Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is a group of genetic conditions. These conditions affect the adrenal glands. These glands control how the body grows and develops. There are many types of CAH.
CAH is a genetic disorder. It is passed from the parents to the child.
The symptoms of CAH are caused by problems in the adrenal glands. In CAH, the glands may have trouble making one or both of the following hormones:
- Cortisol—helps the body respond to stress and infections
- Aldosterone—helps the body maintain normal levels of sodium and potassium
The adrenal gland will work harder to try to produce more of the missing hormones. This can lead to an overproduction of another hormone called androgen. This hormone is present in boys and girls, but is responsible for the development of male features. Other adrenal hormones may affect how the body handles salt and water.
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Last reviewedMay 2014by Kim Carmichael, MD
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