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Cushing’s syndrome

Cushing’s syndrome is closely related to overactive adrenal glands – more precisely the level of cortisol produced by the cortical part. Most often it is caused by long-term use of high doses of corticosteroids, which have an effect similar to cortisol. They are used, for example, in the treatment of inflammatory diseases – RA (rheumatoid inflammation arthritis), lupus, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, and to prevent organ rejection after transplants.

The second cause of the symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome is spontaneous overactive adrenal gland – when the adrenal gland produces too much hormone. It is related with adrenal cancer or adenoma that controls the adrenal gland of the pituitary gland.

Symptoms of Cushing's syndrome

This disease has many different symptoms, the most characteristic of which are:

  • skin changes – especially,
  • purple-pink stretch marks on the abdomen, thighs, breasts and arms,
  • a significant increase in weight with a specific accumulation of fatty tissue in the abdominal area and a neck (the so-called buffalo neck) and face (it becomes very rounded – it is commonly called “full moon”.

Additional symptoms include:

  • general fatigue and a feeling of muscle weakness,
  • changes in the skin – thinning of the skin, tendency to bruise anddamage and slow wound healing,
  • psychological problems: aggression, anxiety, depression attacks, problems with controlling emotions,
  • glucose intolerance, often leading to diabetes,
  • frequent urination with increased thirst,
  • weakening of the bone structure which may result in osteoporosis.

Cushing's syndrome treatment

Treatment of Cushing’s syndrome is based primarily on reducing the level of cortisol in the body of the patient and depends on the cause of this ailment. In the case of drug-induced syndrome- associated with long-term use of corticosteroids – usually reduction of dose or changing medication is sufficient.

However, when the cause of the overproduction of cortisol are tumors – adrenal glands, substances and hormones produced by the adrenal glands should be supplemented as long as the body is not able to self-regulation of their level. In some cases, the adrenal glands do not return to efficiency – then lifelong supplementation is necessary.

In turn, if Cushing’s syndrome was caused by a pituitary tumor – neurosurgical intervention is necessary. The recovery time depends on the chosen method of treatment.