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Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia

Congenital (con-JEN-ih-tuhl) adrenal (uh-DREEN-uhl) hyperplasia (HY-per-PLAYzhee-uh), also called CAH, is a group of genetic disorders in which the two adrenal glands do not work properly. Children inherit one gene that causes this disorder from each of their parents. The adrenal glands, located on top of each kidney, make hormones that are essential for body functions.

People with CAH lack one of the enzymes needed for proper function of the adrenal glands. (An enzyme is a protein that causes a chemical change in the body.) Without the enzyme, the adrenal glands may produce too little of the hormones cortisol and/or aldosterone and too much androgen. CAH can be severe (classic) or mild (nonclassic).

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The Hormone Foundation

Dr. Lysette Iglesias M.D.

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