Cushing’s syndrome occurs due to abnormally high levels of the hormone cortisol. This can happen for a variety of reasons. The most common cause is overuse of corticosteroid medications.
Your adrenal glands produce cortisol. It helps with a number of your body’s functions, including:
regulating blood pressure and the cardiovascular system
reducing the immune system’s inflammatory response
converting carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into energy
balancing the effects of insulin
responding to stress
Your body may produce high levels of cortisol for a variety of reasons, including:
The most common cause of Cushing’s syndrome is the use of corticosteroid medications, such as prednisone, in high doses for a long period. High doses of injectable steroids for treatment of back pain can also cause this syndrome.
Other causes include:
a pituitary gland tumor in which the pituitary gland releases too much adrenocorticotropic hormone, which is also known as Cushing’s disease
an adrenal gland abnormality or tumor
Symptoms of Cushing’s Syndrome:
The most common symptoms of this condition are:
Women may also notice extra facial and body hair, as well as absent or irregular menstruation.
Men may also have:
Children with this condition are generally obese and have a slower rate of growth.