What is Cushing's Syndrome?
Cushing’s syndrome is a condition that occurs when a person’s body is exposed to too much of the hormone cortisol.
What causes Cushing's Syndrome?
Cushing’s syndrome happens for two reasons:
- Medication either causes the body to make too much cortisol, or the medication itself contains extra cortisol and taking it pushes the level above normal.
- A person’s body makes more cortisol than it needs
Normally, the hypothalamus in the brain triggers a chain of events that causes the adrenal glands to release cortisol into the bloodstream. When everything is working correctly, the body is balanced, releasing the right amount of cortisol for daily needs. But problems with the adrenal glands, pituitary gland, or hypothalamus can cause the glands to make too much cortisol.
Conditions that might cause the body to make too much cortisol include:
- Pituitary tumors
- Ectopic ACTH syndrome
- Adrenal tumors
- Familial (genetic) Cushing's syndrome
What are the symptoms of Cushing's Syndrome?
Common symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome can include:
- Upper body obesity, round face and neck, and thinning arms and legs
- Slow growth rates in children
- Skin problems, such as acne or reddish-blue streaks in the skin
- High blood pressure
- Muscle and bone weakness
- Moodiness, irritability, or depression
- High blood sugar
Women may also have increased growth of hair on their face and body and experience menstrual irregularities. Men may become less fertile and have a reduced or absent sex drive.
What are the treatments for Cushing's Syndrome?
Treatment for Cushing’s syndrome depends on the reason for the extra cortisol in the body. If it is caused by the use of medicine to treat another disorder, a health care provider can reduce the dose or change the medicine.
If the body is making too much cortisol, treatments may include oral medication, surgery, radiation, or a combination of these treatments.
In most cases Cushing’s syndrome can be cured.
MaryO'Note - How about all the people on the boards who have not been cured? What would they think about that last line?
What do the authors of this post know that doctors don't seem to? ~ "Familial (genetic) Cushing's syndrome"
What about the debilitating fatigue? The bruising?
How come they didn't mention the buffalo hump and other symptoms we seem to get?
What about the folks on steroids who stop but the symptoms never go away? Reducing or changing the medication doesn't always work.
Neither does oral medication to reduce cortisol, at least not yet.
Seems like the original post was kind of simplistic or maybe I know far too many real-life Cushies.
It is nice that the word is getting out, though!