The signs and symptoms of
Cushing's syndrome vary and most often develop
gradually. You may have:
- Weight gain. Symptoms may include a round or puffy
face (moon face), increased fat around the neck and upper part of the back
(buffalo hump ), or an enlarged waistline. Weight gain is the most common symptom
of Cushing's syndrome.
- Skin changes. These include thin, fragile skin that
bruises easily; slow-healing wounds; wide, purplish stretch marks on the body
acne; or a ruddy complexion.
- Changes in mental state. Irritability, anxiety,
inability to sleep (insomnia), or feelings of sadness or
depression may develop.
- Muscle and bone weakness. Symptoms may include
backache; broken bones, especially the ribs and spine (caused by
osteoporosis); or loss of muscle tone and strength.
Weakness of the muscles in the arms and legs may make it difficult to rise from
a chair or climb stairs.
- Sex hormone changes. Menstrual irregularity, facial hair growth in women,
erection problems (erectile dysfunction), or loss of
sex drive may occur.
- High blood pressure and diabetes. High blood pressure (hypertension) and
diabetes may not be diagnosed until you have a
The eye conditions
cataracts also may occur in Cushing's syndrome. In
Cushing's disease (tumors on the
pituitary gland), your field of vision can be
affected. You may have loss of side, or peripheral, vision.
cancerous tumor on the lung is the cause, you may have rapid loss of appetite
(anorexia) and weight loss. You also may have dark
spots on the skin (hyperpigmentation).
Not everyone who has the
classic signs and symptoms of Cushing's syndrome has the disorder. Also, not
everyone who has Cushing's syndrome has the classic changes in physical
appearance. This is often true in people who are very physically active.