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Cushing’s Syndrome – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

What is Cushing’s Syndrome?

Our hormones are very important. They decide most of our physical features and most of our physical capabilities. But when there are deficiencies regarding the human body’s own hormones, it is going to be very serious. Sometimes, it could lead to a short lifespan and even worse, death is always around. Some deficiencies in hormones can lead to weaker organs which can be defunct at any given moment. Most hormone disorders occur and show upon birth but there are also some that can be developed during a person’s life. One of these syndromes is known as the Cushing’s syndrome. The Cushing’s syndrome is a hormonal disorder which is caused and triggered when the body’s tissues are exposed to high levels of hormone cortisol. It is also referred to as hypercortisolism and this syndrome is discovered by a man named Harvey Cushing way back in 1932.

The hormone disorder that describes the Cushing’s syndrome is when there is a high level of cortisol present in a person’s own blood. To easier know what the Cushing’s syndrome does to a person’s body you can easily know it by referring to the name itself. From the word Cushing itself, each letter symbolizes and represents one effect of having the Cushing’s syndrome and it goes as this:

  • C- Collagen fibre weakness, central obesity, cervical fat pads, and comedones or acne
  • U- Urinary free cortisol as well as an increase in glucose
  • S- Suppressed immunity and Striae
  • H- Hirsutism, Hypercholesterolemia, Hypercortisolism, Hyperglycemia, and Hypertension
  • I- Increased corticosteroid administration
  • N- Neoplasms or Noniatrogenic
  • G- Growth retardation as well as intolerance to glucose

It is a syndrome that can be received during adulthood especially during the years between twenty years old up to fifty years old. It is a very rare syndrome so you do not have to worry much about getting one. And, to prove this even further, statistics, studies, and records have proven that only ten up to fifteen out of every one million people are affected each and every year.

Cushing’s Syndrome Symptoms

Cushing’s syndrome can easily be identified when a person comes up with the following signs and symptoms. Each of them is very easy to detect as most of them are all physical signs and symptoms and only a few are internal and mental.

Unexplained obesity perhaps caused by many different factors is known to be a very common symptom of having Cushing’s syndrome. You would think that it is hard to detect since many people are quite fat and are obese. However, the obesity often affiliated with the Cushing’s syndrome is commonly on the upper parts of the body. Specifically, this obesity represents a rounded fat face and an increased fat located all around the neck. However, the arms and legs would be thin therefore making this kind of obesity quite uncommon and thus, easy to signal Cushing’s syndrome. In some very rare cases where children are suffering from this syndrome, they are obese and have a slowed growth rate.

Next, the skin will become thin and therefore, fragile. It is easily damaged and bruised at the same time the damage and bruises have a very poor recovery rate and heals rather poorly. Stretch marks that have a purplish pink color may appear on the breasts, arms, abdomen, buttocks, and at the thighs. Other than that, the bones are known to be a little weaker and may cause some damage when doing some regular routine activities.

Severe fatigues is also a known sign as well as symptom of Cushing’s syndrome and it may also come with depression, irritation, and anxiety with no clear reason or are easy to trigger. There will also be some complications regarding the patient’s blood such as hypertension or high blood pressure as well as having a high presence of sugar in the blood which is called having a high blood sugar level.

Other than these, women with Cushing’s syndrome often show to have excess hair alongside an irregular or no menstrual period at all. Some men with Cushing’s syndrome are also reported to have diminished, decreased, and sometimes even totally absent desire for sex along with decreased fertility.

Cushing’s Syndrome Causes

Cushing’s syndrome is caused by a prolonged exposure to a hormone called cortisol. Now, to learn whatever causes Cushing’s syndrome, you must know how prolonged exposure to cortisol is done. First of all, cortisol performs very important tasks in our bodies. And it also has the function of maintaining blood pressure and helps the body in responding to stress. So it is just normal that people who are always stressed be exposed to cortisol which means, if the exposure is prolonged, it could lead to Cushing’s syndrome. Other than that, people with problems with depression, panic disorders, and alcoholism as well as malnutrition have an increased level in cortisol. It could also be inherited but it is very rare that this happens.

Cushing’s Syndrome Treatment

The treatment and or cure for Cushing’s syndrome heavily vary on the very definite reason on why the tissues have been exposed to cortisol for too long. Treatment could range from something less risky like taking in medications that inhibit cortisol up to the more serious ways of treatment which are:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation

All these courses of action are only used when the Cushing’s syndrome has gone to a bad state. Each of them however, is definite cures for only specific types of Cushing’s syndrome. Specific in the way that on what caused the Cushing’s syndrome to completely manifest.

But in any way you put it, it is always best to consult a doctor for the proper way of treatment. It never hurts to make a consultation since this is the best way for you to find out what to do with the syndrome. Then, during the consultation, only there will you know what you really need in order for you to cure yourself from Cushing’s syndrome.

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