Cushing’s Syndrome: All you need to know
Cushing’s Syndrome or Hypercortisolism is a condition caused by abnormal levels of the hormone cortisol (typically due to excessive production of cortisol by the body itself). Signs of the disorder can be subtle and can include weight gain, irregular periods, depression, loss of muscle mass, hair growth on the face or body, easy bruising, and stretch marks.
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What is Cushing’s Syndrome?
Cushing’s syndrome is a hormonal disorder caused by the overproduction of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is released by the adrenal glands in response to stress. It plays a significant role in the body’s stress response, but too much cortisol can lead to a variety of health problems.
Cushing’s syndrome can be caused by a variety of conditions, including:
- Tumors of the adrenal gland: This is the most common cause of Cushing’s syndrome. The tumors may be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
- Tumors of the pituitary gland: The pituitary gland is located at the base of the brain and produces hormones that stimulate the adrenal glands. Tumors of the pituitary gland can cause the overproduction of cortisol.
- Excessive use of corticosteroid medications: Corticosteroid medications are used to treat a variety of conditions, such as asthma, arthritis, and lupus. If these medications are used in high doses or for long periods of time, they can cause Cushing’s syndrome.
- Ectopic ACTH syndrome: In this condition, a tumor outside of the adrenal glands produces a hormone that stimulates cortisol production. This type of tumor is most often found in the lung.
Symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome include:
- Weight gain, especially in the face, neck, and abdomen
- Skin that bruises easily
- Thinning skin
- Slow healing of cuts and wounds
- Muscle weakness
- High blood pressure
- Bone loss (osteoporosis)
How can it be diagnosed?
Cushing’s syndrome can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms can be similar to other conditions. The most common symptom of Cushing’s syndrome is weight gain, but other symptoms can include fatigue, muscle weakness, bone loss, and mood changes.
If your doctor suspects you have Cushing’s syndrome, they will likely order a blood test to measure your cortisol levels. If your cortisol levels are high, you may need further testing to confirm the diagnosis. This can include a 24-hour urine test or a dexamethasone suppression test.
There is no cure for Cushing’s syndrome, but treatment can help to manage the symptoms and improve quality of life. Treatment options include medication, surgery, and lifestyle changes.
Have questions or need a second opinion?
At Doral Health and Wellness, we have doctors that can help you manage your condition. For more information, you can visit us at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, 11212, or call us on 1-347-384-5690. You can also visit our website at https://doralhw.org or contact us at email@example.com if you have any queries.