Your adrenal glands are two triangular shaped glands that are located on top of your kidneys and are made up of two parts that work separately. The first part is your outer layer (cortex). The second part is your inner area (medulla).
Your adrenal glands make hormones that give instructions to practically all of the tissues and organs in your body. These hormones affect your ability to deal with stress, help to regulate your kidney function and impact your growth and development.
A pheochromocytoma is a rare tumor that originates in the core (medulla) of your adrenal gland. Most of these tumors are benign (non-cancerous). However, some can be malignant (cancerous).
A pheochromocytoma causes your adrenal glands to produce too much of the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine. These hormones regulate your heart rate and blood pressure. In addition to regulating your heart rate and blood pressure, these hormones play a vital role in what is known as the fight-or-flight response. When too much of these hormones is produced, your heart rate and blood pressure can be elevated, which can lead to serious problems and conditions.
Fortunately, as mentioned above, a pheochromocytoma is rare. It affects about 1 to 2 people per 100,000 adults each year in the United States. A pheochromocytoma develops most often in people who are in their 40s and 50s. Men and women are affected equally by these tumors.
Researchers do not know the exact reason why cells inside of your adrenal glands form into a tumor. What is known is that a pheochromocytoma starts in special cells that are called chromaffin cells. These cells are located in the medulla or inner part of your adrenal glands. These are the cells that produce the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine.
There are several signs and symptoms that you may experience with a pheochromocytoma. Some of these are:
Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Unintended weight loss
Severe headaches that come on suddenly
Feeling of extreme fright
Rapid heart rate
Feeling of anxiety.
You or a loved one may have a pheochromocytoma. A pheochromocytoma and/or complications that have resulted from it may have brought about you or your loved ones disability and being unable to work.
You may need assistance if this is your situation. You may need financial help.
You or your loved one may be considering applying for the financial assistance that you need from the Social Security Administration by applying for Social Security disability benefits or disability benefits because of the disability caused by a pheochromocytoma and/or complications that have resulted from it. You or your loved one may have already applied and been denied by the Social Security Administration.
If you or your loved one decides to reapply or appeal the denial, consider this. People who have a disability lawyer on their side like the one you will find at Disability Case Review are approved more often than people who are not represented by a disability attorney.