The adrenal gland secretes steroid hormones such as cortisol and aldosterone. It also makes precursors that can be converted to sex steroids (androgen, estrogen). A different part of the adrenal gland makes adrenaline (epinephrine). When the glands produce more or less hormones than required by the body, disease conditions may occur.
Review Date 9/27/2017
Updated by: Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.