Institutes of Health points out that emotional of physical stress can cause hair to fall out.
The adrenal stress mechanism is located in the adrenal medulla. The University of Maryland Medical Center website explains that this gland secretes adrenaline and noradrenaline to help a person deal with physical and emotional stress. This is the "fight of flight" mechanism. Stress induced hair loss is called telogen effluvium, according to MayoClinic.com. Alopecia areata is another intense stress response that can cause hair loss.
Normal hair loss is 100 to 150 hairs per day, reports the American Hair Loss Council, but if more hair than this is lost, a medical condition such as adrenal problems, may be the cause.
Consult a medical professional for treatment and diagnosis relating to hair loss.