An illustrated introduction to Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH), a set of genetic conditions involving the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands help to regulate the body's functions, and produce the hormones cortisol, aldosterone, and androgen—CAH can occur if one of the enzymes needed to make cortisol and/or aldosterone is deficient, so the adrenal glands fail to work in a balanced way, making too little of those hormones, and too much androgen. Too little cortisol or aldosterone can make a baby very sick, and too much androgen can affect how a baby’s genitals develop before birth. CAH takes different forms depending on the severity of the enzyme deficiency—from mild (Nonclassic or late onset CAH), to partial (non-salt-wasting or simple virilizing CAH), to severe (salt-wasting CAH).
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