A 2 year old boy begins severely craving for salt and starts developing sexually. His test results shows hyperglycemia. What endocrine gland is hypersecreting? Why?

The adrenal gland

The adrenal glands have two different sections. The interior (medulla) produces adrenaline-like hormones and the outer layer (cortex) produces corticosteroids. There are two MAIN types of corticosteroid – glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids (i’ll go into this more in a bit).

All three symptoms can be explained by one of the hormones secreted by the adrenal gland.

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Salt cravings – The most important mineralocorticoid is Aldosterone. This hormone helps to maintain the body’s salt and water levels. It helps you to keep salt in your blood and without it, you would get dehydrated. If there was an excess of this in your body, you would find yourself craving salt as it tells your body “I need more salt to increase levels”.

Sexual development – Another type of corticosteroid is Gonadocorticoids, these are a group of sx hormones (sorry, I have to censor this as it is categorised as offensive language). The male sx hormones (androgens) are produced in small amounts by the adrenal glands so this explains the early development.

Hyperglycemia – Finally, we look at the glucocorticoids. The main culprit here is cortisol which is involved in stress responses and metabolism. It stimulates glucose production, meaning that an excess would also cause an excess of glucose – AKA hyperglycemia!

So, in answer to the question, it would be the adrenal glands that are hypersecreting.

I hope this helps; I had great fun answering it! Let me know if I can do anything else.

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