What is Cushing’s syndrome what are its causes and symptoms? And what do you need to know about this strange disease? You can find the most important information and details in the following article.
In the following, let’s learn about Cushing’s syndrome and the most important information related to it:
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What is Cushing’s syndrome?
Cushing’s syndrome is a group of hormonal disorders and problems caused by high levels of the hormone cortisol in the body (also called the stress hormone).
This hormone naturally helps the body to display certain reactions to certain stressful conditions.
The adrenal glands normally produce the hormone cortisol, and this hormone works to:
- Converting food into energy that the body can use.
- Regulating blood pressure levels.
- Regulating blood sugar.
- Reducing the severity of various infections in the body.
But in some cases, certain factors may cause the levels of this hormone to rise above the normal limit, which may lead to the emergence of a variety of health problems in various organs and systems of the body.
Symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome
Here is a list of the most common symptoms that a person with Cushing syndrome may have:
- Obesity, especially in the upper half of the body.
- Roundness and fullness of the face.
- Severe tiredness and fatigue.
- Wasting, or general weakness in the bones and muscles.
- An increase in blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
- Decreased sexual desire in men, in addition to infertility.
- Kidney problems, such as kidney stones.
- Psychological disorders, such as: depression, anxiety.
- Problems and disturbances in the menstrual cycle.
- Various skin problems, such as: thinning of the skin, redness of the skin, the appearance of stretch marks, excessive growth of facial and body hair in women, and acne.
- Growth disorders in children.
- Weak immunity, which may appear in the form of various health problems, such as: difficulty healing wounds.
- Other symptoms, such as: thirst, headache, vision problems, hypothyroidism, fluid retention, and osteoporosis.
It is noteworthy that the body’s reaction to Cushing’s syndrome and high cortisol varies from person to person, so the apparent symptoms may vary from case to case.
Cushing syndrome causes and risk factors
These are some of the factors and causes that may lead to Cushing syndrome:
- A benign pituitary adenoma. This factor is the most common cause of Cushing’s syndrome.
- A benign or malignant adrenal tumor.
- Tumors may start with the production of adrenocorticotropic hormone in certain organs inside the body, such as some tumors that may appear in the lungs.
- Infection with some genetic diseases that may affect the endocrine system.
- Taking some types of medication, such as: steroids.
- These factors may also increase your chances of developing Cushing syndrome:
- Having type 2 diabetes without undergoing the necessary treatment for the disease.
Diagnosis of Cushing’s syndrome
This syndrome is usually diagnosed by subjecting the patient to a set of medical tests, which usually include the following tests:
- Urine examination.
- Diurnal cortisol test.
- Corticotropin-releasing hormone stimulator assay.
- Computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging.
Cushing’s syndrome treatment
These are the treatments your doctor will most likely recommend after a diagnosis of Cushing syndrome is made:
- If the cause of high cortisol is taking steroid medication, then the doctor may resort to lowering the dose of steroids for the patient.
- If the cause of high cortisol is a tumor, then the doctor will resort to surgical removal of the tumor, or to eliminate the tumor by other methods such as radiation therapy.
- If the internal cause of high cortisol cannot be treated, then the doctor may give the patient some medications that may help regulate cortisol levels.
Possible complications of Cushing’s syndrome
If the patient does not receive the necessary treatment in time, this may make him vulnerable to the following possible complications:
- Having type 2 diabetes.
- Frequent infections and infections.
- Loss of muscle mass or loss of bone mass.
- Memory loss, or problems concentrating.
- High cholesterol levels.
- Blood clots form in the lungs or in the feet.
- Having a heart attack.
- Depression or mood swings.
What is Cushing’s syndrome what are its causes and symptoms