What is Cushing’s Syndrome ?
When the tissues of the body are subjected to extreme levels of the hormone cortisol over a prolonged period of time, then it results in a hormonal disorder called Cushing’s syndrome. It is a rare disorder and usually affects adults aged between 21and 50.
Cushing’s syndrome Symptoms
Pervasive obesity and changes of skin are common symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome. The symptoms are as follows:
- The thighs, abdomen, arms and breasts have purple or pink stretch marks on the skin.
- Increased instances of acne.
- Increased fragility and thinning of the skin that increases the risk to easy bruising.
- Increase in weight in the upper back, between the shoulders, in the midsection area and in the face.
- Slow healing of Cuts, infections, wounds and insect bites may take a long time to heal.
- Women may have unstable or no menstrual periods. Also, body and facial hair is thicker and more visible.
- Men may have erectile issues, decreased sex drive or libido and reduced fertility.
There are other common symptoms which may also point to Cushing’s syndrome, such as:
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Depression, irritability and anxiety
- Weakness in the muscles.
- New case of blood pressure or its worsening state.
- Emotional instability
- Intolerance to glucose that may result in diabetes
- Loss of bone or skeletal structure increasing the instances of fracture.
- Cognitive deficiencies.
Cushing’s Syndrome Pictures
Picture 1 : Cushing’s Syndrome Photo
Picture 2 : Difference between Normal face and Cushing Syndrome face
Image source : csrf.net
Picture 3 : Cushing’s Syndrome Photo
Picture 4 : Moon shaped face in Cushing Syndrome Pictures
Image source : ispub.com
Picture 5 : Cushing Syndrome Symptoms
Image source : medicalook.com
Picture 6 : C T Scan of Abdomen, arrow shows Left adrenal adrenal mass.
Image source : ispub.com
Cushing’s Syndrome Causes
Some of the causes of Cushing’s syndrome are listed below:
- Intake of corticosteroid medications like prednisone over a prolonged period of time may lead to Cushing’s syndrome.
- Overproduction of cortisol or the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) that regulates cortisol production may cause Cushing’s syndrome.
Cushing’s syndrome may also be related to the following conditions:
- Excess production of ACTH and subsequent increase in the secretion of cortisol may be caused due to the presence of non-cancerous tumor in the pituitary gland.
- An ectopic ACTH-secreting tumor in the thyroid or the lungs may make these organs that normally do not secrete ACTH, to start its production thereby causing Cushing’s syndrome.
- Tumors in the adrenal glands will cause excess secretion of cortisol resulting in Cushing’s syndrome. In rare cases, tumors of the adrenal glands may run in families, thereby giving a genetic basis to Cushing’s syndrome.
Cushing’s syndrome Treatment
Treatment for Cushing’s syndrome involves stabilizing the production of cortisol. Some of the methods are as follows:
- Usage of corticosteroid medications is reduced.
- Tumors are removed by surgery or radiation therapy.
- Medications like ketoconazole etc may be prescribed for reduction in cortisol levels.
Support Groups for Cushing’s Syndrome
- Cushing’s Support and Research Foundation, Inc.- www.CSRF.net
- Pituitary Network Association – www.pituitary.org