Skip to content
    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Cushing's Syndrome

    What Is Cushing's Syndrome?

    Cushing's syndrome is all about the stress hormone cortisol. Your body makes too much of it. The excess cortisol can throw your body's other systems off.

    Most cases of Cushing's syndrome can be cured, though it may take some time for your symptoms to ease up.

    The condition, also known as hypercortisolism, is more common in women than men. It's most often seen in people ages 25 to 40.

    Causes

    You can get Cushing's syndrome when there’s too much cortisol in your body for too long. Cortisol comes from your adrenal glands, which sit on top of your kidneys.

    The most common cause is related to medications called glucocorticoids, also commonly known as steroids or prednisone.

    These prescription steroids are used for conditions such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or after an organ transplant. They are powerful anti-inflammatory medications. Taking too much, for too long, can lead to Cushing's syndrome.

    A tumor in your pituitary gland, found at the base of the brain, or a tumor in the adrenal glands, can also prompt your body to make too much cortisol, which can lead to Cushing’s.

    It's not usually a condition that's passed in families. In some rare cases, though, people develop it because a problem in their genes makes them more likely to get tumors on their glands.

    Symptoms

    Your case might be different than someone else's, but when the disease is full-blown, common symptoms are:

    Your skin could become thin, heal slowly, and bruise easily. You might get purple or pink stretch marks all over your body, especially your belly, thighs, arms, and chest.

    Your bones may get weak. Everyday movements like bending, lifting, or even getting out of a chair can cause backaches or breaks in your ribs or spine.

    Children with Cushing's syndrome are usually very heavy, what doctors call obese, and tend to grow slowly.

    1 | 2 | 3

    Hot Topics

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    diabetes supply kit
    Pack and prepare.
    Balding man in mirror
    Treatments & solutions.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    acupuncture needle on shoulder
    10 tips to look and feel good.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    woman biting a big ice cube
    Habits that wreck your teeth.
    pacemaker next to xray
    Treatment options.
    Pink badge on woman chest to support breat cancer
    Myths and facts.

    Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

    It's nothing to sneeze at.

    Loading ...

    Sending your email...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    Women's Health Newsletter

    Find out what women really need.