ABC Medical Center > Pheochromocytoma

What is Pheochromocytoma?

21:54 - 4 May , 2021


It is a normally benign tumor that grows in one or both adrenal glands, releasing hormones such as adrenaline and noradrenaline, among others, which cause migraine, high blood pressure, excessive sweating, and palpitations.

It usually appears in adults between the ages of 21 and 52, although it can affect people of any age.

If not diagnosed and treated promptly, pheochromocytoma can seriously affect other organs and be life-threatening.

Signs and symptoms Pheochromocytoma

  • High blood pressure.
  • Headache.
  • Excess sweat.
  • Palpitations.
  • Tremors.
  • Paleness.
  • Trouble breathing.
  • Panic attack.
  • Anxiety.
  • Irritability.
  • Constipation.
  • Insomnia.
  • Seizures.
  • Decreased body weight.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomit.

Symptoms become more intense when:

  • You do strenuous physical activities.
  • You experience a lot of stress.
  • They give you anesthesia.
  • You eat cheese, wine, beer, chocolate, or sausages.
  • You take some drugs.
  • You use cocaine or amphetamines.

Chronic high blood pressure caused by this disorder seriously affects various organs, causing kidney failure, damage to the optic nerves, heart disease, and strokes.

Diagnosis and treatment Pheochromocytoma

Once your doctor analyzes your symptoms and medical history, they will perform a physical examination and order various tests, including blood and urine tests to detect excess adrenaline and noradrenaline.

If the results indicate the existence of a pheochromocytoma, imaging studies will be required to locate it, such as computed tomography, MRI, and positron emission tomography.

The treatment to follow consists of surgical removal of the tumor or the entire adrenal gland, depending on the case.

Before surgery, you’ll be prescribed drugs to lower your blood pressure and you’ll need to follow a high-salt diet.

In general, when the affected gland is removed, the remaining one performs the functions of both, making blood pressure return to normal.

ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


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