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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

Liver Diseases

Your liver is the largest organ inside your body. It helps your body digest food, store energy, and remove poisons.

There are many kinds of liver diseases:

  • Diseases caused by viruses, such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C
  • Diseases caused by drugs, poisons, or too much alcohol. Examples include fatty liver disease and cirrhosis.
  • Liver cancer
  • Inherited diseases, such as hemochromatosis and Wilson disease

Symptoms of liver disease can vary, but they often include swelling of the abdomen and legs, bruising easily, changes in the color of your stool and urine, and jaundice, or yellowing of the skin and eyes. Sometimes there are no symptoms. Tests such as imaging tests and liver function tests can check for liver damage and help to diagnose liver diseases.

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.

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.