Cushing’s Syndrome

Topics: Cortisol, Adrenal cortex, Hypothalamus Pages: 3 (830 words) Published: July 19, 2013
Cushing’s Syndrome

Cushing’s Syndrome is a hormone disorder caused by the body tissues being exposed to high levels of the hormone cortisol for a long period of time. The disease is commonly caused by taking corticosteroid medicine in high doses over an extended period of time. The condition can also be caused by the body’s excess production of cortisol due to an overactive adrenal gland. It is a rare disease that mostly affects adults between the ages of 20 to 50. Females are more likely to get the disease than males due to an adrenal or pituitary tumor.

Cushing’s Syndrome signs and symptoms include progressive obesity and skin changes. There is rapid gain in the upper body fat deposit along the collar bone and the back of the neck which is often called “buffalo humps” and a rounded face which is referred to as “moon face”. The skin stretches causing pink or purple stretch marks along the stomach, thighs, breasts, and arms. A woman with the syndrome could experience excess body hair growth on their face, neck, chest, stomach, and thighs. It could cause their menstrual cycle to become irregular or stop. A man with the syndrome could experience decreased fertility and erectile dysfunction. Other signs and symptoms include excess sweating, fatigue, muscle weakness, headaches, high blood pressure, thinning and fragility of the skin causing it to bruise easily and heal poorly. Other symptoms also include dryness of the skin, acne, weakened bones, cognitive difficulties, and high blood sugar which may lead to diabetes. Cushing’s Syndrome can also cause loss of emotional control which could lead to depression, anxiety, and irritability.

The adrenal gland of the endocrine system produces a number of hormones, including cortisol. Cortisol plays a number of roles throughout the body. It helps with regulating the body’s blood pressure, which keeps the cardiovascular system functioning normal. It helps to react to stress by converting proteins,...
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