Cushing’s Syndrome

Cushing’s Syndrome (corticosteroid overproduction) may be caused by corticosteroids’ overexposure, whether from excessive amounts administrating by doctor, or from adrenal Cushing's syndromegland overproduction.

Because corticosteroid is altering amounts and body distribution fat, an individual, who has Cushing’s Syndrome, generally has round (moon) , large face. Excessive fats are developing throughout the torso and can be especially noticed at the back top(buffalo hump). Feet, hands, and fingers are commonly slender in proportion to the thickened trunk. Muscle lose its bulk, causing weakness. The skin becomes thin, bruises easily, and heals poorly, when cut or bruised. Purple streaks , that look like stretch mark, can develop over person’s abdomen.

High levels of corticosteroids over time increase blood pressure, diminish infection resistance, and weaken bone(osteoporosis). The risks of progressing diabetes and kidney stones are increased, and mental disturbances, such as hallucination and depression, can happen. Females, who have Cushing’s Syndrome, generally have abnormal menstrual cycle. Children with Cushing’s Syndrome remain short  and grow slowly.

In some individuals, an adrenal gland also produces large number of androgenic steroid, causing increased hair and facial hair, increased sex drive, and balding. Doctor diagnosis of Cushing’s Syndrome based on the symptoms and measuring the major corticosteroid hormone,-cortisol blood levels. If level of cortisol is high, the physician can make a corticosteroid-dexamethasone suppression test.

In Cushing’s Syndrome, resulted from a pituitary stimulation, the cortisol level will drop; if Cushing’s Syndrome is resulted from stimulation of adrenal tumor or nonpituitary source of corticotropin,-the cortisol level in the urine will remain high. Other tests , such as CT scan of the lungs, chest X-Ray, MRI may help to determine cause of Cushing’s Syndrome.

Treatment depends on cause. Radiation therapy surgery can be required to destroy or remove a pituitary tumors. Adrenal gland adenoma may be surgically removed. Any patient with both adrenal glands removed; and many individuals with partial removal of adrenal glands, should use corticosteroid during her or his life.


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