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LifeCare's Health Information Library

Search our database of hundreds of health information articles. They are current, constantly updated, and authoritatively sourced!

Adrenal Gland Disorders

The adrenal glands are small glands located on top of each kidney. They produce hormones that you can't live without, including sex hormones and cortisol. Cortisol helps you respond to stress and has many other important functions.

With adrenal gland disorders, your glands make too much or not enough hormones. In Cushing's syndrome, there's too much cortisol, while with Addison's disease, there is too little. Some people are born unable to make enough cortisol.

Causes of adrenal gland disorders include

  • Genetic mutations
  • Tumors including pheochromocytomas
  • Infections
  • A problem in another gland, such as the pituitary, which helps to regulate the adrenal gland
  • Certain medicines

Treatment depends on which problem you have. Surgery or medicines can treat many adrenal gland disorders.

NIH: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Health

Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals have special health concerns besides the usual ones that affect most men and women. On this page you'll find information about these specific health issues.

Mercury

Mercury is an element that is found in air, water and soil. It has several forms. Metallic mercury is a shiny, silver-white, odorless liquid. If heated, it is a colorless, odorless gas. It also combines with other elements to form powders or crystals. Mercury is in many products. Metallic mercury is used in glass thermometers, silver dental fillings, and button batteries. Mercury salts may be used in skin creams and ointments. It's also used in many industries.

Mercury in the air settles into water. It can pass through the food chain and build up in fish, shellfish, and animals that eat fish. The nervous system is sensitive to all forms of mercury. Exposure to high levels can damage the brain and kidneys. Pregnant women can pass the mercury in their bodies to their babies.

It is important to protect your family from mercury exposure:

  • Carefully handle and dispose of products that contain mercury
  • Limit your consumption of fish with higher levels of mercury

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

Medicaid

Medicaid is government health insurance that helps many low-income people in the United States to pay their medical bills. The Federal government sets up general guidelines for the program, but each state has its own rules. Your state might require you to pay a part of the cost for some medical services.

You have to meet certain requirements to get Medicaid help. These might involve

  • Your age
  • Whether you are pregnant, disabled, or blind
  • Your income and resources
  • Whether or not you are a U.S. citizen or, if not, what your immigration status is

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Patient Rights

As a patient, you have certain rights. Some are guaranteed by federal law, such as the right to get a copy of your medical records, and the right to keep them private. Many states have additional laws protecting patients, and health care facilities often have a patient bill of rights.

An important patient right is informed consent. This means that if you need a treatment, your health care provider must give you the information you need to make a decision.

Many hospitals have patient advocates who can help you if you have problems. Many states have an ombudsman office for problems with long term care. Your state's department of health may also be able to help.