A Simple Guide to Cushing's Syndrome and Related Conditions

by Kenneth Kee

Publisher: Kenneth Kee

Series: A Simple Guide to Medical Conditions

Publication Date: May 11, 2015

ISBN: 9781301654932

Binding: Kobo eBook

Availability: eBook

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Cushing’s Syndrome

What is Cushing’s syndrome?

Cushing’s syndrome is a disease which is caused by the exposure of the body to excessive quantities of glucocorticoids steroids.

People of all ages are affected but more are seen in females between 30 to 50 years of age.

What are the causes of Cushing Syndrome?

The causes are believed to be:
1. Cushing Disease -excessive production of adrenocorticotrophin hormone (ACTH) by the pituitary gland causes bilateral adrenal (gland above kidney) hyperplasia (overgrowth of gland tissue).

The enlarged adrenal gland will produce excessive corticosteroids.

A pituitary basophile or chromphobe adenoma may be present.

2. Adrenal tumors which may be benign or malignant can produce excessive corticosteroids

3. Ectopic ACTH syndrome

Production of ACTH by a tumor such as cancer of the lung leads to adrenal hyperplasia

4. Iatrogenic -patients receiving excessive doses of corticosteroids may present as Cushing syndrome

What are the symptoms of Cushing Syndrome?

Symptoms of Cushing Syndrome:
1. Obesity predominally truncal often with pad of fat between shoulders (buffalo hump)

2. Round flat plethoric (red) face (moon face)

3. Skin is thin and bruises easily

4. Purple striae on abdomen, thighs, and shoulders.

5. Proximal myopathy leads to difficulty in getting out of chairs and walking upstairs

6. Excessive adrenal androgen secretions lead to hirsutism, amenorrhea and acne

7. Osteoporosis can lead to back pain

8. Hypertension and glycosuria (glucose in urine) are common

9. Depression and other psychiatric disturbance common

10. In children there may stunting of growth

11. Women with Cushing syndrome often have:
a. Excess hair growth on the face, neck, chest, abdomen, and thighs
b. Menstrual cycles that are irregular or stops

12. Men may have:
a. Impotence