Main Image

About Cushing Syndrome

What is Cushing Syndrome?

Cushing Syndrome is a hormonal disorder caused by prolonged exposure to high levels of the hormone cortisol. It is most commonly caused by the use of corticosteroid medications, but can also be caused by a tumor on the pituitary gland or adrenal gland. Symptoms of Cushing Syndrome include weight gain, thinning of the skin, easy bruising, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

What are the symptoms of Cushing Syndrome?

Common symptoms of Cushing Syndrome include:

-Weight gain, particularly in the face, neck, and trunk
-Thin skin that bruises easily
-Purple stretch marks on the skin
-Weak muscles
-High blood pressure
-High blood sugar
-Excessive hair growth on the face, chest, abdomen, and thighs
-Irregular menstrual periods in women

What are the causes of Cushing Syndrome?

The most common cause of Cushing Syndrome is the use of glucocorticoid medications, such as prednisone, for a long period of time. Other causes include tumors of the pituitary gland, adrenal gland, or other parts of the body that produce hormones that affect the levels of cortisol in the body. Rarely, Cushing Syndrome can be caused by a genetic disorder.

What are the treatments for Cushing Syndrome?

The primary treatment for Cushing Syndrome is to reduce the amount of cortisol in the body. This can be done through medications, surgery, or radiation therapy.

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

Surgery: Surgery to remove the tumor or adrenal gland can be used to reduce cortisol levels.

Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy can be used to shrink the tumor or adrenal gland and reduce cortisol levels.

In some cases, lifestyle changes such as reducing stress and increasing exercise can also help reduce cortisol levels.

What are the risk factors for Cushing Syndrome?

1. Long-term use of corticosteroid medications
2. Tumors of the pituitary gland
3. Tumors of the adrenal glands
4. Tumors of the lungs, pancreas, or thymus
5. Ectopic ACTH syndrome
6. McCune-Albright syndrome
7. Familial Cushing syndrome
8. Pregnancy
9. Alcoholism
10. Obesity

Is there a cure/medications for Cushing Syndrome?

Yes, there are treatments available for Cushing Syndrome. Treatment options include medications, surgery, radiation therapy, and lifestyle changes. Medications used to treat Cushing Syndrome include glucocorticoid-receptor antagonists, such as ketoconazole and metyrapone, and adrenal-inhibiting agents, such as mitotane and aminoglutethimide. Surgery is also an option for some people with Cushing Syndrome, and radiation therapy may be used to reduce the size of a tumor causing the condition. Lifestyle changes, such as reducing stress and avoiding certain medications, can also help manage symptoms.