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The adrenal glands or suprarenal glands are part of the endocrine system. The small organs produce essential hormones, primarily steroids, that enable the body to chemically regulate itself and respond to stressors. The inner medulla and outer cortex of the adrenal glands produce different hormones with unique functions, which work both alone and in conjunction with the others.

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1. Adrenal Glands and the Endocrine System

The adrenal glands are part of the endocrine system, a chemical "messenger" factory that produces hormones to regulate everything from hair growth to the reproductive system. The adrenal glands — specifically the medulla — produce stress hormones. These hormones increase respiration, elevate heart rate, and help regulate many other body functions in preparation for "flight or fight" situations.

Mohammed Haneefa Nizamudeen / Getty Images

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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.