Congenital adrenal hyperplasma is a group of hereditary disorders which affect the adrenal glands. These glands produce hormones called cortisol and aldosterone. There are two adrenal glands in human body, one on top of each kidney. Cortisol is released when a person is under stress there by it is sometimes called the stress hormone as well. One of the main of the functions of this hormone is to control blood sugar. Whereas aldosterone hormone helps the kidneys to function properly. Congenital adrenal hyperplasia is caused by genetic defects that prevent these glands from producing these two hormones either entirely or at normal rates.
Girls born with classical CAH typically have genitals that appear masculine, such as a larger clitoris while boys have an enlarged member. Other signs that occur in babies include:
Children with classical CAH often attain puberty earlier than normal. The growth is also faster as compared to other kids but they usually end up being shorter than other people by the time they stop growing. Women with this type of CAH usually have irregular menstrual cycles. Both women and men may experience infertility.
The most common form of treatment for CAH involves replacement hormone medication on a daily basis which helps in bringing back the affected hormones to normal levels and lessens the symptoms.
Sometimes your doctor may prescribe you more than one type of medication or a higher dose of the regular hormone replacement at times when get sick or dealing with excess stress, as illness and stress can affect your hormone levels. You can’t outgrow CAH. People with classical CAH will require treatment for the rest of their lives. Nonclassical CAH patients might not need treatment when they become adults, as their symptoms may be less noticeable with age.
Girls between the ages of 2 and 6 months can have surgery to correct the overly masculine appearance of the genitals. This procedure might need to be repeated when they’re older. Women who have had this procedure are more prone to feeling pain during intercourse or experiencing a loss of clitoral sensation later in life.
Image Courtesy : Getty
Read more articles on Understand Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasma