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About Cushing disease

What is Cushing disease?

Cushing disease is a rare disorder caused by a tumor on the pituitary gland that leads to an overproduction of the hormone cortisol. Symptoms of Cushing disease include weight gain, fatigue, high blood pressure, and thinning of the skin. Treatment typically involves surgery to remove the tumor, followed by medication to control cortisol levels.

What are the symptoms of Cushing disease?

The most common symptoms of Cushing disease include:

-Weight gain, particularly around the midsection and upper back
-Thinning of the skin
-Easy bruising
-Purple stretch marks on the skin
-High blood pressure
-Excessive hair growth on the face, chest, abdomen, and thighs
-Changes in menstrual cycle
-Loss of libido
-Bone loss
-Muscle weakness
-High blood sugar
-Increased thirst and urination

What are the causes of Cushing disease?

Cushing disease is caused by a tumor on the pituitary gland, which is located at the base of the brain. The tumor causes the pituitary gland to produce too much of the hormone cortisol, which leads to the symptoms of Cushing disease. In some cases, the tumor is benign (non-cancerous) and can be treated with medication or surgery. In other cases, the tumor is malignant (cancerous) and may require radiation or chemotherapy.

What are the treatments for Cushing disease?

1. Surgery: Surgery is the most common treatment for Cushing disease. The goal of surgery is to remove the tumor that is causing the overproduction of cortisol.

2. Medication: Medications such as ketoconazole, metyrapone, and mitotane can be used to reduce cortisol levels.

3. Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy can be used to shrink the tumor and reduce cortisol levels.

4. Transsphenoidal surgery: This is a minimally invasive procedure that involves removing the tumor through the nose.

5. Adrenalectomy: This is a surgical procedure that involves removing the adrenal glands, which are responsible for producing cortisol.

What are the risk factors for Cushing disease?

1. Genetics: Cushing disease is caused by a genetic mutation in the PRKAR1A gene, which is responsible for the production of the enzyme protein kinase A.

2. Age: Cushing disease is more common in adults than in children.

3. Gender: Women are more likely to develop Cushing disease than men.

4. Medications: Long-term use of certain medications, such as corticosteroids, can increase the risk of developing Cushing disease.

5. Tumors: Tumors in the pituitary gland or adrenal glands can cause Cushing disease.

Is there a cure/medications for Cushing disease?

Yes, there are treatments available for Cushing disease. These include medications such as ketoconazole, metyrapone, and mitotane, as well as surgery to remove the tumor causing the disease. In some cases, radiation therapy may also be used.