Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

Living Edition
| Editors: Marc Gellman

Adrenal Glands

  • Linda C. BaumannEmail author
  • Alyssa YlinenEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6439-6_79-2



The adrenal glands are part of the endocrine system that is comprised of various glands that are located throughout the body. These glands are responsible for synthesizing and producing hormones that communicate regulatory information to cells and organs. The adrenal glands are primarily responsible for the stress response in the human body secondary to physical or emotional stimuli. The two adrenal glands are pyramid-shaped organs located directly anterior to the kidneys and behind the peritoneum. Each adrenal gland consists of two distinct portions: an inner medulla and an outer cortex. Each portion has differing but interrelated structures and hormonal functions.


The adrenal medulla synthesizes and secretes the catecholamines epinephrine and norepinephrine. Major effects of catecholamines are increased rate and force of contraction of the heart muscle, constriction of blood vessels, dilation of...


Adrenal Gland Anorexia Nervosa Eating Disorder Chronic Stress Adrenal Medulla 
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References and Further Readings

  1. Ebstrup, J., Eplov, L., Pisinger, C., & Jorgensen, T. (2011). Association between the five factor personality traits and perceived stress: Is the effect medicated by general self-efficacy? Anxiety, Stress, and Coping, 6, 1–13.Google Scholar
  2. Howard, J. (1990). Type A behavior, personality, and sympathetic response. Behavioral Medicine, 16(4), 149–160.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. McCance, K., & Huether, S. (2006). Pathophysiology: The biologic basis for disease in adults and children (5th ed.). St. Louis: Mosby.Google Scholar
  4. McPhee, S., & Papadakis, M. (2010). Current medical diagnosis and treatment. New York: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
  5. Pathology Outlines. (2016). Adrenal gland and paraganglia. Retrieved 27 Mar 2016, from www.pathologyoutlines.com/adrenal.html#top

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of NursingUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Alina Health SystemSt. PaulUSA