Cushing syndrome – Causes and Symptoms of Cushing syndrome

Cushing syndrome is a disorder that is caused mainly by the hormonal imbalance. This is caused by the prolonged exposure of the body to high levels of the hormone cortisol. This is also called hypercortisolism and is a rare disease that affects adults between the age of 20 and 50. People suffering from type 2 diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure have high risks of developing this disorder.

Causes of Cushing Syndrome
This syndrome is caused mainly by the intake of corticosteroid medications like prednisone.  These medications are given mainly for the treatment of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Some people develop this syndrome as they produce too much of cortisol in their bodies. Cortisol production is increased because of the following:

  • Cushing’s Disease: In this thew pituitary gland makes too much of the hormone ACTH that sends signal to the adrenal glands to secrete cortisol. A tumor in the pituitary gland can cause this disorder.
  • Tumor of the adrenal gland.
  • Tumor in any part of the body that produces cortisol hormone.
  • Tumor in those parts of the body that produce ACTH like lung, pancreas and thyroid.

The common signs and symptoms include:

  • Slow growth rate in children
  • Round, red and full face (full moon face)
  • Slow growth rate in children
  • Thin skin with easy bruising
  • Purple marks called striae over the abdomen, breasts and thighs
  • Acne or infections of the skin
  • Weak muscles
  • Thinning of the bones, that results in spine or rib fractures
  • Collection of the fat between the shoulders (buffalo hump)
  • Tenderness or pain in the bones
  • Backache
  • Excessive hair growth on the neck, face, abdomen, chest and thighs among woman.
  • Irregular menstrual cycle in woman
  • Men may have decreased fertility, libido and impotence

Other Symptoms
The other signs and symptoms include:

  • Mental problems like anxiety, depression and behavioral changes
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased thirst and urination

When to consult your doctor?
Consult your doctor when you find the above symptoms immediately, before the condition worsens.

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