Cushing’s syndrome is a condition in which there is an excess of cortisol (cortisone) Exposure to too much cortisol can occur from long-term use of synthetic glucocorticoid hormones to treat inflammatory illnesses. This can be caused by drugs (e.g. prednisone, depo-medrol, dexamethasone, betamethasone) often prescribed for the treatment of many diseases; this syndrome is known as iatrogenic Cushing’s syndrome.The condition is named after a Dr Cushing who first described it in the early 20th century. Cushing’s syndrome is rare. About 5 in a million people develop it each year. Most cases are in people aged between 20 and 50. Common symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome include upper body obesity, severe fatigue and muscle weakness, high blood pressure, backache, elevated blood sugar, easy bruising, and bluish-red stretch marks on the skin. In women, there may be increased growth of facial and body hair, and menstrual periods may become irregular or stop completely. Neurological symptoms include difficulties with memory and neuromuscular disorders.
Causes of Cushing’s Syndrome
Some common Causes of Cushing’s Syndrome :
Tumor or abnormality of the pituitary gland, which causes the body to produce excess cortisol.
Rarely, tumors of the lungs, thyroid, kidney, pancreas, or thymus gland produce hormones that trigger the syndrome.
Chronic use of corticosteroid medicines .
Long-term use of corticosteroid hormones such as cortisone or prednisone.
Tumor or abnormality of the adrenal gland, which causes the body to produce excess cortisol.
Symptoms of Cushing’s Syndrome
Some Symptoms of Cushing’s Syndrome :
Depression, anxiety and irritability.
High blood pressure.
Thin and fragile skin that bruises easily.
Slow healing of cuts, insect bites and infections.
Rounding of your face (moon face).
Erectile dysfunction in males.
Treatment of Cushing’s Syndrome
Treatment for Cushing’s syndrome depends on its cause. Surgery may be needed to remove tumors of the adrenal glands.
Gradual withdrawal of cortisone-type drugs (under close medical supervision).
Drugs to suppress adrenal gland function.
Radiation for some persistent tumors.
A diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body.